Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Homestretch Iditarod XXXVI

Team JedEye...

Death on the Iditarod Update:
"Lorne", who was killed... and "Aries" who sustained injuries in a snow machine accident on the 9th were both from Blake and Jen Fretig's team; Jedeye Racing. Blake and Jen compete in many races together. I saw them interviewed before the race and there was so much love and affection between them. She pointed out that just being together on the trail, with their dogs, would be the best part of the race. sigh. They hail from Finland MN and are running Siberian Huskies, which tend to be slower than the Alaskan Huskies. The Siberians have sturdy pads, and rarely need booties. Thick fur protects them in the harshest of conditions, but can also make running in warmer temps, like they've had this year, a bit more difficult as they tend to overheat. Pics of Aries and Lorne are from their website.

Their version of the events is HERE w/excerpts below:

At 10 PM Sunday night, March 9th, Jen's team was struck by a snowmachine (snow-mobile) on the Yukon River between Galena and Nulato. 3 year old Lorne was killed and Aries was injured.
"... The accident was the worst nightmare imaginable. We are so lucky neither Blake or I was struck and more dogs were not injured. I thought we had just witnessed half my team killed at the time....At the time of the accident, we were both sure our race was over. However, on the long run to the checkpoint we realized we would be working through this tragedy whether we were on the trail or scratching. If we were not traveling together as we are, it would be harder to go on. But we have eachother for support and company. We just want to travel the rest of the trail with no thoughts of competition at all..."

There is some ruckus on the Iditarod Forum over all this. There are accusations about a cover up..and an equal amount of replies like "Hey! This is the Alaska interior, everything takes longer." A fair amount of bitching over the care in general, of all the 'dropped dogs' - complete with rumors of unreported deaths. WAH! Poor doggies. Below, Cim Smythe and his team. GO HERE for more great pics by Jeff Shultz.ON TO THE FINISH!
Lance and Jeff are both at White Mountain right now -mandatory 8 hour rest- then only 77 miles to Nome. Lance can leave 1 hour ahead of Jeff @ 5pm Alaska time (around 6pm PT.) It is a 9-10 hour dash to Nome, so the estimated finish is around 2- 3am Wednesday morning, Nome time. Live coverage starts 60-90 minutes before the finish. The Iditarod Website is calling the finish for 10pm tonight? Either way, some folks might be sleeping with their laptops near their pillows tonight! Below, Warren Palrey and his team. Race news HERE. And a super collection of Iditarod Links.


Joanne said...

Oh what lovely, beautiful dogs Lorne and Aries - I couldn't have gone on with the race.. God Bless them both.

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Sad about that, and such lovely dogs. You were right to stop, must have broke your heart.

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Tony said...

A very hard call, but you did the right thing, beautiful dogs and such a shame.

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