Many of you have noticed that mushers have been staying in Takotna for a long time. No worries, they are taking their mandatory 24 hour stop. Rule #13 explains that teams must take one 24 hour stop and two 8 hour stops during the race. Not everyone is taking their 24 in Takotna and have continued down the trail. The interesting thing about the 24 is that this is where the 2 minute differential is added. I see a lot of you scratching your heads (I’m scratching my ears). Remember how at the start of the race teams leave 2 minutes apart? This needs to be made up somewhere, otherwise it’s not fair. SO – that means that Paige Drobny who left the starting line last with Bib #58 gets a true 24 hour stop. Bib #57 gets 24 hours plus 2 minutes. Bib #56 gets 24 hours plus 4 minutes, etc. Bib number 2, who left the starting line first, gets 24 hours plus 114 minutes. When everyone has taken their 24 THEN all teams are even. The Bib Numbers, Cindi, are drawn at the Musher Banquet the Thursday before the race starts.
Mrs. Wilson’s third graders in Denver, Colorado are curious about whether there have ever been any interesting musher injuries during the Iditarod. Ohhh yes! Frostbite is always a danger for mushers and, while they try to be prepared for anything, the cold can creep in. Awooooo! Makes me very happy for my 2 layers of fur to keep me warm during the Alaskan winters. A few other injuries that come to mind: In 2011, Mitch Seavey sliced his finger with a knife; in 2016, Matthew Failor gashed his knee with a knife; Cindy Abbott had a pelvic injury in 2013 and a shoulder injury in 2019. Remember, it’s all about the dogs, so while there are around 30 volunteer vets on the trail, there is not a single medical doctor. Grrrrrreat questions third graders.
If you have a question for me, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back here for your answers. I’ll try to take my eyes off the GPS tracker long enough to answer as many as I can (Mrs. Goddu’s class, I’m officially retired from racing so I watch like you do. I hope you are enjoying the race!)