Golovin to White Mountain

Golovin Bay can be a real challenge. If a musher has any doubt of their teams ability it is a very wise move, to do what Sonny Lindner did, and give them a good rest and make sure the dogs get some more fuel in them, a hot meal will do wonders. Sonny Lindner is on the move again, so he left is camping spot at the shelter cabin.



forgot my skates….

This year, Golovin Bay is more challenging than usual, as it literary is one huge sheet of ice. Skating rink quality ice.  And Golovin is known to be a windy place. It is hard enough for a dogs to walk on ice, never mind pull a sled and now add a good stiff head wind into that equation, that makes for a real tough run. The first 4 teams have mastered that challenge. Strangely enough I did not see Martin Buser in Golovin when I came through. I needed to stop to grease the sliders on my track with dishsoap and did a small “ tour de Golovin “, not knowing that Martin was there, but also not coming across him by accident. He must be parked somewhere out of the wind. It is only 18 miles, actually I had 16 on the speedometer to White Mountain from there and luckily the closer the mushers get to White Mountain, the more snow patches appear. About half way I passed Mitch Seavey who has since arrived here. Mitch was sitting on his seat and skipoling away, ducking out of the wind and trying to avoid his sled being pushed into the markers. At times his movement looked more like he was paddling….., gripping the skipole with both hands and pushing hard.

It looks like the Iditarod 42 pecking order is getting established. Although lots  can still happen on 77 miles. Jeff King is traveling considerably faster than Aliy Zirkle. He is en route to possibly become the next 5 time Iditarod Champion. Seeing Jeff here in White Mountain, he is chatty, does not even use his chance to get a lot of sleep. Instead he is all amped up and talking away a storm in the checkpoint. I guess his adrenalin is running high.

When I talked to Dallas Seavey and joked with him that he needed some pretty fast running shoes for this last stretch he responded that he is comfortable where he is at and just hopes that the next team behind him is not too close, so he does not have to work up a storm to the finish.  That next team is his dad Mitch. He is more than 2 hrs behind. Although Mitch has 4 more dogs in his team than Dallas, his runtime was 18 minutes slower, so it is doubtful that he will catch Dallas. Joar Leifseth has passed Sonny while he was camped out and has also pulled by Martin Buser and is en route to be the 5th team into White Mountain after a long 12 hrs run from Koyuk he will look very forward to an 8 hr break. Than Sonny could be more rested and still catch Joar back later… another race within the race. Just looking at the tracker, Martin is on the move again too, right behind Sonny Lindner. 


Mitch finally hitting some snow

Looking at what is happening to Martin Buser, anything is still possible on the last miles. Most likely some of those miles will be windy ones. Yesterday I saw a picture of a pickup truck driving out to Safety. I guess there is little snow that way also.

In the end, it seems like the more conservative Iditarod strategies once again worked out the best. Aliy, Dallas, Mitch, Joar, all rested for their 24hrs in Taktona and ran a methodical race to Nome. None of them got much rest during this record pace race, but the rest enough to keep the dogs moving along a nice clip. To rest late in the race as Jeff King and Sonny Lindner did had the advantage of keeping large teams and fast runtimes in the second half of the race.


Mitch skipoling away

It is going to be a middle of the night finish, should be some nice pictures in the evening sun along the way, that is if the sun remains to be out, as they are calling for some weather to move in from the south. What an exiting race to Nome, it is far from over yet……… Happy trails…..


Mitch Seavey

And here the teams resting in White Mountain


Food Drop waiting for mushers to arrive


The Top 3 teams parked next to each other


1st place Jeff KingIMG_1173



2nd place Aliy Zirkle



3rd team Dallas Seavey