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Iditarod XL Day 8

Iditarod XL MapAliy has an hour and a half lead over John, and that is pretty slim on trails John uses as soon as the snow falls.

The air temperatures have dropped to the -20°s so the interior and Arctic Circle teams will be in optimal conditiona, while the dogs that live and train in the southern area will be chilly. The mushers will all feel like they are popsicles, and will look like it as the moisture in their breath will freeze on the ruff of their parkas and any exposed hair.

Mitch is minutes behind John, and Aaron is within two hours of Aliy. It is down to rest time and how the puppies feel. Ally and John still have a dozen, Mitch has 11, and Aaron has 15. I’m guessing that the dogs that Aliy and Mitch dropped at Kaltag are perfectly healthy, but running a little slower than the others.

Dallas Seavey and Aaron Burmeister have decided to cut rest to take the lead. Dallas tried it last year and lost, because John Baker didn’t play. John still won’t play, and I doubt, Aliy will either. There is still a long way to Nome.

Update at 11:05AM CDT – Aliy is first to the Coast at Unalakleet.

Jake Berkowitz (29) was in 6th place when he pulled into Unalakleet, but he had severely injured his hand on the trail and was withdrawn by the race marshal.

Lachlan Clarke (66) scratched at Galena, and Pat Moon (15) scratched at Ruby for the same reason, Clarke only had 8 dogs, and Moon 7 with a whole lot of trail left to cover.

Josh Cadzow (55) has scratched at Kaltag with unhappy puppies, and Jeff King (10), who had 14 dogs and was running 12th, scratched at Unalakleet. Jeff has won 4 Iditarods and the Quest, so he didn’t need to prove anything.

Update at 10:30PM CDT:

Beyond Shaktoolik
1 Dallas Seavey (34)
At Shaktoolik
2 Aaron Burmeister (44) +0:27
3 Aliy Zirkle (14) +0:46
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March 11, 2012   4 Comments