Too Early to look at Standings

Good Morning Race Fans!

Welcome to our 9th run of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race to Nome!!

This morning finds Pete and the Team headed towards Finger Lake after two runs and two rests on the trail. The standings show many Teams jockeying for position as they head towards the Alaska Range and a snowy trail.

When I asked Pete at the Starting Line yesterday about strategy, he told me that he has a pretty good plan for the first 300 miles and then everything after that is reactive to Team, Weather, and many other variables.

Photo from my friend Jay Christensen, a shooter on the trail.

Looking at his statistics shows he ran 4 hours and then rested two hours. In the heat of the day, with a Team that may be a bit warm, he may have decided to “chill out” for a bit and then take advantage of cool night temperatures which dogs really like. He was third out of Skwentna, where many Teams were taking their breaks. Some mushers like to stay out of the checkpoints on purpose as dogs are just like babies and daycare. Teams that haven’t been around other dogs sometimes catch viruses and such, just like babies that aren’t exposed to other kids. So often, especially at the start of the race, mushers will keep their Teams out of popular places with many Teams.

After the two hour run, Pete and the Team put in a 6 hour run and then stopped early this morning at 3am for a 4 hour break. Veteran fans have seen this strategy before as Pete likes a 6hour run/4 hour rest trail strategy. It is all dependent on the Team, but it is something we have seen before.

After the break, they were off at 7am this morning and are making great speed with 10mph on the trail.

Weather this morning is still nice and cool, but temperatures are expected to rise into the mid 20’s and a low pressure system is expected to bring snow and keep the temperatures warm in the area.

What a great start to the race!

Go Team Kaiser!!

 

2018 Iditarod – Willow Start Photos

The last thing Pete does before he leaves the Start Line is slap Dad’s hand for good luck. Every Time… Father – Son! Go Team Kaiser!!

What a beautiful day for a race! 67 mushers who were about tired of the pomp and circumstance of Anchorage are now doing what they do best – making tracks for Nome!

The life of a musher is a pretty solitary existence. Miles and miles of miles on the back of sled looking at dog butts and the trail ahead. But when a race happens it’s into town to shake hands with fans, interact with the public and do all of those things that a solitary person would rather avoid.

So with that over, it’s onto the trail towards the burled arches in Nome and a chance to put their name on the trophy of Iditarod Champion.

It was a beautiful day! Warm temperatures, a light wind, and almost blinding sunlight put another festive mood for fans and folks who made their way up the 60 ice miles into Willow. Unfortunately a little surprise awaited Teams arriving on the lake as overflow (water over ice) had made it such that the parking area was almost half of what it normally is and everyone was squeezed together in a small area.

It worked out well though and few tangles made for Teams efficiently making their way into the chute and hearing their names called by Andy Angstman and Lee Ryan who teamed up for announcing duty this year. The boys did a great job and I, for one, hope they continue.

Pete and the Team are doing nicely on the trail and are approaching the Skwentna checkpoint. Weather for tonight is perfect for mushing and I would bet that everyone out on the trail is having a great time!!

Here are today’s photos!

 

 

Iditarider Number 9 – Monika Aldrich

The Ceremonial Start Iditarider program has been such a joy for Kaiser Racing Kennel. If you think back to all of our relationships with all of the riders, they are all a very special part of the Team.

This year I especially wanted to show the full effect that a rider sees from their perspective. From the Banquet to the Ride to following along with the race. Iditariders are the best and we take them along with us!

Welcome to the Team, Monika!!

(The video is a bit out of focus, but Monika’s energy just couldn’t be missed!)

2018 Iditarod Ceremonial Start – A Perfect Day!

Fans, Sponsors, and even a few folks that aren’t in favor of Dog Sled Mushing saw a near perfect Ceremonial Start this morning. Temperatures in the 20’s and nicely packed snow put a festive mood, an almost carnival atmosphere to the 67 Teams and hundreds of dogs on 4th Avenue in Anchorage.

Pete was up early getting the dogs out of bed and readying for the event way before sunrise. Barking and ready, it didn’t take long for the Team to get loaded into the trailer and the 30 minute drive into downtown Anchorage. The Team really likes their Hillside Chalet of Sterling Reardon. The trees and snow are a pleasant place to be.

The most famous race in the world also brings out the famous people as well as we saw Governor Bill Walker, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and others line the “Trail” to send off Teams on the 10 mile run up to the Campbell Creek airstrip.

Our Iditarider, Monika Aldrich, an Alaskan transplanted from Germany was ready and excited as she was set into the sled for her Matson sponsored ride. She has been a joy to be around as she and her husband joined us as well at the Drawing banquet on Thursday.

Tonight mushers are gathering the last minutes of shuteye before the real race for Nome begins. Pete is savoring just a few last moments with his two kids and wife Bethany as well as Mom and Dad in host Sterling Reardon’s home in Anchorage.

Join us tomorrow in Willow for the excitement of the re-start! It’s a great deal of fun and we would love to see you!!