11 AM Alaska time: Just previewed the FAA web cams…..every checkpoint is clear and gorgeous today!!!!! BLUE SKY THE WHOLE WAY ….Nome has some low ground haze….
10:45 AM Alaska time Tuesday…..blue sky day in UNK …..cold at -18 winds from the north at 17 MPH and the only team to blow past UNK was team 6 to run the bay in the daylight…they still have to do an 8 hr LO in KOY or White MT (WMO)…..teams will be taking off in short order from UNK in the lead…..only minutes seperate some racers today…..and the top three are only 35 min apart…….watch the gps page light up soon!!!!
10 AM alaska time Tuesday: There is a live feed that will be up in NOME GARAGE later today: https://www.youtube.com/watch…
7:31 AM Alaska Time Tuesday:
-18 in UNK where the leaders are sitting on a final LO…..winds are strong at 10-14 MPH so it feels like -42…..first team back on the clock will leave at about 11 AM…..make the final dash to Nome. The trail is hardpack and very drifted…..12 teams as of this morning have scratched so the lead sheet will be a little easier for us to follow….the one thing to watch for this morning….is mid-pack teams will ride during the daylight hours and go a little further on the snow, but it won’t put them in the lead even though the lead sheet will look like it does…..they still have 8 hours to do and they can be taken in Koyuk or White Mt. SUNSET IN NOME IS 6:55 pm TONIGHT!
1:16 AM Alaska time: teams 41, 16 and 8 are on trail……last LO to be done on the coast in UNK, KOY or White mt.
When stalking facebook and harvesting data, comments, statistics and more…..I found some real gems…..my inspiration for today was from Marianne Beckham, she posted this on her page in answer to a question – Was she in Fairbanks?…..I loved her answer!!!! “I’m a volunteer for Iron Dog a Snowmobile race. You’re probably thinking of Iditarod Sled Dog Race. They use dogs. We use smoke belching 2 cycle gas guzzling ear splitting machines.”
So when I read her line about ear splitting I thought you should know— most racers use earplugs inside their heavily padded helmets…..after riding at warp speeds from Point A to B over bumps, tussocks, creek beds, river pressure ridges, the ringing in their ears will actually keep them from sleeping soundly in the next week. Their hands won’t relax from a permanent death grip, their tense muscles will ache from the jarring that happened in the last 36 hours….and they are still strategizing on how to catch a few minutes from what may have been lost earlier today and yesterday.
I am sticking to my game-plan…..snagging great images of all the amazing facebook posters along the trail, they have come from all over the United States, some are in planes, some are sitting at home just like me in front of a computer listening for the ding ding ding of the text messages and PMs from racers and pilots and volunteers….what a great couple days and nights we have had…..it is just the beginning of the week….we have 4 more nights to get in our own groove……
As 10 teams have taken their leave and called a scratch, the leader board becomes a little easier to analyze…..some of you are still learning the ropes….some of you are lightning fast with mad math skills and memory to know what the split time should be and what it is…..I can’t do it all so I leave the details to the guys that do it best…..
Kyle Moffat and his buds in the know are furiously fast with the fact or fiction mill….they got the details right-on in their story….so follow along on The Alaska Life for descriptive story line…..https://www.thealaskalife.com/blog/
There is a race to start in about an hour on night TWO Cycle Tuesday…when Team 41 takes off from GAL and heads to KAL at which time Sweet 16 and TNT will take off for a chase to the coast…..weather is looking good for now….ranging from a balmy -21 to -29.