Day two of the 2011 Iron Dog is fast for some, frustrating for others and challenging for all. In just 2 days most of the leading teams stopped in Galena on layover and others were forced to throw in the towel. As is fairly common in the Iron Dog race..the combination of adrenaline, remote checkpoints and competitive racers often leads to an early end for many riders. This year has already seen its share of dramatic stories and tales of tired racers.
Teams #6, #15 and #8 – Scratched
It was a rough first night and long day for a few more teams on the second day of the 2011 Iron Dog. Team #8 ran into some seriously bad luck in Puntilla due to an accident at the checkpoint which the racers later realized caused more damage than initially thought. The team took off from the checkpoint thinking they were good to go, however the end result was a damaged oil line which led to the early demise of the engine in Tyler Aklestad’s machine. A last ditch effort to fly in parts early on Monday was not enough and sadly they decided to scratch. Team #6 and #15 also had their share of hard knocks and dropped out of the race due to mechanical issues (no details yet).
Front of the Pack Charging Ahead
The leaders of the race as of late Monday night are many of the familiar names to Iron Dog fans. Palin, Quam, Davis, Van Meter, McKenna, Dixon, Huntington and many more made big strides throughout the day. Top teams each have their strategies about where to layover and Day 3 will be a very interesting day of teams overtaking each other as they blast out to the coast.
Trail Class Teams Pushing On
The Ambassador team (#51) and the travelling Woodburys of car 54 reported that the storm on Sunday had them fighting for every mile. John Woodbury of Alaska Adventure Media (Coast and Snow Rider magazine) wrote, “We got out collective trail class butts kicked on the McGrath to Ruby run. Six foot drifts and took an hour to go one mile. Hardest riding I’ve ever done, but fun and a good group of fellas. Motrin needs to be a sponsor!”
Spending the Sunday night in Ruby, they missed their initial target of Galena. As Team #51 passed through Galena, the team split up for a short time as half moved ahead while Mike Bedard and another stayed behind to repair a broken spring. Late Monday night all of the riders of Team #51 (and Team #52) managed to push ahead, finally making it to Unalakleet.
Meanwhile, Team #45 the Perrins brothers of R5 Sons fame are powering ahead of everyone on the trail where they finally made their stop for the night in Koyuk with Team #46 following right behind them.