Folks, we have a winner! Norwegian musher, Thomas Waerner, crossed the finish line in Nome at 12:37 a.m. this morning as the Iditarod XLVIII champion. Mitch Seavey and Jessie Royer followed suit at 6:15 and 7:47 a.m. respectively. Ten teams have now finished – a hearty congratulations to all! To see who rounded out that top ten, you can check the race standings here.
Sean and co. arrived in Koyuk last night at 9:27 p.m. and stayed for another 6-hour rest. Sean has done a fantastic job with his run/rest schedule. His conservation early in the race has noticeably paid off. Rejuvenated and ready to turn on the speed, team Husky Homestead hit the trail again at 3:32 a.m. this morning. Sean was given the green light from Jeff to pick up the pace and the dogs have done so whole-heartedly. They are closing in on a strong finish. The dogs are refueling in Elim after a smooth sail across the infamous Norton Sound. Ice and wind can be harrowing, a slick and menacing combination with blinding gale force known to fling teams completely off course. We don’t see much of that in interior Alaska, but the team was prepared either way. They say Mother Nature has no favorites, but she must have been snoozing as Sean and the dogs breezed through with no incident. Great work, team!
Want to see what a Norton Sound crossing can be like when you’re not a fave of Mother Nature? Dr. Timothy Hunt captured some footage during his 2015 Iditarod run – check it out here.
Sean left two dogs behind in Koyuk. We may not know who he left behind until the team reaches Nome, but we’ll update you when we can. Either way, we know they are in great hands with the volunteers managing returned dogs. If you’re a subscriber to the Iditarod Insider, keep your eyes on the GPS tracker and livestream as teams will continue to reach the finish throughout the afternoon! If all goes well, we expect to see the team arrive at the burled arch sometime tomorrow afternoon.
We routinely check Iditarod’s “Photos of the Day” to see if we can spot Sean or the dogs, and while we didn’t spot them, we were excited to see two of our friends pop up doing the “coronavirus elbow bump”! Sara worked with us last summer season and will be returning this year, and Tara has worked with us, for us, and was an instrumental part in helping to prepare Sean for his rookie run this year as she was a rookie herself in the 2018 Iditarod. Both ladies are in Nome to help with what was supposed to be a very busy time for the city… but we’re happy to see that they’re making the most of it!
“State bans restaurant dining as Alaska’s confirmed coronavirus cases grow to 6” – Alaska Public Media
Other Race News
A few more teams have scratched since our last report:
- “Berington Twins scratch in Unalakleet” Both made the decision to scratch due to a death in the family and for the good of their race teams.
- “Gabe Dunham scratches at Unalakleet checkpoint” This decision was made in the best interest of her race team.
- “John Schandelmeier, Meredith Mapes scratch at Unalakleet checkpoint” Schandelmeier made the decision to scratch in the best interest of his team, and Mapes made the decision due to personal health reasons.