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Category — Iditarod

Susan Butcher Day

It is the first Saturday in March which is Susan Butcher Day in Alaska and marks the Iditarod ‘parade’ from Anchorage to the airport. The actual race is set to start on Monday in Fairbanks, sort of the Yukon Quest Part Two.

This trail covers most of the trail used in the Nome serum run that is part of the Iditarod race mythology. The actual run started at the railroad station in Nenana and went to Nome and was a relay race.

Update: The Alaska Dispatch covers basic questions about the race.

March 4, 2017   No Comments

Iditarod 2017 Trail

Iditarod 2015 Map
Sled DogA repeat of the 2015 race for the same reason – no snow and warm weather in southern Alaska. This can be a very fast trail, or a pure terror depending on the condition of the ice on the rivers and the Norton Sound. With the Sound, the wind speed can also be a major factor, because if the ice is smooth, the dogs can’t get a grip and the entire team can get blown for miles.

The two numbers reflect the approximate number of miles from the last checkpoint, and the total miles for the race. The 11 miles for Fairbanks represents the ‘parade’ and are not actual racing miles.

As forecast the temperatures are dropping along the route and some snow is forecast for the weekend, so the lead teams should have a fast trail.

Tanana River
Fairbanks 11 11
Nenana 60 71
Manley Hot Springs 90 161
Tanana 66 227
Yukon River
Ruby 119 346
Galena 50 396
Over Land
Huslia 82 478
Koyukuk 86 564
Yukon River
Nulato 22 586
Kaltag 47 633
Over Land
Unalakleet 85 718
Norton Sound
Shaktoolik 40 758
Koyuk 50 808
Elim 48 856
Golovin 28 884
White Mountain 18 902
Safety 55 957
Nome 22 979

March 3, 2017   2 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 14

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogThe final four teams are at White Mountain waiting for the last run of the their race. There are 10MPH+ winds to deal with, and wind chills of -15°F. Many dogs will refuse to move under those conditions as a matter of their survival instincts.

Standings at 7:30PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
61 Matthew Failor (63)
62 Elliot Anderson (69)R
63 Larry Daugherty (43)R
64 Patrick Beall (53)R
65 Lisbet Norris (7)
66 Sarah Stokey (71)R
67 Rob Cooke (56)
68 Kim Franklin (34)R
69 Kristin Bacon (42)R
Beyond Safety
70 Cindy Gallea (73)
Beyond White Mountain
71 Mary Helwig (49)R Φ
[Read more →]

March 19, 2016   Comments Off on Iditarod 2016 – Day 14

Iditarod 2016 – Day 13

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogThis is looking like the final day of the race with all of the active teams between Nome and Koyuk.

Sarah Stokey looks like her team is striking, as is Rob Cooke’s. They must have wind at White Mountain. As a survival reaction a lot of sled dogs will lay down with their tails to the wind if it’s cold. If you don’t have a good weather leader, you are stuck.

Standings at 9:00PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
41 Justin Savidis (46)
42 Cody Strathe (59)Q
43 Paige Drobny (75)
44 DeeDee Jonrowe (45)
45 Nathan Schroeder (4)
46 Jodi Bailey (14)
47 Monica Zappa (8)
48 Michael Williams, Jr. (40)
49 Melissa Owens Stewart (82)
50 James Volek (15)
51 Tim Pappas (64)R
52 Becca Moore (22)
53 Alan Eischens (54)
54 Robert Bundtzen (26)
55 Noah Pereira (21)R
56 Miriam Osredkar (65)R
57 Tom Jamgochian (78)R
58 Kristin Knight Pace (47)R
59 Ryne Olson (44)
60 Trent Herbst (58)
61 Matthew Failor (63)
62 Elliot Anderson (69)R
63 Larry Daugherty (43)R
64 Patrick Beall (53)R
65 Lisbet Norris (7)
Beyond Safety
66 Sarah Stokey (71)R
Beyond White Mountain
67 Rob Cooke (56)
Beyond Elim
68 Kristin Bacon (42)R
69 Kim Franklin (34)R
70 Cindy Gallea (73)
At Elim
71 Mary Helwig (49)R Φ
[Read more →]

March 18, 2016   4 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 12

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogEllen has the Red Lantern at the coast and Billy Snodgrass scratched at Unalakleet. It’s a shame to get so close and have to stop.

Alas, Ellen has followed in Billy’s sled tracks and scratched been withdrawn by the ITC at Unalakleet. Mary Helwig at Shaktoolik has inherited had the Red Lantern thrust upon her by the ITC.

Nathan Schroeder’s team is having a strike over working conditions, as happened to Brent Sass earlier. The feeling is that the Seaveys may have convinced their teams to run without rest, but not all teams are that dumb.

Nathan’s team finally decided to go to Nome in 45th place.

Standings at 9:15PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
31 Katherine Keith (85)
32 Allen Moore (5)
33 Ed Stielstra (50)
34 Jason Mackey (67)
35 Jason Campeau (24)
36 Tore Albrigtsen (52)
37 Martin Buser (48)
38 Karin Hendrickson (76)
39 Kristy Berington (83)
40 Anna Berington (23)
41 Justin Savidis (46)
42 Cody Strathe (59)Q
43 Paige Drobny (75)
44 DeeDee Jonrowe (45)
45 Nathan Schroeder (4)
46 Jodi Bailey (14)
47 Monica Zappa (8)
48 Michael Williams, Jr. (40)
Beyond Safety
49 Alan Eischens (54)
50 Melissa Owens Stewart (82)
51 James Volek (15)
[Read more →]

March 17, 2016   8 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 11

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogEllen and the Red Lantern are beyond Nulato this morning as almost two dozen teams look forward to a hot shower and a bed.

If you want to see some really pretty puppies, Rob Cooke (56) & Lisbet Norris (7) are running all Siberian teams.

Standings at 9:30PM CDT

Finished at Nome
11 Noah Burmeister (39)
12 Richie Diehl (38)
13 Robert Sørlie (37)
14 Paul Gebhardt (55)
15 Jessie Royer (3)
16 Ken Anderson (81)
17 John Baker (66)
18 Travis Beals (28)
19 Ray Redington Jr (18)
20 Brent Sass (32)
21 Kelly Maixner (17)
22 Hugh Neff (70)
23 Sigrid Ekran (27)
24 Linwood Fiedler (41)
25 Michelle Phillips (30)
26 Geir Idar Hjelvik (79)R
27 Mats Pettersson (36)
28 Ketil Reitan (6)
29 Lars Monsen (68)R
30 Dag Torulf Olsen (35)R
31 Katherine Keith (85)
32 Allen Moore (5)
33 Ed Stielstra (50)
Beyond Safety
34 Nathan Schroeder (4)
35 Jason Mackey (67)
36 Jason Campeau (24)
[Read more →]

March 16, 2016   2 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 10

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogThe top finishers were both named Seavey – Dallas first, and his dad, Mitch, second. It looks like Ellen will pick up her third Red Lantern. She is at Galena this morning.

Dallas finished in 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, and 16 seconds of racing with an average speed of 4.74MPH. [Take the total time and subtract the mandatory time spent at checkpoints.]

At 9:00PM CDT:

Finished at Nome
1 Dallas Seavey (16)
2 Mitch Seavey (19)
3 Aliy Zirkle (13)
4 Wade Marrs (33)
5 Peter Kaiser (11)
6 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
7 Nicolas Petit (12)
8 Ralph Johannessen (77)
9 Jeff King (61)
10 Scott Smith (62)
11 Noah Burmeister (39)
12 Richie Diehl (38)
Beyond Safety
13 Robert Sørlie (37)
14 Paul Gebhardt (55)
15 Jessie Royer (3)
16 Ken Anderson (81)
17 John Baker (66)
[Read more →]

March 15, 2016   6 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 9

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogSomeone will pass under the Burled Arch today. Dallas is running his usual ‘no rest’ end game, but it’s up to his puppies to make good on his gamble.

So far, Dallas’s puupies are making him look good.

Ray Redington Jr. is carrying the family colors alone as Robert scratched at Galena. Robert was in 46th, which is good for a rookie run. It wouldn’t be the Iditarod without Redingtons, Mackeys, and Seaveys running.

Ouch – Lance scratched at Galena, and Cim Smyth & Jim Lanier scratched at Kaltag. Lance’s puppies have been having some GI problems. A lot of injuries early on are beginning to ache.

Someone, probably Dallas, will be in Nome in the early morning hours.

The standings at 9:15PM CDT:

Beyond White Mountain
1 Dallas Seavey (16)
At White Mountain
2 Mitch Seavey (19)
3 Brent Sass (32)
4 Aliy Zirkle (13)
Beyond Elim
5 Wade Marrs (33)
6 Peter Kaiser (11)
7 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
8 Noah Burmeister (39)
9 Ralph Johannessen (77)
10 Nicolas Petit (12)
11 Robert Sørlie (37)
12 Michelle Phillips (30)
13 Jeff King (61)
14 Scott Smith (62)
[Read more →]

March 14, 2016   2 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 8

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogBrent was first to the Norton Sound with the top three arriving in less than 2 hours.

Ryan Redington scratched at Ruby leaving Ray Jr. and Robert to represent the family

At 9:00PM CDT the standings:

Beyond Shaktoolik
1 Dallas Seavey (16)
2 Brent Sass (32)
3 Aliy Zirkle (13)
4 Mitch Seavey (19)
5 Wade Marrs (33)
At Shaktoolik
6 Noah Burmeister (39)
7 Peter Kaiser (11)
8 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
Beyond Unalakleet
9 Ken Anderson (81)
10 John Baker (66)
11 Robert Sørlie (37)
12 Jeff King (61)
13 Ralph Johannessen (77)
14 Michelle Phillips (30)
15 Nicolas Petit (12)
16 Hugh Neff (70)
17 Paul Gebhardt (55)
18 Ray Redington Jr (18)
19 Scott Smith (62)
20 Jessie Royer (3)
21 Kelly Maixner (17)
22 Richie Diehl (38)
23 Travis Beals (28)
[Read more →]

March 13, 2016   Comments Off on Iditarod 2016 – Day 8

There Are Jerks Everywhere

Fairbanks News-Miner has a bare-bones report of the incident:

“Race officials said [Aliy] Zirkle, currently running in third place, was approaching Nulato when a person on a snowmobile repeatedly attempted to harm her.

One dog on her team received injuries that officials described as non-life-threatening.

[Jeff] King, a four-time Iditarod champion, was behind Zirkle and fared worse.

King was 12 miles from Nulato when three of his dogs were hit by the snowmobile.

Nash, a 3-year-old male, was killed. Crosby, another 3-year-old male, and Banjo, a 2-year-old male, received injuries and are expected to survive.”

Nulato is a small community so “a suspect has been identified” and I would guess that “chemicals” were involved.

If you read the rest of the article, there is confusion: Dallas Seavey won the race last year and he is the son of Mitch Seavey, who is leading at Noon CST in Kaltag.

Update: One Arnold Demoski, 26, of Nulato is currently ‘enjoying the hospitality of the Alaska State Police while helping them with their inquiries’. Mr. Demoski said he was drunk.

Nash and Crosby were part of the same 4 puppy litter. Their other litter mates were Stills & Young.

March 12, 2016   4 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 7

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogBrent Sass is in the lead this morning, and while Mitch is starting 2nd he still needs an 8-hour, which Aliy has already completed. It is down to how fast is your team and how little rest can you and the team exist on…

Ellen left the Red Lantern in the care of Billy Snodgrass in Ophir. Alas, Billy returned the favor at 4:30PM.

There is some information that both Aliy and Jeff King were harassed by a snowmobile on the trail into Nulato. The Iditarod Trail Committee have made it nearly impossible to find out what’s going on without “donating” to their “non-profit” corporation. [Update in separate post]

Rick Casillo & Scott Janssen have both scratched. Rick lost his lead dog to an injury in a fight with another male. [Many of the females are in heat, a good reason to run the race at a different time.]

Standings at 8:30PM CST.

Beyond Kaltag
Brent Sass (32)
Aliy Zirkle (13)
Dallas Seavey (16)
Wade Marrs (33)
Mitch Seavey (19)
John Baker (66)
At Kaltag
7 Robert Sørlie (37)
8 Nicolas Petit (12)
9 Peter Kaiser (11)
10 Noah Burmeister (39)
11 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
12 Jeff King (61)
[Read more →]

March 12, 2016   Comments Off on Iditarod 2016 – Day 7

Iditarod 2016 – Day 6

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogFor the first time since the start of the race we have an undisputed leader – Brent Sass. Jeff King is the only one of the top 50 who hasn’t completed a 24-hour, Brent really is the leader without an asterisk.

Aliy beat Brent to Galena by an hour, but he blew through to re-take the lead.

It looks Aliy is taking her 8-hour. Dallas has already taken his at Ruby, so the real racing will begin.

Update at 9:00PM CST:

Beyond Galena
1 Brent Sass (32)
At Galena
2 Aliy Zirkle (13)
3 Mitch Seavey (19)
4 Noah Burmeister (39)
5 Robert Sørlie (37)
6 John Baker (66)
7 Dallas Seavey (16)
Beyond Ruby
8 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
9 Wade Marrs (33)
10 Nicolas Petit (12)
11 Ray Redington Jr (18)
12 Jeff King (61)
13 Scott Smith (62)
14 Kelly Maixner (17)
[Read more →]

March 11, 2016   3 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 5

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogThis morning Ellen Halverson is definitely not where she wants to be – at the tail end of the race. Ellen already has two Red Lanterns and definitely doesn’t want a third. OTOH, she is one of only about 750 people who have finished an Iditarod.

Kim Franklin has dropped well back in the rankings after her team got loose on the trail beyond Rohn. The Hertfordshire, UK musher had to walk to Nikolai. In her first attempt at the race her lead dogs chewed through their lines and escaped which led to her disqualification.

Jeff King is really putting off his 24-hour break.

Charley Bejna scratched at McGrath. He waited until after his 24-hour, but was down to no more than 11 puppies. The early warm weather can cause health problems for dogs as well as people.

Standings at 9:00PM CST:

At Ruby
1 Jeff King (61)
Beyond Cripple
2 Brent Sass (32)
3 Aliy Zirkle (13)
4 Ken Anderson (81)
At Cripple
5 Dallas Seavey (16)
6 Noah Burmeister (39)
7 Robert Sørlie (37)
8 John Baker (66)
9 Kelly Maixner (17)
10 Ralph Johannessen (77)
11 Nicolas Petit (12)
12 Mitch Seavey (19)
13 Hugh Neff (70)
14 Wade Marrs (33)
15 Peter Kaiser (11)
16 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
17 Paul Gebhardt (55)
18 Scott Smith (62)
19 Michelle Phillips (30)
[Read more →]

March 10, 2016   5 Comments

Iditarod 2016 – Day 4

Iditarod 2016 MapSled DogThis morning it looks like Dallas is going to take his 24-hour in Cripple, the halfway point on the race. Takotna is the most popular checkpoint for the 24-hour and they have developed the resources to deal with it.

Hans Gatt, veteran musher and well known sled builder has decided to scratch. He was one of the first builders advocating the sled with the ‘trailer’.

Updated at 8:30PM CST:

At Cripple
1 Dallas Seavey (16)
Beyond Ophir
2 Noah Burmeister (39)
3 John Baker (66)
4 Robert Sørlie (37)
5 Jeff King (61)
6 Lance Mackey (72)
7 Kelly Maixner (17)
8 Ralph Johannessen (77)
At Ophir
9 Brent Sass (32)
10 Nicolas Petit (12)
11 Ken Anderson (81)
12 Joar Leifseth Ulsom (31)
13 Ketil Reitan (6)
14 Scott Smith (62)
15 Sigrid Ekran (27)
16 Cim Smyth (10)
17 Martin Buser (48)
[Read more →]

March 9, 2016   Comments Off on Iditarod 2016 – Day 4