Monday Update

by Harriett Hamilton Fenerty

Monday Morning McGrath

The leaders of the 2014 Iron Dog are enjoying a breakfast, making a plan and will be back on the clock sometime this morning getting close to 11:14 AM…….yesterday’s race stat sheet proved that even Mother Nature won’t hold back a good old Iron Dogger…..especially the veteran racers.

The race is on and we see the leader board filled with the names of all the usual suspects……..only one scratch overnight, although I sure saw a lot of SCRATCHERS on the machines yesterday at the start line. The Scratchers are used to kick up some snow dust to create a cooling spray of ice and snow so machines didn’t overheat in this low snow year. It is an interesting concept………and my guess is based on the number of racers on the course, they worked!!!!!

It was a little slow going for the mid/back of the pack, but racers are still making their way to McGrath today, they have to do 14 hours of Layover before they leave, some did 6 or 8 in either in Skwentna or Puntilla last night and will also have to wait out the adjusted time. Gonna be a long day of waiting for some while the leaders leave in glorious clear sky and cool temperatures……just right for an Iron Dogger!!!!

The Takotna team of volunteers are staged and ready, we hope they can make a couple runs back to a comms location, however Ophir is about 20 miles away from Home, so that might be difficult……..after a racer leaves Ophir they will be on a 99 miles stretch to Poorman where the wind is strong, the SBS crew is staged and ready to send them on their way to Ruby and then the racers will be on the Mighty Yukon…….head to Galena, LO options are Ruby, Galena or Kaltag…..this is where strategy takes place…….the game of possum…..where are they and why…….another day of good racing ahead all…….have fun, tune to the GPS page, load up the auto refresh and if you are interested in a specific team highlight their individual page and see their pings!!!!

GOOD LUCK racers of the 2014 Iron Dog…….we cheer you ON!!!!!!

Monday Night Fe Dog
(Fe = Iron symbol)

On this night, we usually talk about Monday Night Football, but not us Iron Dog fans…….we talk a different language and a different sport: A arms, tracks, studs, Pings, oil, MPH, right turn, wrong turns, bumpers and snow dust, flat light, full moon, minus degrees, chill factors, hand warmers, dinner, hydration, Rock Stars, veterans and rookies.

If #17 leaves Gal on schedule and they cover the same distance in the same split as #10 there will be a neck and neck race from Kaltag to Unalalkeet tonight about 1:45 AM between #10 and #17….a lot of vaulting over the bees on the overland trail tonight……I have to say I will not be awake to watch that happen on the GPS page. If you look at team #10 split sheet right now, you will see they don’t lie about going 98 MPH…..they went 98 miles in one hour today from Gal to KAL…..SIMPLY AMAZING!!!

There was a lot of racing done today, watching all the race team facebook pages was a great resource of information. The GPS page was flawless and the team time sheets are tracking and producing good information. The race is on about the same pace as prior years, we should see racers in Nome by late afternoon on Tuesday…..pulling into the garage for a good thaw and then a review by each team for a free 15 minutes. They will assess the issues and make a list to round up tools, parts and make a plan for who will join them on the pit crew for work time sometime on Wednesday. There is a ½ way Banquet in Nome for the Trail Class finishers all of which are either headed to UNK or are well past in Shaktoolik and Koyuk tonight.

It is cold in Nome this evening at 3 degrees but feels like -12 right now. A lot of terrain to cover tomorrow for all the racers……300 miles or more, at least one more 8 hour layover to do…….either in UNK, KOY or White MT……..I am flying out to Nome tomorrow and will be watching as much as possible, but won’t be posting like I did today…….Thank you for being such a great fan and keeping your interest level a priority…….Happy Racing 2014 racers!!!!! See you in Nome!!!!