It is about 120 miles from Tanana to Ruby (appx race mile 350), and the twins will likely take 4ish hour camps twice along the way. This stretch is the longest between to checkpoints on this year's route. From the restart in Fairbanks, as of this writing, teams have been on the trail for 48 hours. The twins' GPS trackers show them around race mile 265 with the leaders closing in on the 300 mile mark. Many of the leaders are clocking in speeds around 11mph, and half of the teams in the top 20 have declared and taken their first of two required 8 hour layovers. The twins had talked about taking one of theirs in Galena.
The trail is still reported as smooth and fast. Ruby will mark the first checkpoint on the Yukon River stretch. With respect to the weather, the focus is temperature. Teams reportedly saw -30F (-34C) overnight, and mid-teens below 0F seems the average recently. At least winds are reportedly light. With the long stretches between checkpoints in the rerouted portion of this year's race, most teams will camp out more than they otherwise might. To cope with conditions, they'll carry extra straw to bed down their dog teams. For themselves? Few if any carry tents. Instead they'll make due with race mandated cold weather sleeping bags (rated to around -30F). Many, including the twins, will also include bivouac sacks (or bivy sacks). These small, lightweight, compactable, and waterproof shells can be slipped over sleeping bags for added insulation.
Speaking of race mandates, a bit more on Brent Sass's disqualification. According to an interview on the Insider, despite purposefully handing over his cell phone to family before the race start, he just didn't think... overlooked... totally forgot an Apple device he was carrying for music had a prohibited wifi feature. He didn't intend to use it, but a rule is a rule. Brent is a talented musher and would likely have faired well in this year's race, and will be kicking himself for a while for this one. I feel for the guy!
Outside of that, misadventures along the trail are fairly few so far this year. The fact that this year's trail omits sections like the Dalzell Gorge and ironically named Happy River Steps is certainly a contributing factor. A couple to report though... Rookie Mark Selland, also a doctor, fell during the run from Nenana and thinks he may have broken a rib. He is pressing on for now. And there were reports of a 'dog mash up' in the Nenana dog lot, which was short on size relative to the number of teams pulling in en mass.
Until the next update, and to get a better idea of what it looks like out there so far, check out the Iditarod's Photo Gallery.