Kaiser Racing Radio – Ariel Tweto Cookin’ Up Bacon!

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Unalakleet’s Own– Ariel Tweto

I got a quick call into Unalakleet and who answered the phone, but Unalakleet’s very own Ariel Tweto! She was manning the Iditarod Checkpoint Kitchen, cooking to order for Mushers as they came in to take a break. A lively little gal, Ariel explains a bit about the checkpoint and also describes Pete and the Team into the checkpoint. Listen into this fun short conversation as she takes a break between meals:

 

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Into Unalakleet – In Good Time

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Pete and the Team are into Unalakleet at 10:18pm for a travel time of 11hours 18minutes for the run in from Kaltag. They have arrived in 7th place about 25 minutes behind Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Jesse Royer, who they had been traveling with for much of the trail. Team Kaiser had a slowdown on the trail for a bit, but the speed coming into Unalakleet was very good.  What is most noteable is that Joar left 1hour and 17 minutes in front of Pete, and though losing some ground on the trail, at the checkpoint, he is only 48 minutes behind. So although he was even on the trail at one point, he is actually GAINING!

Pete is watching his back though as Mitch Seavey arrived just 10 minutes behind after taking a break on the trail. He moved up towards Shaktoolik, so this will be interesting to watch. Mitch and Pete have traveled this stretch before together up to Koyuk. A couple of years back, Pete, completely asleep, rode on as Team Kaiser pulled on and passed Mitch and his Team on the Trail. Once Pete got into the checkpoint, Mitch came up to him and they chuckled about it. Mitch had said hi as Pete and the Team trucked on by, but Pete was dreaming away and totally missed it. Sebastian Schnuelle laughed and laughed later, (in his bavarian accent)”Ya, it’s bad to get passed on the trail, but it’s Really bad to get passed by a Team totally asleep!”

I think of that story every year at this time.

The weather in Unalakleet is cold and windy. Windchills are well below zero as ambient temperatures rise. It is a bristling cold night and there is the Team to tend to before getting a meal and drifting off to sleep.

Pete and the Team will take a good break here after the long stretch of trail. I would look for a 4 to 6 hour break here. That would put them back on the trail early tomorrow morning on the northbound trail to Shaktoolik and Koyuk.

There are 261 miles from Unalakleet to Nome. As we found last year, the wind in this area can be the great influencer. Pete and his Team will have some advantage to some Teams in this new area of the race as we LIVE in the wind! A young team that has been training in the interior, though, will need management and guidance to get down the trail.

Mushing Weather for tomorrow:

EASTERN NORTON SOUND AND NULATO HILLS-
INCLUDING...UNALAKLEET...STEBBINS...ST MICHAEL...ELIM...KOYUK...
SHAKTOOLIK
247 PM AKDT SUN MAR 15 2015

.TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. ISOLATED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...
THEN SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS AFTER MIDNIGHT. AREAS OF BLOWING
SNOW. AREAS OF FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS 1 TO 7 BELOW. NORTHEAST
WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH. 
.MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN
SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW IN
THE MORNING. AREAS OF FOG. SNOW ACCUMULATION AROUND 1 INCH. HIGHS
IN THE TEENS. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH.

 

 

 

From the Gangline – Change-up in the Top Three – The End is Near

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Myron Angstman

I can now name my top three for the 2015 Iditarod, subject to change  as always.

Aaron Burmeister, Aliy Zirkle and Dallas Seavey appear to have the best positions right now, and of those three, Dallas appears to have an edge.  That edge is based on greater speed, but speed does not always  prevail in the Iditarod.   Aaron and Aliy have shown the ability to stay on the trail for long stretches, while Dallas has preferred shorter runs with more frequent stops.  That strategy tends to keep a team’s speed up, while the long run strategy slows a team down a bit. But when the end is near, most of the contending teams cut their rests and stay on the trail longer.  Sometimes that has the  effect of slowing the faster team dramatically, once they have become accustomed to the more frequent rests.  If that were to happen here, any of the top three could win.  If the speeds remain constant, Dallas could win handily, as he is traveling about a mile an hour faster than the others.

Jeff King and Mitch Seavey have faltered a bit,  and thus don’t make the cut for top three at this time.   Both had what seemed to be un-planned stops today in the long run from Kaltag to Unalakleet.  The gang of three coming up from behind, Jesse Royer,  Joar Ulsom and Pete Kaiser are well positioned to pass any of the top five who falter, and these two veterans appear to be well within reach at this time.

The cold weather is getting  a lot of attention. Many are suggesting it has been the coldest Iditarod ever.  If so, it has surpassed some awfully cold years. The pictures of racers show a lot of weariness, and not an abundance of smiles when teams reach a checkpoint.  Now the weather is warming up, but with high winds. It was gusting to 40 in Unalakleet today, and the next stretch of trail is very difficult to cover in high winds.  The race is far from over.

Shameless plugs for a dog race seem to appropriate for a dog race commentator, so here goes.  Aaron Burmeister was the successful bidder on an auction item at the Kuskokwim 300 race banquet this year, winning a big batch of home made burritos donated by Ben Kuntz and Sarah Angstman (Iditarod Musher Special- Shrink Wrapped of course). He packed them as his trail food, and soon after arriving in Unalakleet first today, he announced the burritos were great, and it was all he was eating thus far.  Next year the bid will start higher.

Aaron enjoying one of his burritos in Koyukuk.

Aaron enjoying one of his burritos in Koyukuk. From Adn.com


Myron Angstman is a veteran of the Iditarod and past champion of the Kuskokwim 300 and John Beargrease sled dog races.  He practices law in Bethel, Alaska. For more dog race stuff, check his website at angstmanlawoffice.com

Kaiser Racing Radio – Challenging the Mind and Body

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Day 7 and we are now on the homestretch to Nome! 261 coastal miles to the Burled Arches!

Myron Angstman and I talk about logistics of the race, feeding schedules, and how the mind of a Musher can be his greatest challenge. Another fun listen- Join us!

 

 

Go Team Kaiser!

 

Congratulations to Aaron Burmeister! First Team to the Coast!!

Aaron leaving Fairbanks on Monday, bound for Nome.

Aaron leaving Fairbanks on Monday, bound for Nome.

Kaiser Racing would like to congratulate Aaron Burmeister for a epic run to Unalakleet from Kaltag. First to Huslia and now first to the coast. He will need a good break here, but he must be thrilled with this run.

Aaron left Kaltag this morning at 4:49am this morning which makes it an eleven hour run more or less.

Good Job Aaron!

Tailwind to Unalakleet – Off in 10th for the Coast

Unalakleet Looking East

Unalakleet Looking East

After an almost 6 hour break, Pete and the Team are off on the way to Unalakleet. It’s a crystal clear day in Western Alaska today, but winds are starting to kick up with the approaching storm moving in from the south. Whether it will be a factor remains to be seen as often the first storms after a long high pressure stretch, weaken quickly and are less of a factor. I am expecting winds, but at this point visibility should stay great for the near term. If you look below, you will see the approaching storm from the south, but pay close attention to the clouds in the center of Alaska- They aren’t moving. Like a big boulder, the air mass is resistive to any change. The byproduct is wind, so stay tuned. The battle of weather is about to begin.

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Pete and the Team are out in 10th position. Several Teams have made the decision to resist the temptation and not stop at Kaltag on the way to Unalakleet from Nulato. These Team will make a camp stop on the trail.

It’s tough camping on the trail in the cold and wind. Hugh Neff on his way into Kaltag mentioned he was a bit tired of the Yukon Quest-like, -45F temps this morning.

It is a tough 85 miles, the last longest stretch of the race, to Unalakleet. A 6 hour break in Kaltag is making me wonder if Pete and the Team are bound for Unalakleet direct. Shore up the rest and get warm in Kaltag and make out for the Unalakleet checkpoint where a great meal awaits. Of course it all depends on the Team, but I’m sure Pete also saw the weather reports, and getting across the portage sooner than later probably key on his mind this morning.

Currently it is a bit warmer in Unalakleet at -4F but the East winds are blowing at 22 gusting to 26knots giving a wind chill of -30F. Luckily the wind is at their backs, but it is still going to be a bit blustery for our favorite group of dogs and Musher today.

Go Team Kaiser!!