Middle of the Pack

Dear Friends,

If you are watching the standings or the GPS tracker of the sled dog teams, much emphasis is placed on the top five.  Things are getting very exciting as teams approach White Mountain.  Only 77 miles to go after their 8 hour mandatory stop!

The Fish River at White Mountain checkpoint [credit H. Sloan]

Did you know the Iditarod keeps track of finish times and positions of mushers from all the years since 1973?  You can go to Race Center tab, Archives, to see where your favorite mushers placed in years past.  Some of the teams who are currently in the middle of the pack were once in the top five to finish!

Nicholas Petit – 2nd place in 2018, 3rd in 2017

Jessie Royer – 3rd place in 2019, 2020

Ramey Smyth – 2nd place in 2011, 3rd in 2012

Is being in the middle this year discouraging?  Nic Petit said in an Insider interview that it is definitely less stressful not being up front.  He is enjoying being out with his dogs, is more rested, and gets to talk to musher friends that he only sees once a year.  He is looking at the positives of not being in the lead positions.

In his bio, Ramey Smyth says, “I am entering the Iditarod because I love working with sled dogs. Mushing is a great way to connect to my historical Alaska roots and to challenge myself. My family loves sled dogs and this gives us an opportunity to work together on a common goal.”

Jessie Royer came back this year after taking the year off from the Iditarod in 2022.  She is well known for loving running sled dogs and working with horses.  She is taking it slower this race.

Getting to Nome with a team of sled dogs is a tremendous accomplishment no matter in what position you finish.  It takes strength, endurance, and courage along with wonderful dogs.  We are rooting on all the mushers and dogs as they near the last quarter of the race!

Until next time,