Wow! It’s been a busy few days for the Husky Homestead Crew! Once we all returned back to the Homestead, the first thing we did was to pull up the GPS tracker and find out where Jeff was!
The race is progressing along quite nicely and we are enjoying reading all of the updates that we can find. Joe Runyan is a veteran of the Iditarod and offers his commentary on the Iditarod website. For a direct link to Joe’s blogs click here. Another Iditarod veteran that we are enjoying commentary from is Sebastian Schnuelle. He followed along this years Yukon Quest trail via snow machine, sharing his insight all along the way. He decided after the Quest to continue his Armchair Mushing and follow the Iditarod as well. Lucky for us! For some great insider information as well as some photos check it out at http://www.iditatracker.com/. His latest post “Iditarod 2012: McGrath” even has a picture of Jeff on the trail, minutes behind Mitch Seavey as they headed up the trail from Nikolai into McGrath.
We were able to get some rest last night after we learned that Jeff and his team were safe and sound into the Takotna checkpoint. We hope you did too!! Mushers are no longer required to “declare” their 24 hour layovers. If a musher wants to leave before the 24 hours is over he/she may do that, yet they will have to take their 24-hour mandatory rest at another checkpoint. It is likely that Jeff will stay for the entire 24 hours at Takotna, as will most teams, however some of that may depend on weather.
In looking at the updated standings we see that the Buser men (Martin and son Rohn) have blown through Takotna (staying just 2 minutes each) and continued on up the trail. The next stop is Ophir, a 23 mile run – although our bet is that they are heading for Cripple as their next stop. The Cripple checkpoint marks the official “halfway” point in the race for the Northern route, and is signified by GCI’s presentation of a halfway trophy and $3000 in gold nuggets to the first musher to arrive.
If you are an Iditarod Insider this year, you may have seen some of the videos that have been posted. Jeff appears calm and assertive with a smile on his face, as does his team. In one interview Jeff shared that he is very happy with how the team looks, their weight is good and they are moving smoothly. His mantra has been “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.
Start times are adjusted at the 24 hour mandatory rest layovers. As bib #10, Jeff will have to add 114 minutes on to his rest at Takotna, for a total rest of 25 hours, 54 minutes. That means that the earliest Jeff can leave Takotna is 2:09 am tomorrow morning, March 8th. The composition of the “front runners” will shake up a bit after the 24 hour rest, keeping us all glued to the Insider, the GPS tracker and the current standings leader board!
Until next time!
The HH Crew