If you are keeping up with the race, you will see that the front teams are now running along the Bering Sea Coast and Norton Sound. See the map below. Between Unalakleet and Nome, they are often running on frozen bodies of water, not land.
Thomas Waerner of Norway is in the lead. His team is currently 15 miles ahead of the next dog team. He is about 250 miles ahead of the last team!
How are the teams of dogs doing? Only three mushers still have 14 dogs: Martin Buser, Robert Bundtzen, and Quince Mountain. Others have returned one to seven dogs for various reasons. The rules state that a musher must end with a minimum of five dogs when coming into Nome.
We hear little bits of what has been happening from the mushers:
“Lots of snow.”
“Times it was really cold.”
“Now it’s pretty warm and the dogs have slowed.”
“I was in a funk for awhile and it passed onto my dogs. Now we are better.”
This is a really tough race. Even to finish the Iditarod is a huge accomplishment. Keep cheering on these brave mushers and their wonderful sled dogs as many head onto the coast.
Until next time, this is your canine reporter,