Nicolas Petit arrived Koyuk checkpoint with 13 on the towline. Checkpoint handlers offered to help park the strongly trotting team, but Nick waved his hand,”NO please leave them alone and I’ll park them myself,” which he did impressively with voice commands to his pair of leaders. Bruce Lee , our commentator with the Insider, remarked, “I think he has the best command leaders in the race.” NIc’s leaders edged into the parking lot as if parking a semi—–“Gee, litttle more gee” and the and his sled dog entourage was parked just up the trail from Mitch.
In the checkpoint, Nic’s hand’s around a cup of coffee,he looked at his run times with the communication women. Clearly Mitch had taken control of the race with a 5 hr run–which is flat smoking. On the other hand, Nic’s team was more steady at a little over 6 hours. MOst pundits would posit that Mitch’s key rests are boosting his super charged team and coming from behind for his competitors not so successful.
Nic will rest “four to six hours.” Before Nicolas had completed chores—– a hot meal for his team for one—-MItch was already preparing to depart Koyuk. Clearly, Mitch does not want to allow any opportunity of drafting—-that behavorial character of dogs to follow the scent trail in front of them and therefore has left before it is practical for PEtit to leave Koyuk. He departed Koyuk in direction Elim after 2hrs 22minutes rest.
Mitch packed his sled, looked and acted reasonably alert, and departed uneventfully with a few soft words to his leaders. The team stood off the straw, Mitch pulled the hook, and the team was in a uniform slow lope and trot from the checkpoint. Very impressive, elegant to watch.
Petit will rest and look back at approaching challengers aka Dallas Seavey, Ulsom the Norwegian Barbarian, and Wade Marrs. MItch Seavey, enjoying a magic carpet ride, is likely to extend his lead as his trail hardened team dominates the field.
What about the ice jumble just coming into Koyuk? Petit must have had a few lucky bounces. He just shrugged his shoulders,”yeah it was bad” but as if to say it was not particularly news worthyl