SUNDAY, 2 a.m. — John Baker, Mitch Seavey and Aaron Burmeister sliced about an hour off Aliy Zirkle’s lead Saturday night as the lead pack left the Yukon River and headed to Unalakleet.
But as the Iditarod enters its second week, the battle for the top 10 is as fierce as the battle for first place, and more unpredictable.
Say hello to seventh-place Ken Anderson and eighth-place Michelle Phillips, who jumped into the top 10 late Saturday when they motored through Kaltag after brief stays.
And say whoa to Ray Redington Jr., Pete Kaiser and Jake Berkowitz, who left Kaltag together a little more than an hour after Anderson and Phillips, but with the benefit of more than four hours of rest.
Of the first 11 mushers into Kaltag, Redington registered the fastest time from Nulato, 4 hours, 16 minutes. The next two fastest times belonged to Kaiser (4:20) and Berkowitz (4:25).
Those three — dubbed the Three Musketeers by Sebastian Schnuelle — were roughly 30 minutes faster than any of the teams ahead of them, with the exception of fifth-place Dallas Seavey (4:24).
Zirkle reached Kaltag shortly before noon Saturday, three hours before anyone else. She left at 4:55 p.m.
Baker, Mitch Seavey and Burmeister spent less time at the checkpoint and thereby took more than an hour off Zirkle’s lead. They left at 6:30 p.m., 6:39 p.m. and 6:52 p.m., respectively.
Next to leave were Dallas Seavey (7:37 p.m.) and Jeff King (8:57).
After them were Anderson (10:40 departure, after a 12-minute stay) and Phillips (10:59 p.m., after a 19-minute stay).
Redington, Kaiser and Berkowitz all left at 12:13 a.m.
Not far behind were three veterans — DeeDee Jonrowe (1:05 a.m.), Sonny Lindner (1:15 a.m.) and Ramey Smyth (1:44 a.m.).Read more here: http://community.adn.com/adn/node/160266#storylink=cpy