It is all becoming clear now. Lance had the fastest time coming into Kaltag and is headed to Unalakleet after a short rest. He is still very strong and will need something cataclysmic to de-throne him. Sebastian, the enterprising fellow, looks determined to give Lance some heat from behind. He arrived 5th in to Kaltag but rushed back out onto the trail again. Cutting his break in Kaltag can be deadly… he may very well be planning to camp on the trail, not so much for what’s happening in front, but for what he has looking at him from behind. I expect Lance to do the 90 run to the coast without a rest which will put him arriving into Unalakleet late this afternoon. Mitch, Hugh and Jeff are making valiant efforts. Run times show us that it took Jeff a bit longer that Mitch… you never know, one potty stop or snack stop can take up that 15 minutes. John Baker is rallying and his team is moving very well. I am excited for him to have a strong team on the coast.
A 6 hour rest in Kaltag is fairly standard. This is an atypically close race with many strong teams breathing in each other’s air. The fun of watching this year’s event is exactly that; so many nice, strong, and healthy teams. The conditions are been great for that but it also demonstrates how far we’ve come in the advancement of dog care and training in this sport.
Also of significance is that their have been very few scratches from the race this year. I was devastated with Bjornar’s withdrawal. He is a great contender and had a fabulous team. His injury was of serious enough concern that he truly had no choice. We wish him the very best and truly hope that he is able to compete in the race in 2010.
Well, on to Unalakleet! It is usually just over two days from the time they leave this coastal village until they arrive into the cheering throngs in Nome. Keep your fingers crossed….