ADN.com – The Battle for Top Ten

From ADN.com-

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

 

 

Onward to the Bering Sea

After a 4 hour break, the “Three Musketeers” head out on the trail, bound for Unalakleet. Pete and the Team is once again joined by Jake Berkowitz and Ray Redington. See ya in the morning- and “Spring” those clocks forward.

Kaltag – We’ve been here before!

Pete and the Team have reached Kaltag. The three teams that we have been following arrived into the checkpoint about 8 pm. Redington led them into the village.

Times for the group are outstanding and should be pretty close to the fastest time so far posted by Dallas Seavey.

Expect a break here before heading out over the portage. The portage is a tough section of trail and teams will want to be rested before they head up into the hills.

Pete and the Team are now in familiar ground after a successful run, not a month ago, in the Paul Johnson Memorial 450 race.

Weather tonight in the area:

KALTAG.TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 17 TO 24 BELOW. NORTH WINDS TO 10 MPH.

UNALAKLEET .TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 12 TO 20 BELOW. WEST WINDS 5 TO 15 MPH.

Slugfest on the Yukon

Pete and the Team have a tailgater! Jake Berkowitz just sits there behind them like a backseat driver. It’s not like a neck and neck race, but it may be a bit mentally challenging to have someone just “There” all the time. Lucky for Pete, this isn’t the first time he has had to battle someone just behind him. In Iditarod 2011, Ken Anderson, was behind him for nearly the last half of the race. More recently in the Paul Johnson Memorial 450, John Schandelmeier followed him aggressively into Nome.

The three teams, Kaiser, Berkowitz and Redington are within 500ft of each other. In terms of time, that is a virtual dead heat. Maybe 10 seconds behind is Berkowitz and another 20 seconds is Redington.

It’s got to be a bit tiring with teams so close, so Go Team Kaiser!! Battle ON!

Current Kaltag Weather:

4°F
Scattered Clouds
Wind: W at 6 mph
Humidity: 60%

 

Current Forecast:

LOWER KOYUKUK AND MIDDLE YUKON VALLEYS-
INCLUDING...GALENA...NULATO...HUSLIA...KALTAG...RUBY...KOYUKUK
314 PM AKST SAT MAR 10 2012

.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS 17 TO 24 BELOW. NORTH WINDS TO
10 MPH. 
.SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS 8 BELOW TO ZERO. NORTH WINDS
TO 10 MPH.