Harriett Fenerty | Den Mother
When a team leaves Kaltag SB there are nothing but river miles remaining on the Iron Dog trail….. 535 to be exact……the Alaskan Version of Three Rivers Stadium!!!! Racers will run the Mighty Yukon from KAL to TAN…..switch it up to the Tanana River the Nenana River and then onto the Chena to finish in Fairbanks.
These miles can be fast and furious….flat out ice driving, with eyes ahead for the ridges, whoops and craters they call JUMBLE ICE…..I heard that term for the first time this year from two different folks and I think it sounds more like a Carnival Ride…..I don’t think the boys out there are thinking it’s a carnival kind of day though. Just short of 1,500 miles in less than 30 hours…..WOW IS what I have to say!!! Some have already spoken the words “record breaking pace”….but I know from seeing how other races have unfolded, most racers will race to Tanana assess the leads and when they leave on Saturday morning….the decision to push the throttle to the bar becomes a second priority…..the first being to hold their lead, the second being gain a smidge more time, and thirdly but probably the most important—hold the equipment together and do what they love to do —- see the finish line on Saturday!!!!
Scratch this morning from Team 27 running on the river between KAL and GAL….just outside Nulato (which is not an Iron Dog checkpoint)….where the GPS flag showed us they were in the triple digits of speed…..easy to do when you know the river like those two guys…..that makes 14 teams on the scratch list…..66% remain on the racing list……anything above 50% is a huge accomplishment……wishing everyone racing a hot run today and if the sun is out to enjoy the ride!!!!
The other feature of our Alaskan Three Rivers Stadium is the two sections of trail that hit TRIPLE DIGITS 120 AND 110 MILES EACH today and tomorrow….FUEL is king here…..fall short and walk. HOPE NOT!!!….when a racer driver zooms past a walking racer…..the leader board is shakin pretty darn hard, certainly not in the game plan!!! Today we must remember …if a racer is on the snow ahead of a team (as indicated by the GPS flag) it MIGHT not mean they are gaining position …..the course times tell the story….teams are bunched up together for the mass re-start in Nome and the field will be adjusted and bunched up again tomorrow in Tanana…..so watching the actual course times will be the way to read positions. It is fun to see the race happen on the GPS map but don’t be misled……
First team out of GAL #8 will depart at 11:19 this morning and by the time they are in/out at Ruby….Team 6 will be back on the clock at 12:45 I think we can all agree today will be a full day of racing fun. Still warm in Anchorage….the weather pages for our Three River Stadium today is also clear and should be a huge bonus for the field heading to Tanana!!!!
Tonight the racers will enjoy an assembly at the school to meet and greet the residents and especially the kids that take a pledge to Stop Suicide. Iron Dog and racing teams have partnered with the State of AK Health and Social Services to spread the very important message ”Life is a Team Effort”. Last night of rest begins for the race day jitters in the morning!!!!
The dings of my computer are a huge distraction this morning…..just going to hit the upload and hope I haven’t missed anything in the process of pounding the key board at the same pace as a racers warp speed …heck with the edits and the typos so…..
RACE ON.~~~~HLF, Iron Dog Maiden, Den Mother, #irondog2016