Lance Mackey is leading (barely) with a team of 12. Jeff King rolled into Koyok just 10 minutes behind him with his team of 16, having gained and hour on him from the last checkpoint. They both have only 4 more checkpoints in the 150 miles that lie along the Norton sound, to the finish in Nome. They are both Iditarod Veteran Champions, and know a lot about the teams they are driving. They both have the knowledge to not only survive, but win this race. I've been betting on Lance, but now I'm worried about his team, or lack of....Below, Jeff King with his team.
Ice floes are a major concern over the next part of the trail, (don't want to drift out to sea!) as well as fatigue, and the natural consequences of such a state - human error- like getting lost, or misjudging the route. The trek is less dangerous in a race setting, thanks to the trail breakers. Things can still change rapidly so the drivers have to stay alert. If you check out the LIVE TRACKING you can see the whole route, and perhaps an exciting finish as well, both Lance and Jeff are equipped with the monitors. (Just 20 mushers are using them). There are strong contenders (Go DeeDee!) who will be battling it out for third, as the two front leaders have at least two hours between them and the rest of the pack. NEWS highlights below. Its a bummer that another dog has died. Super cool images, like some of what I've used today, are found HERE.Another Death on the Iditarod
DATE: March 10, 2008
"At approximately 10 p.m. last evening, a snowmachiner (snow-mobiles are called snow machines in Akaska) ran into Jennifer Freking’s team on the Yukon River near Koyukuk. Unfortunately, the incident caused the death of a 3-year-old female named ‘Lorne.’ At this time I do not have further details. However, the Alaska State Troopers will be notified." This was posted by the official Iditarod vet. RIP: LORNEScratched Mushers - All withdrew over concern for the health of their team.
IDITAROD XXXVI MUSHER Art Church, (Bib #18) scratched at 6 am (March 10, 2008) in Ruby Checkpoint. The 51 year old musher from Willow Alaska had 12 dogs on his team when he scratched.IDITAROD XXXVI MUSHER Darin Nelson, (Bib #81) scratched at 2:45 pm (March 09, 2008) in Galena Checkpoint. The 38 year old rookie musher from Kotzebue Alaska had 10 dogs on his team when he scratched.
IDITAROD XXXVI MUSHER Rodney Whaley, (Bib #78) made the decision to scratch at 5:08 pm (March 09, 2008) in Cripple Checkpoint. The 55 year old rookie musher from Franklin Tennessee had 13 dogs on his team when he made the decision to scratch.
This is a cool MUSHING GAME on PBS for kids or novices.Thanks to Eric for the cool links on his blog SoHumParlance, which is our local virtual water cooler for all things current. It must really be a slow news week...heh.. heh. Hey Eric, how big is that pooch of yours?