Pete and the Team were out of the last Layover in White Mountain. After two good breaks, I am expecting a pretty fast time into Safety and then the Finish. The skies are clearing a bit here in Nome and the Moon is visible through the light smattering of clouds. It should be a pretty enjoyable run considering the challenges of yesterday. Stay tuned. I will be posting updates AND we do have a musher in bound during the night– Mike Williams!! It’s going to be a great evening of mushing!
Mike and his Team are out of White Mountain at 16:39 with 8 dogs. He has 77 miles in the light of the sunset as he makes his way West. The Top 3 Teams averaged 9-10 hours on the ride. We are expecting him at the Finish Line in Nome around 2:30am. We will be there to get some photos and a word or two!
Pete will be able to leave at 22:31 (10:31pm) followed 25 minutes later by Richie and his Team.
Weather Conditions in the White Mountain are overcast with a light breeze of ice crystals. Nome is very much the same, weather conditions-wise. Expected weather in the problem areas near Safety have calmed down substantially since last night, but it still will be a bit breezy.
After a good long break due to weather, Pete and the Team are barrellin’ down the trail headed for Nome. They just arrived into White Mountain with an astonishing time of 5 hours and 22 minutes. To put it in perspective, that is over 40 minutes faster than Jeff King’s super run! GO Team!!
They arrived into White Mountain and the mandatory 8 hour layover at 14:31 with 13 dogs.
Right on their tails, (just had to add that in there!) was Richie Diehl and his Team. Richie has been battling Matt Failor for position since Elim. Matt’s Team left Elim over 30 minutes ahead of Richie and Pete, but Richie was able to prevail and arrived in 14th position 3 minutes ahead. What is notable, though, is that Richie’s time into White Mountain was 5 hours 47 minutes, a whopping 48 minutes faster over the run. Go Richie and Team Diehl!!
Out Times for our Kusko Trio:
Mike Williams Jr. – 16:31 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 2am and 4am Wednesday Morning
Pete Kaiser – 22:31 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 5 and 7am Wednesday Morning
Richie Diehl – 22:56 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 5:30am and 7:30am Wednesday Morning
After 14 hours in Elim, Pete and Richie are back on the Trail. A long hard night of weather is improving luckily. The trail will also be much easier to deal with considering that it is now daylight.
The run of the night, in my book, was the EPIC run of Mike Williams Jr. He took off out of Elim when many Teams, including Pete and Richie, had decided to wait it out.
“Kitaki” (Yup’ik for Let’s GO!)
I can just imagine the thought process– Mike takes a look at the weather and the ice and thinks, “Just Like Akiak or Whitefish Lake.” Mike has been training on very similar conditions (And the wind knows how to blow in Bethel!)
As we saw this morning with Jeff King, lady luck can be the leader of the team at any moment. In Mikes case, Lady Luck led him through Golovin Bay by the weather improving where it had been so severe to the mushers in front of him.
Mike Jr. is now running in 11th position and is now taking his 8 hour mandatory layover.
Considering all of the layovers and delays, I am guestimating Mike Jr. arriving between 1 and 3 this morning. Pete and Richie, having left Elim at 9:09 am, I am guestimating a Finish between 10 and Noon tomorrow.
Mushing Weather for Today, It looks like the party is not over! Visibility isn’t great, but not bad.
855 AM AKDT TUE MAR 11 2014...STRONG LOCAL GUSTS EAST OF NOME TODAY....TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. PERIODS OF SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO
2 INCHES. HIGHS ZERO TO 10 ABOVE. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH. EAST
OF NOME...LOCAL GUSTS 45 MPH WITH LOW VISIBILITY IN BLOWING SNOW.
.TONIGHT...CLOUDY. FLURRIES. LOWS ZERO TO 10 BELOW. NORTH WINDS
5 TO 15 MPH.
You can’t argue with success! The last three years the last names on the Finish Leaderboard have been 1. Seavey – 2. Zirkle. That is quite a record and one for both Kennels to be proud. Dallas wins his second Iditarod in 3 years broken up last year by his father Mitch. Aliy has been second all three years.
Dallas Seavey passed Aliy in Safety and didn’t know until the Finish that he had one the Roses in the 2014 Race.
Meanwhile, the leaderboard won’t have King on it after a impressive storm tore its way through causing most mushers in the Elim checkpoint to wait it out before continuing.
Our own Mike Williams Jr. though, is out of Elim, alone against the elements and just making his way onto what may be one of the biggest challenges of his mushing career. Mike and his Team were out of Elim at 46 minutes past midnight. Pete and Richie along with a slew of other mushers, including John Baker, are holed up in Elim waiting for the storm to play out a bit.
Good Luck Mike! Of all the mushers, Mike though, has trained in conditions nearer to what he will face– Ice – Wind – and More Ice.
Stay Tuned! Team Kaiser Pit Crew is headed for Nome this morning!