Jeff and his team of 12 arrived into Koyuk promptly at 19:00, just after Anna Berington and just before Katherine Keith – two veteran female mushers. Ellen heard from Jeff this evening and a we can tell you:
- Jerry smells Nome.
- Today’s run was tough, but a warm tough. (Temps were in the high teens/low 20’s)
- He’s glad to be out of the wind!
- He and the team will be resting tonight in Koyuk.
In the morning Jeff will head towards the next checkpoint of Elim, a 48 mile up the trail. If you haven’t heard the story of Elim, you’re missing out. There is a chapter in Jeff’s book titled “Elim: A Small Star in the Night”. As Jeff was departing Elim a little puppy began to follow along… how long would he go? What became of him? We won’t give the whole story away here (not to mention, Jeff tells it MUCH better) but it’s really a great story. Oh – and there’s even a children’s book version! “Elim: The Determined Athlete”.
Mother Nature has been a big factor in the race this year, and it seems that some mushers are taking it harder than their teams. Both Allen Moore (Kaltag) and Wade Marrs (Koyuk) scratched today due to their own poor health. We wish the best for all teams that have scratched this year, it’s sometimes a very difficult decision to make, and of course wish Allen and Wade a quick recovery.
The BIG NEWS today? Joar Ulsom was the first team to depart White Mountain and is currently headed to the finish line in Nome!! Joar was able to depart White Mountain over three hours before Nic Petit could. That’s a pretty good margin, but this race has seen a number of surprise finishes. Keeping an eye on the tracker, Joar still holds a 14 mile lead on Nic.
The Iditarod anticipates a finish between 2:00 – 4:00 AKST tomorrow (Thursday) morning. That’s early for us, but hey, this race only happens once a year, right?
Want to watch the finish? You’ve got several options, check by clicking here.
Enjoy your night, Race Fans!