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Iditarod XL Day 10

Iditarod XL MapThe end game is set up at White Mountain. Dallas has a one hour and eleven minute lead over Aliy. Aliy made the trip from Elim to White Mountain one hour and 12 minutes faster than Dallas.

It’s 77 miles, so there is going to have to be some rest and feeding for the 9 dogs on Dallas’s team and 10 on Aliy’s. If there is fresh snow on the trail, the leader will be smoothing the path for the follower.

Ramey Smyth is surging, and 2 hours is not a comfortable lead at White Mountain, but he only picked up 16 minutes on Aliy in the run from Elim.

So, at the end of a thousand miles we have a 77-mile sprint race.

One other news: Brent Sass and Silver are poised to take ‘rookie’ honors on their first Iditarod.

Gerry Willomitzer (23) scratched at Unalakleet because his puppies are unhappy. They are unhappy about running directly into the 15mph wind out of the North that is dropping wind chills to the -30° range. You have to have a weather leader [Walter, Maple, Silver] to do that, as a sensible dog turns his/her back to the wind. This is why there are so many teams bunched up between Unalakleet and Koyuk – the trail heads due North right into the wind. The wind came up after the leaders made the turn and headed West.

Tom Thurston (5) has also scratched at Unalakleet, probably for the same reasons as Gerry.

Note: I just noticed that the people moving between Shaktoolik and Koyuk are moving in two groups – a group of nine followed an hour later by a group of five. The trail conditions must be really bad for teams to group like this. Lance Mackey is in the first group, and Rick Swenson is with the second. Bruce Linton has decided to stay at Shaktoolik. He has an insulin pump that can freeze in extremely cold weather, and when it does, he has a major problem. It happened to him on the Yukon on year.

Note: something kept Dallas at White Mountain 8 minutes longer than he needed to stay. He had better win, or lose by more than 8 minutes, otherwise he will be beating himself up over that 8 minutes for a long time.

Update [7PM CDT] Dallas has made it to Safety.

Update [8:45PM CDT]: Aliy is through Safety, but she lost 10 minutes on the run. If Dallas and his puppies can stay awake and keep moving, he should win.

Update at 10:30PM – Dallas made it to Nome and has won this year’s Iditarod.

Update at 11:30PM CDT:

Finished At Nome
1 Dallas Seavey (34)
2 Aliy Zirkle (14) +1:00
Beyond Safety
3 Ramey Smyth (21)
Beyond White Mountain
4 Aaron Burmeister (44)
5 Peter Kaiser (28)
6 Ray Redington Jr (2)
7 John Baker (11)
8 Mitch Seavey (35)
9 Michael Williams Jr (51)
10 DeeDee Jonrowe (17)
11 Sigrid Ekran (24)

At White Mountain
12 Ken Anderson (39)
13 Brent Sass (50)Q
14 Sonny Lindner (59)
Beyond Elim
15 Hugh Neff (27)
16 Paul Gebhardt (25)
17 Michelle Phillips (26)
At Koyuk
18 Rohn Buser (62)
19 Martin Buser (41)
20 Gerald Sousa (58)
Beyond Shaktoolik
21 Ryne Olson (46)R
22 Anjanette Steer (32)R
23 Kelley Griffin (20)
24 Jodi Bailey (6)
25 Ed Stielstra (45)
26 Nicolas Petit (9)
27 Lance Mackey (18)
28 Colleen Robertia (42)
29 Braxton Peterson (63)R
30 Jim Lanier (3)
31 Mike Santos (22)R
32 Rick Swenson (60)
33 Kelly Maixner (12)
34 Cim Smyth (8)
At Shaktoolik
35 Bruce Linton (36)
36 Curt Perano (61)R
Beyond Unalakleet
37 Karin Hendrickson (43)
38 Justin Savidis (38)
39 Matt Giblin (52)
40 Scott Janssen (37)
41 William Pinkham (4)
42 Trent Herbst (16)
43 Anna Berington (33)R
44 Kristy Berington (31)
45 Karen Ramstead (56)
46 Art Church Jr (64)
At Unalakleet
47 Travis Cooper(19)R
48 Hank Debruin (48)Q
Beyond Kaltag
49 Jaimee Kinzer (30)R
50 Matt Failor (57)R
51 Michael Suprenant (13)
At Kaltag
52 Kirk Barnum (47)
53 Dan Seavey (65)
At Nulato
54 Bob Chlupach (49)
55 Jan Steves (40)R

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 { 03.14.12 at 7:48 am }

Congratulations to team Dallas! I have to say that I was rooting for Aliy & Quito, but second place in a race as demanding as the Iditarod is more than respectable!

And it was pretty exciting with all the changes in the leaders all the way into White Mountain. The final winner could have been any of several people up to that point – every time I checked your site, someone else was up front!

It’s 8:24 EST, and the first six are in Nome. John Baker and Mitch Seavey left Safety virtually at the same time, so 7th is up for grabs.

Michael Williams left shortly after. I just read on his bio that he’s a Yupik Eskimo, and it always comes as a surprise to me to see such very English names attached to such very native faces. 🙂 Great to see him in the top 10, too, along with Baker. Do you know if Williams was a rookie in 2010? If so, he’s come a long way in a year!

And DeeDee Jonrowe seems good for placing in the top ten this year. Love to see some women in the top 10. Jessie just barely made it last year – I really missed her this year and hope finances will work better for her next time. She’s been in the race since I started keeping up with it which hasn’t really been all that long, but still – it seems strange without her.

2 JuanitaM { 03.14.12 at 7:50 am }

Oh, and happy 3.14 day! Have some Pi…

3 Bryan { 03.14.12 at 10:37 am }

I was hoping for Aliy to be the first woman to win both the Quest and Iditarod. The team is great, so maybe next year.

Mike Jr. did his Daddy proud – a last minute substitution and into the top 10. He has the best Safety to Nome time so far so he may take that prize. He is good. He was in the top 30 his rookie year, top 20 last year, and now top ten. He should, however, finish college before he does this again.

Mike is a Yupik, John Baker is a Inupiaq, and Josh Cadzow is an Athabascan.

4 JuanitaM { 03.14.12 at 6:29 pm }

I had not heard about a last minute substitution. What happened there?

5 Bryan { 03.14.12 at 9:37 pm }

Mike’s Dad, Mike Sr, had a bout with pneumonia over the winter and couldn’t train for the race, so he applied for Mike Jr. to take his place. Mike Sr. is a school counselor and uses mushing as an example of positive things that Yupik youth can do, rather than drinking and ‘hanging out’.

Mike Jr. is at college down in Oregon, but took a semester off to run in his Dad’s place.

This is all part of the Native Alaskan traditional life, and it is important to the communities to have a presence in the big races. That’s why Mike, John Baker, and Josh Cadzow hustle to get together the cash, and to amass the food necessary to run in these events – to show their communities that there is worth in traditional skills – you don’t have to became ‘white’ to win.

They use ‘village dogs’, not specially bred racing stock, and they eat what you catch – salmon, caribou, beaver, etc. not specially manufactured ‘racing food’. Mike’s team would have been sustained mainly on the extra fatty salmon that are trapped at the inlets at the beginning of the trip to the spawning grounds up river. John’s probably got some muktuk [preserved whale blubber], Josh’s crew probably ate a lot of beaver from fur trapping.

DeeDee makes dog treats for her team with beef tallow and cat food, because cat food has much higher fat and protein content than regular dog food. [Hint – don’t let your dog eat cat food or s/he will balloon, unless s/he is pull a sled for 1000 miles to work it off.]

6 JuanitaM { 03.15.12 at 12:03 pm }

Hey, to be a substitution, he had a great showing. Yeah, I’ll bet his Dad is proud, and he needs to finish college next!

Village dogs, really? And, eating what they catch? Now that’s truly interesting pieces of information. I had no idea. There was no website mentioned for Williams, so I couldn’t get a look at his dogs. But on Baker’s site, he has some handsome guys. One of them, Velvet, is solid black with blue eyes! But they all look like they probably have good temperaments.

Anyway, Williams & Baker made it to the top 10, so the “eat what you catch” food works. Maybe we could all learn something from that…

Somehow or another, my female dog bloomed anyway. Ever since being neutered, I can’t keep the weight off of her. I keep reducing her portions but getting nowhere yet. She is now officially nicknamed “pork bellies”.

7 Bryan { 03.15.12 at 10:01 pm }

Velvet and Snickers are John’s main leaders. Snickers has white chest markings but is otherwise identical in appearance to Velvet. Velvet’s name comes from the feel of her coat.

John lives in a coastal village, so they will whale and hunt walrus. There aren’t any roads, so you can’t order dog food. The dogs eat what is available.

Weight gain is all too common in dogs and cats after neutering. The hormone change probably messes up their metabolisms.