What a race! What a totally tough, but really great race!
Pete and the 8 dogs in the Team crossed the Burled Arches to Sunny Skies and just a beautiful day!
Led in by Maro and Freida across the line, Pete had a little disappointment in his voice as I spoke to him in the yard later. “I had to put Lucy in the bag just a few miles out of Safety, but that little girl led us all the way from Willow. What an amazing performance.” Everything he said was about how proud he was of the Team. They just did an amazing job over the 998 miles from Willow.
Bethany, Ari, and little Aylee anxiously waited for their post race kiss and hug and end to this tough, tough race.
Apologies for the tardiness, Pete is sleeping and with the new security at the Iditarod Finish, Ron and I were tasked with watching the dogs for the afternoon.
Here are the photos of the Finish! Go Team Kaiser!
Pete and the Team are on the final stretch. This has been a long, tough race and there is one man who is really ready for the burled arches and his family waiting– Peter Kaiser!
The Team was through the last checkpoint, Safety, at 9:55am with the 8 dogs remaining.
The weather in Nome is absolutely beautiful! Sunny and mild, with very light temperatures, this morning is about as nice as it can get for the Pit Crew and spectators.
We are expecting a finish between 1:00 and 1:30pm this afternoon.
The traditional way the morning starts (Even if morning means 1:00am or later!!) with a cup of coffee with Bob and Sherie and then we drive out about 6 miles and wait for Pete and the Team so we can cheer him on to the finish. The we rush back to the Finish and meet him.
It’s always a bit intense as we don’t really know how accurate the tracker is and we don’t want to be late!!
As Pete moved down the trail, the Team Kaiser Pit Crew were boarding a flight to Anchorage and then to Nome. After a bit of a nervous morning when fog delayed our flight we took off to Anchorage hoping nothing happened during the flight. A few years ago we boarded the flight with Jeff King having the win in his sights only to deplane and find that a freak storm had caused him to scratch. Deplaning today in Anchorage, Ron, Bethany, and myself were deeply interested in Pete’s progress.
Pete, tired, and beat up from miles and miles of miles, made steady progress and arrived into White Mountain and a deserved 8 hour mandatory break at 6:35pm with his Team of 8 dogs.
He can leave at 2:35am for the 77 mile run into Nome.
Meanwhile as Pete takes a rest, Team Kaiser Pit crew is enjoying a great dinner of chili and bread at the best host family in Nome, Bob and Sherrie Madden’s home.
Mushing Weather Forecast:
Snow likely, mainly before 10pm. Areas of freezing fog before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. North wind around 5 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
A 20 percent chance of snow before 10am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 11. West wind around 5 mph.
Welcome to the final Stretch!! Tomorrow this time we should be at the Burled Arches in Nome awaiting Team Kaiser to cross the Finish Line!
Early this morning after a good long 6:49 break to refresh after a long arduous journey through blizzards and wind, Team Kaiser left Koyuk bound for the final mandatory 8 hr break in White Mountain. After dropping a dog at the checkpoint, Pete left for Elim at 1:51am for the 48 mile run.
Weather is unchanged, cold and a chilly, but nothing like yesterday’s blizzard conditions.
This trail will be marked way better than virtually any of the previous Iditarod trail as it is a well used trail for villages headed to Nome.
Pete left Koyuk about an hour after Ray Redington Jr. giving the Team a good long break for the last legs into Nome. He is in a good position to finish in 5th position, but it is pretty early to be even thinking position for a number of reasons. The goal in any race is to finish with a happy Team and is always primary to Pete’s concern. Think back to a finish several years ago where a quick storm and a tired Team had Pete following musher Kelly Maixner through the blowhole into Safety and into Nome. I’ll never forget the sight of four teams with just the light of the headlamps coming into view out of Nome. Paul Gebhardt led Kelly and Pete into Nome. It was quite a story. Rick Swenson won one of his races in a blizzard where only he had made it to Safety while others were stuck waiting in White Mountain.
It’s often easy to thing that once White Mountain is in sight, the race is over… Ask Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle about that one. Dallas Seavey won after Jeff scratched and Aliy was holed up in the Safety checkpoint because of a freak windstorm. Calm when Dallas mushed through, only hours before it was a desperate situation with wind and horrible conditions.
Bottom line? Good Luck Team Kaiser! Winds at your back and concentrate on getting to Nome in fine style!!
Mushing Weather for today:
Snow likely, mainly after 4pm. Areas of freezing fog after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 18. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Snow likely, mainly before 10pm. Areas of freezing fog before 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 5. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Pete and the Team are tired “Puppies” tonight! It was mentally and physically challenging running against the wind and across the ice to Koyuk. Pete in this interview, though, looks really great. You can just see through the tired and the wind that this young man that we follow each year is really in his element. THIS is long distance sled dog racing!!
Pete lost almost an hour over Ray Redington arriving into Koyuk at the checkpoint 171 miles from Nome at 7:02pm.
I’m expecting a 4 to 5 hour break before he readies the Team for the run west to White Mountain and a mandatory 8 hour break.
Weather tonight is windy but may subside as Team head west.
Area Weather for tonight:
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 17. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
Snow likely, mainly before 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 4. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Just one look at the Insider Video tells us that this is a tough one for Man and Team!
The wind that was predicted to be so so not so bad a couple of days ago reared its head into an angry monster and Teams are face in and struggling. All of the Teams show much slower speeds than going into Shaktoolik.
Pete and Ray are still about 20 miles or almost 3 hours until Koyuk.
Go Team Kaiser! And good luck to all of the Teams out there today as we relax indoors and watch from our easy chairs!
Take a look at Pete and the Team’s speed before moving out onto the ice and then after traveling on the bay trail.