After leaving Nikolai early Wednesday morning, Sean ran for about 8.5 hours through the McGrath checkpoint, and on to Takotna. There, he camped out for 24h 27m, fulfilling the mandatory 24-hour checkpoint layover requirement. After a very restful day and a half, the team headed back out on the trail late Thursday afternoon recharged and ready to rock!
Just before 10:19 am this morning, the team made it to Cripple checkpoint, which is considered the official halfway point for the race. WE’RE HALFWAY THERE!!! Sean has been very consistent throughout the entire race, which is great for the dogs. He’s stayed in the middle of the pack at a pace that is easy for the dogs to maintain for 1000 miles. Good job, Sean!
Jerry was the dog dropped from the team in Finger Lake. Word on the street is that he got into a little tiff with another dog and needed one suture under his left armpit. It was sore for a day, but he got to spend some time being doted on by the wonderful veterinarians and dog handlers volunteering for the Iditarod Return Dog program. We’re confident that he LOVED all the attention! Yesterday Jerry caught a flight with the Iditarod Air Force, who transported him back to Anchorage where he was then evaluated by another veterinarian. He’s back to acting like nothing ever happened, and was passed off as happy, healthy, and ready to go home.
Jerry was then picked up by our friends, the Badalich family, who took him home to stay with their pack (many from Husky Homestead!) until we can find him a ride back up to Denali. It sounds like they think he’s just wonderful and that they’ve fallen in love with him already. We know he’s in good hands! They sent us some photos of him at their house that we wanted to share with you. He looks so happy!!!
Other Race News
- Jessie Royer is currently running in the lead. She was the first to reach Ruby, and is now resting there with 8 other mushers. With the race only half-way through, we’re still at the point where anything can happen!
- From Iditarod.com, “Veteran Iditarod musher Jeremy Keller (bib #47) of Knik, Alaska, scratched at 3:05 p.m. today (3/12/2020) at the Nikolai checkpoint. Due to current events, Keller has made the difficult decision to scratch as he wants to be home with his friends and family during this stressful time. Keller is currently mushing his team back to Willow, and his GPS tracker will remain live so that the Iditarod can ensure a safe journey for him as he heads home. Keller had 12 dogs in harness at the time he made the decision to scratch.”
- After the City of Nome cancelled all city-sponsored Iditarod events such as the Lonnie O’Connor Basketball Tournament, the arts and craft show, and anything at the city’s cultural center, the Iditarod Trail Committee made the decision to postpone their musher banquet and the musher meet-and-greet. Decisions were put in place to make sure visitors and residents in Nome are safe and healthy.