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Iditarod XL Day 4

Iditarod XL MapAliy won the Spirit of Alaska award when she blew through McGrath and arrived 39 minutes before John and Mitch in Takontna for her 24-hour layover. That said, Mitch will get to leave 3 minutes before Aliy because of the start time adjustment. Her team is ready to run with the best.

While Lance chose to take his 24-hour break at McGrath, Martin decided to take it further down the trail.

Update 9:50PM CST: [Note: Last year Trent stayed on the trail while others took their 24-hour breaks and won the ‘Halfway’ award. He may be planning to do it again.]

At Ophir
1 Martin Buser (41)
2 Rohn Buser (62)
3 Jim Lanier (3)
Beyond Takotna
4 Trent Herbst (16)
At Takotna
5 Aliy Zirkle (14)
6 Mitch Seavey (35)
7 John Baker (11)
8 Jeff King (10)
9 Dallas Seavey (34)
10 Ray Redington Jr (2)
11 Paul Gebhardt (25)
12 Hugh Neff (27)
13 Aaron Burmeister (44)
14 Sonny Lindner (59)
15 Gerry Willomitzer (23)
16 DeeDee Jonrowe (17)
17 Michelle Phillips (26)
18 Peter Kaiser (28)
19 Jake Berkowitz (29)
20 Rick Swenson (60)

21 Cim Smyth (8)
22 Tom Thurston (5)
23 Sigrid Ekran (24)
24 Brent Sass (50)Q
25 Ramey Smyth (21)
26 Michael Williams Jr (51)
27 Ken Anderson (39)
28 Josh Cadzow (55)Q
29 Jodi Bailey (6)
30 Bruce Linton (36)
31 Wade Marrs (7)
32 Anjanette Steer (32)R
33 Curt Perano (61)R
34 Ryne Olson (46)R
35 Mike Santos (22)R
36 William Pinkham (4)
37 Ed Stielstra (45)
38 Scott Janssen (37)
39 Lachlan Clarke (66)
40 Karin Hendrickson (43)
41 Anna Berington (33)R
42 Kristy Berington (31)
At McGrath
43 Lance Mackey (18)
44 Kelley Griffin (20)
45 Nicolas Petit (9)
46 Colleen Robertia (42)
47 Ryan Redington (67)
48 Gerald Sousa (58)
49 Justin Savidis (38)
50 Braxton Peterson (63)R
51 Zoya DeNure (53)
52 Pat Moon (15)R
53 Matt Giblin (52)
54 Travis Cooper(19)R
55 Hank Debruin (48)Q
56 Karen Ramstead (56)
Beyond Nikolai
57 Art Church Jr (64)
58 Michael Suprenant (13)
59 Jaimee Kinzer (30)R
At Nikolai
60 Kelly Maixner (12)
61 Kirk Barnum (47)
62 Matt Failor (57)R
63 Jan Steves (40)R
64 Bob Chlupach (49)
Beyond Rohn
65 Silvia Furtwängler (54)R
66 Dan Seavey (65)

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Iditarod, while italics indicates Yukon Quest winners. The numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers. The small “R” indicates a total rookie, while the small “Q” indicates an Iditarod rookie who has completed a Yukon Quest.

These are the official standings. That means they are official, not that they are correct. Things jump around a lot as people decide to update the standings. This problem is especially bad in the back of the pack, as no one bothers to update those standings when the lead is changing.

This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.
All posts on the Iditarod can be seen by selecting “Iditarod” from the Category box on the right sidebar.


1 JuanitaM { 03.07.12 at 5:55 pm }

Well, it sure was fun to see Aliy showing up at first place for so long. It’s almost 7:00 pm now and the stats are showing her in third place as Martin Buser & Rohn Buser have moved to first and second. Keeping it in the family, I see!

I’m going to go check and see what Aliy got for the Spirit of Alaska award. Hope it’s something nice.

Noticed that Lance Mackey has not left McGrath yet and is in 40th. Wonder what’s up with him? And Kelley Griffin, who had been behind Aliy is at 41st.

2 Bryan { 03.07.12 at 7:22 pm }

As I mention in my update, the teams get to choose their stopping point for the 24-hour break, which is why Lance is still in McGrath and Martin and Rohn are still moving. The people at the checkpoints would know who had bigger than normal supplies dumped at a particular location, which is an indication of where they will wait out the layover.

The prize is a custom carved ‘spirit mask’ and a $500 credit on Pennair, which is normally used to get you and your dogs home from Nome.

3 JuanitaM { 03.08.12 at 9:54 am }

Ooops! I missed that part on Lance – must have been speed reading. 🙂

Just checked the stats a few minutes ago (10:45 EST) and Jim Lanier left Ophir first! Way to go. Age is just a number…

Of course, he hasn’t had his 24 hour rest yet, but that begs another question – how the heck is he going without sleep for this long? I can’t do that at my age all that well. Imagine his being 71 years old and leading a dog team in blistering cold weather with no sleep. Am I remembering correctly – did you once mention that some of them can sleep while running? Or am I making that up?

4 Bryan { 03.08.12 at 11:50 am }

Sleeping on the trail happens all the time, which is why a good leader who has run the trail before is important. I assume that he has run the Iditarod often enough that he has a schedule and sticks to it, which will serve him well barring the unforeseen. Napping can be just as refreshing if you and your body get used to it.

Bruce Linton is a Type 1 diabetic and he manages with an insulin pump and a lot of training.

Actually it is the younger mushers who have real problems because they try to ‘tough it out’, rather than training for it.

5 JuanitaM { 03.08.12 at 5:12 pm }

Here’s a pretty interesting picture at Takotna. How many sled teams can you count? Takotna

6 JuanitaM { 03.08.12 at 5:22 pm }

One blog had some vivid comments about the trek through Rainy Pass which I thought was worth passing along:

There’s an amazing video of teams going over Rainey Pass in a windy snow storm. Amazing dogs, but a wild ride for the mushers. First there was Hugh with his dogs in their Cat in the Hat coats – trotting along looking really good. Then along comes Ray Redington who’s dogs go sideways around a rock, then the sled falls over, dragging him, then he and the sled disappear over the rise, then suddenly the sled reappears, flipping high in the air, then Ray reappears, yelling at the team. It didn’t go as smoothly as perhaps he’d hoped. The last team I think is Lance and the dogs are travelling so fast and smooth their legs are just a blur. Amazing.

I may be too cheap to get the Insider, but my imagination is working overtime on that one!

7 Bryan { 03.08.12 at 7:41 pm }

I go two dozen, so the others must have been in yet another location. Takotna is the preferred 24-hour stop because of the facilities. They have been the top rated checkpoint for years.

As for the video, that shows what a good ‘weather leader’ will do for you. Walter, Hugh Neff’s weather leader, and Maple, Lance’s go to leader, are unfazed by wind in their faces. Ray’s leader was spooked and skittish, with the effect of the team being weird and skittish and doing strange things. Ray’s sled got ‘whiplashed’ as a result.

In last year’s Quest, Hugh had to drop Walter, and he got into deep trouble on the climb up American Summit. Some teams ignored their musher and turned around. The dogs instinctively turn so the wind comes from behind them when it’s snowing.

Weather leaders, like Walter, Maple, and Brent Sass’s Silver would want to stick their heads out the window of a Hurricane Hunter aircraft in the middle of a storm.