11 30 pm Monday, White Mountain—Seavey approaching Fish River, Aliy follows by Joe Runyan
Feels warm to our local checkpoint inhabitants—“Feels warm, like O F” says one as checkers , volunteers, veterinarians gather to greet Dallas Seavey to White Mountain checkpoint. COMMS continuously checks the GPS dots at the Insider to determine location.
Meanwhile, Dallas Seavey, in the night, and his huskies advance on a straight trail across the ice of Golovan Bay to the Fish River, the final five miles into White Mountain.
Here’s what happens in the Checkpoint:
Practically speaking, White Mountain is the last checkpoint for competitive mushers. Although races and places have changed in the 77 miles between here and the finish in Nome, nearly all mushers and teams will bounce off the mandatory eight hour rest to finish the race in one giant run.
Therefore, White Mountain is a destination that every competitive musher is anxious to reach. Once here, the pace slows because a guaranteed truce is declared. Mushers can relax to feed the dogs, then retreat for sleep without the anxiety of a sneak play out the back door.
Times are posted on a chalk board that tell a musher when they are free to sign out with the checker after 8 hours. 77 miles later, about ten hours running, the musher expects to arrive in Nome for a finish.
The Media are managed by the Race Judge, in this case experienced arbitrator Andy Anderson, to leave the musher some space to husband the dogs and allow the veterinarian team to examine the dogs. If no other reason, the 8 hour mandatory assures that every dog is scrutinized and their condition documented.
“Bones” Carl Brown
Bones, shown in photo below, is the local Iditarod contact in White Mountain that helps organize the check point and recruits volunteers. He will be the checker that signs in Dallas and Aliy.