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Iditarod 2018 – Day 9

Iditarod 2018 MapSled DogThe race is compressed to the Yukon and the coast. Nicolas has a 2½ hour lead on Mitch, so it’s down to rest as both teams seem to be maintaining the same approximate speeds.

Ryan Redington scratched at Kaltag, leaving Ray Jr the only Redington left in the race after an earlier scratch by Robert.

Joar pulled it off and took the lead for the moment at 4:30PM CDT.

Standings at 10:00PM CDT:

Beyond Koyuk
1 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (33)
2 Nicolas Petit (46)
At Koyuk
3 Mitch Seavey (13)
Beyond Shaktoolik
4 Peter Kaiser (30)
5 Ray Redington Jr (17)
6 Travis Beals (60)
7 Wade Marrs (11)
8 Ramey Smyth (21)
9 Linwood Fiedler (8)
10 Richie Diehl (29)

11 Matt Hall (15)Q
12 Aaron Burmeister (64)
13 Matthew Failor (55)
At Shaktoolikt
14 Aliy Zirkle (31)
15 Jessie Royer (36)
16 Kelly Maixner (52)
17 Ketil Reitan (54)
18 Jessie Holmes (41)R
19 Michelle Phillips (18)
20 Mats Pettersson (3)
21 Hugh Neff (68)
22 Lars Monsen (61)
Beyond Unalakleet
23 Michi Konno (63)R
24 Katherine Keith (51)
At Unalakleet
25 Michael Williams Jr. (27)
26 Martin Buser (28)
27 Jeff King (40)
28 Anna Berington (4)
29 Rick Casillo (9)
30 Cody Strathe (2)Beyond Kaltag
31 Larry Daugherty (14)
32 Charley Bejna (38)
33 Tom Knolmayer (43)
34 Jim Lanier (32)
35 Noah Pereira (49)
36 Emily Maxwell (58)R
37 Aaron Peck (50)
38 Kristy Berington (20)
39 Andy Pohl (12)R
40 Andrew Nolan (56)R
41 Bradley Farquhar (65)R
At Kaltag
42 Lev Shvarts (22)
43 Scott Janssen (23)
44 Brett Bruggeman (37)R
45 Monica Zappa (48)
46 Alan Eischens (53)
47 Peter Fleck (67)R
48 Dave Delcourt (57)
49 Shaynee Traska (5)R
50 Jeff Deeter (45)
Beyond Grayling
51 Meredith Mapes (16)R
52 Rob Cooke (10)
53 Misha Wiljes (19)
54 Anja Radano (24)R
55 Jason Stewart (66)R
56 Tim Muto (42)R
57 Magnus Kaltenborn (6)
58 Marcelle Fressineau (35)
59 Allen Moore (26)
60 Tara Cicatello (44)R
61 Steve Watkins (59)
At Grayling
62 Tom Schonberger (25)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 or clicking on the Sled Dog graphic.


1 JuanitaM { 03.12.18 at 7:41 pm }

Yeah, looks like the Redingtons decided to scratch en masse. The last Redington standing appears to be representing the family well however. Just checked the latest standings, and he’s still in 5th place.

Sorry to see that the women have fallen back so far,but still in respectable place out of a crowd of 62. Of course, that’s a tongue in cheek remark from me because I am such a wuss that I think it’s dang respectable for people to even show up for this trip. I mean a thousand mile trail with dogs and a sled through the middle of nowhere. It’s not so much being in the middle of nowhere that bothers me (being alone has never bothered me much), it’s being exposed to the elements. I consider 20 degrees to be cold enough for anyone. Below that, I try not to get out except when I absolutely must. If it’s a balmy 70 degrees, you can drop me in the middle of nowhere any time you like.

2 Bryan { 03.12.18 at 8:09 pm }

I did Arctic Survival at Eielson AFB near Fairfanks at this time of year and it was -45°F. With some training you can get relatively comfortable. Aliy was mentioning that her team didn’t have any zip. Some of her team just took Alan Moore to another win at this year’s Quest, so she guessed it was the warmer weather on the Iditarod that was affecting the puppies. Jessie is based in Fairbanks now. Joar is from Norway, but Nicolas and Mitch train in southern Alaska. The dogs that train in southern Alaska may perform better in these relatively mild temperatures.

Matt Hall looks like he’ll take ‘rookie’ honors, which is a bit ridiculous, he isn’t just a Quest veteran, he was the winner in 2017.

3 JuanitaM { 03.14.18 at 10:39 am }

“relatively comfortable”

It’s the “relatively” part that concerns me. You’ve mentioned your arctic training before, and it always amazes me! Don’t know how you did it, but I really admire people who volunteer to do work that requires it. Hiking up and down the mountains in decent weather is enough challenge for me.

I have a part Siberian husky that would be more than happy to accompany you should you decide to try it again. I swear that girl never gets cold. She doesn’t seem to care much for slick ice though (I’ve noticed this on her forays to do her business). When the back deck stairs get icy, she is not at all interested in going down them. Other than that, she’s your girl for cold weather.

4 Bryan { 03.14.18 at 11:21 am }

The Inuit have lived in the Arctic for tens of thousands of years and learned how to survive. Snow is a great insulator. Inside an igloo or snow cave it is 32°F no matter what the air temperature is. If you add a single candle the temperature will rise to 40°, even if the air temperature outside is -45°. It is all a matter of knowledge and the right equipment. Huskies have developed the right “equipment” and have the instincts to survive. In a blizzard they will lay with their tail end into the wind and curl to cover their noses with their tails [the snorkel parka concept] and let the snow cover them.

It takes a while to get dressed, but you can get warm enough to function. That said, things are changing and it isn’t the Arctic I experienced. We have managed to screw it and the rest of the world up.

5 JuanitaM { 03.14.18 at 12:39 pm }

I have seen her laying that way many times peeping through her tail. Of course, she never is in the type of weather where she really needs to worry, but it does seem to be a natural position for her to take, particularly on a windy day. I named her Whisper because she has so much hair growing between her paws that her toenails don’t click across the floor like an ordinary dog. She’s silent as the tomb suddenly appearing beside you with no notice. Ice blue eyes rimmed in black. Rarely barks but will not back down from anything. She’s mixed, but apparently the Siberian is strong in her.

To what extent do the Inuit still keep their old culture of building igloos? I’m sure they live modern lives these days, but do they build the igloos for hunting, etc.?

6 Bryan { 03.14.18 at 2:33 pm }

The Inuit have villages that they return to, and where they live in the warmer months, but they still need the old skills and practices for their traditional hunting. Modern tents still aren’t as good as what you can build quickly with a snow knife [similar to a machete used for cutting snowblocks to build with]. The traditional clothing that they make is better for the conditions they live in than the modern attempts to copy them.

It’s the wind they object to, and having a lead dog who can ignore the wind is a major bonus for a sled dog team. The Quest established a prize to honor Brent Sass’s lead dog Silver, because Silver could and would lead teams through monstrous weather to safety and saved multiple other teams because of his willingness.

7 JuanitaM { 03.15.18 at 12:00 pm }

Took the opportunity to check out a video of two Inuits building an igloo on YouTube. It confirms the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction. It only took them 1.5 hours to build the hunting igloo from start to finish. Incredible. They mentioned that for a longer term house for the family, they may take up to two days to build. Two whole days!

While I was in YouTube, I watched the 2011 Quest banquet where the Silver Legacy prize was initiated. Brent Sass was just bawling. I would have been too. I read the Miner’s story when Silver ran his last run, and he really has an amazing history. I’m fairly partial to dogs in general, but Silver is no doubt a special animal with a lot of courage. So glad you reminded me of it. I enjoyed watching the presentation.

8 Bryan { 03.15.18 at 1:53 pm }

A long term igloo is bigger and better made with larger blocks and a block entry hall pointed away from the prevailing wind. The toughest part is judging the snow – that takes experience.

Weather leaders are very rare. They are a bit suicidal from a survival point of view, and have to build a strong link with the musher, trusting the musher to know that continuing is a good idea.