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Iditarod – Day 9

Iditarod map even yearsMore unhappy puppies to report on, this time in Galena.

Warren Palfrey (27), the only Métis in the race, scratched at Galena. He moved his kennel and family from Yellowknife, NWT to Quesnel, BC last year which makes it easier to participate in races. There were 10 dogs on his team when he made the decision. Palfrey made his decision “based on his team’s inability to continue to compete” [they weren’t having fun any more].

Ryan Redington (25) of Wasillia also scratched at Galena. He is letting his brother, Ray, continue the family tradition of running the Iditarod because “some members of his team were not feeling well” [the puppies weren’t happy].

Their teams didn’t come back after the 24-hour layover, and they are both experienced mushers and dog handlers with solid long-distance bloodlines in their kennels. The warm and relatively snowless first half must have discouraged the dogs. If their eating habits change, you know you have a problem. In general they eat everything in sight and want more. If they start getting picky, something is wrong.

Beyond Shaktoolik
1 Lance Mackey (49)

At Shaktoolik
2 Jeff King (15)
3 Hans Gatt (20)

Beyond Unalakleet
4 Hugh Neff (56)
5 Ken Anderson (51)
6 John Baker (8)
7 Mitch Seavey (41)
8 Sebastian Schnuelle (35)

At Unalakleet
9 Gerry Willomitzer (55)
10 Ramey Smyth (21)
11 Sonny Lindner (44)
12 Aliy Zirkle (50)
13 Ray Redington, Jr (9)
14 Dallas Seavey (19)
15 Zack Steer (47)
16 Martin Buser (37)
17 Rick Swenson (57)

Beyond Kaltag
18 Jessie Royer (6)
19 Sven Haltmann (42)
20 Paul Gebhardt (7)
21 Bruce Linton (65)
22 Robert Nelson (32)
23 Jim Lanier (43)
24 Cim Smyth (3)
25 Jason Barron (71)
26 DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
27 Dan Kaduce (64)R
28 Gerald Sousa (48)
29 Michelle Phillips (36)R
30 Michael Williams, Jr. (59)R

At Kaltag
31 Peter Kaiser (67)R
32 Thomas Lesatz (62)

Beyond Nulato
33 William “Middie” Johnson (16)R
34 Allen Moore (54)
35 Quinn Iten (28)R

At Nulato
36 Matt Hayashida (12)
37 William Pinkham (40)
38 Colleen Robertia (61)R
39 Kristy Berington (38)R
40 Cindy Gallea (39)
41 Blake Freking (11)

Beyond Galena
42 Lachlan Clarke (63)
43 Billy Snodgrass (70)

At Galena
44 Ryan Redington (25)
45 Warren Palfrey (27)
46 Judy Currier (72)
47 Tamara Rose (26)R
48 Art Church, Jr (24)
49 Dave DeCaro (52)R
50 Wattie McDonald (4)R
51 Newton Marshall (14)R
52 Scott White (13)R
53 Sam Deltour (66)
54 John Stewart (69)R
55 Chris Adkins (33)R

Beyond Ruby
56 Trent Herbst (60)

At Ruby
57 Jane Faulkner (22)R
58 Celeste Davis (58)R

Beyond Cripple
59 Ross Adam (18)
60 Hank Debruin (45)R
61 Emil Churchin (53)R

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Iditarod, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, and the small “R” indicates a rookie.

Note: 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 { 03.14.10 at 7:05 pm }

Apparently ever more puppies are becoming unhappy, Bryan. I came across a blog that Colleen Robertia’s husband has been doing about her race, and she’s having a fairly tough time all around. Before leaving McGrath, she planned to wear her heavy cold weather suit, but the weather forecast called for mild temperatures and changed her mind. Instead, Colleen has had -40 degrees every night she’s been out. As a result, she has frostbite on all the tips of her fingers.

On top of this, she has more than one female in heat which I can only imagine the disorder THAT can cause among the team. Her husband’s blog made it sound as if it had been pretty much a nightmare. On a more positive note, it sounds like the 29 lb Penny along with a couple others have been keeping the rest of the team motivated. I’m glad you told me about Penny – she’s impressive. Must be 29 lbs of determination!

Anyway, the blog is much more detailed. For anyone who’d like to read further about Colleen: http://rogueskennel.com/blog/

2 Bryan { 03.14.10 at 9:12 pm }

The warmer weather is definitely affecting the teams and going into heat is a common reaction. Lance Mackey lost two male dogs last year when they got into a fight over a female in heat.

They aren’t writing much about it, but there are also a lot of damaged sleds this year, and probably no lack of bruised bodies. It has been a very weird race with a lot of normal finishers scratching. It could be due to the economy, i.e. if you don’t think you will finish in the money, you scratch and cut your losses.

There are a lot of the regular competitors with low dog counts, so the dogs are very unhappy, I think they are going to need to reschedule the race to provide better conditions for everyone involved. They canceled the Yukon Quest Junior race because the trail turned to garbage, so it isn’t just coastal Alaska.