I’m headed to take a nap. My prediction for a race finish is between 5:30 and 6:00 am. The team is moving along nicely at this point, so I’ll be up at 5 just in case. Presently about 32 miles from Nome.
As of 12:04, Pete is still maintaining the lead, but it has diminished to a virtual dead heat. At this point Schandelmeier probably has the faster team and is just lying in wait. This must be mentally challenging for Pete and Team Kaiser to know that a team is just hanging there. With a well established trail, trail breaking isn’t the issue, it is basically team against team.
The shoot-out continues now for the next 50 miles along the coast into Nome.
Keep it up Pete! It’s not over til it’s over!
The organizers couldn’t have asked for a better tribute to Paul Johnson than a duel to the finish of this race. One thing to note is how technology has truly made dog sled racing a spectator sport. As grueling as it is, watching along for every GPS update has truly brought the sport into the public’s eye. Think of all the times these same exciting battles have taken place over the decades of racing without anyone but the mushers really knowing about them. It is truly a great time to be involved in this sport and can do nothing but to further bring revitalize it.
As most of you have noted, the Tracker is a bit erratic. As the mushers are so close together, it will show lead changes after each update, although until one of them breaks away, we won’t know the true leader. Presently using the 9:24 update as a baseline, Pete and the Team have about a 1/2 mile lead or about the same 6 minutes that has separated them since Elim. It’s going to be a nail biter for a bit here! Go Team Kaiser!
Pete and the Team were able to leave at 8:39pm after their mandatory layover. In last year’s Iditarod John Baker made the trip in 9 hours and 42 minutes. Pete however had one of the fastest times and made it in 9 hours and 12 minutes. The trail is supposed to be excellent but temperatures have not cooled as much as anticipated. Winds are from the northeast at 20 knots which will harden the course a bit.
If speeds match the Iditarod, we could see a race finish before 6 am AKSDT. Another long night folks! 🙂
Hot off the Tundra Telegraph!
Just got off the phone with an old Guard Friend that filled me in on some good stuff
Apparently, the trail from White Mountain to Nome is great! One of Eric’s wild man friends just got off the trail on his Snow Machine making the trip in a wild 1 hour and 10 minutes. Trail conditions are very good and Eric tells me that conditions will improve as night falls and temperatutres fall a bit.
I also got the story on why mushers didn’t cross Golovin Bay: overflow conditions are very bad after the warm spell we are under and in fact a couple of snow machines were lost recently.
Eric was a wealth of information and he got me to the White Mountain checker, John Wilson, who gave me Pete’s official time into White Mountain at 12:39. John Schandelmeier was only 5 minutes behind him.
That will put Team Kaiser oback on the trail at 8:39pm.
Apparently KNOM is on the scene so we hope to have photos at some point
Thanks to Eric Peterson in Nome for this report!
Got news? Got photos? 9075451999 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for Watching!
Tracker is a bit hard to analyze, but it appears that Pete is still in from of Schandelmeier, but his lead is closing. I see about a Half mile or less between the two if you look at the 11:50 updates.
Pete has been breaking trail as the lead musher, but we don’t know trail conditions, so it is hard to make a judgement as to how much this gives Schandelmeier.
It looks like 30 minutes or less until they reach White Mountain.
Hey Race Fans! Know anyone in White Mountain? I need photos and times if you have them. We don’t have access to checkpoint times so anything would be great. If you are in White Mountain or know someone– head on down to the checkpoint and call me! 9075451999 is my number! Thanks for watching and supporting Team Kaiser!
Trackers have finally updated. Pete got into Golovin about 15 minutes before 2nd place musher John Schandelmeier. Pete has been maintaining a consistent 2 mile lead since Elim, but Schandelmeier is definitely making him work for it. Times into White Mountain will show the full story. If the 16 minute advantage holds, this is going to be a shoot out on the trail to Nome. On a close race like this, there can be no mistakes. Weather is still good, but a bit warmer as they get closer to Nome.
Richie Diehl is having a great run as well in this race. After an impressive finish in the Kuskokwim 300, the team is throwing down impressive times. Richie is presently in 4th place, after a 3 hour break in Elim. We will see how this strategy plays out if teams have rested in Elim or made a push for Golovin with a break on the trail.
Leaders at this hour
2- John Schandelmeier
3- Judy Currier
4- Richie Diehl
5- Michelle Phillips