Monday, March 10, 2008

150 Miles to Nome

Iditarod 36 is in its closing moments. With just about 150 miles for the front runners to go, it is time to tune in and check out this amazing and adventurous race across the wilds of Alaska. Below, local school children watch as Lance Mackey tends to his dogs.At this point, twelve Mushers have scratched; most citing concerns for the health of their dogs. One team was withdrawn when the driver lost a dog. (The dog was recovered -yea!)

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?


Juliette said...

150 miles is a long, long race - I'm amazed. Pity a dog had to die but I hear safety on this race has improved now. I would just love to go to Alaska and see this. Great blog, thanks.

Phil said...

This is an awesome sport - we don't have anything like this in the UK (not enough snow in the past, although that is changing with Global Warming!). Cool blog.

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Jamie said...

Wow that's a really tough sport with the length of that race! Love the cartoons!! Great article thanks.

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Dougie said...

I'd love to see this race next year - just can't imagine the stamina that is needed in these extreme conditions. Great blog and info, thanks.

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Sara said...

Poor Lorne. Amazing race though, and let's hope this year's runs smoothly - would love to see it!

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John said...

Amazing contest and what staminar must be involved to finish that race!! Great funny videos.

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Dog harness said...

Great post and yes 150 miles awesome. I've been following 2011 event, hope you'll post on this.

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