And while this may be ill advised, it's time once again for me to crawl out on the proverbial limb and try to narrow down their finishing times.
Kristy is on target for a 6 1/2 hour run from Elim to White Mountain. She'll have to take her last mandatory 8hr rest there. I'll give her 7 hours for the run from White Mountain to Safety, and if the winds don't start raging, she'll blast through there and across the last 22 miles to Nome in about 3 hours. ETA ~ Thurs. March 13th, 11am AK / 3pm EST.
Anna is a little further out and therefore a little tougher to call, but here goes. In Alaska time ~ she should be into Elim around 10pm Wednesday night. Give her a 7 hour rest, and she'll pull out around 5am Thursday morning. Guessing she'll need 7 hours to get to White Mountain, putting her there at high noon. Tack on 8 for her mandatory rest, and she could be out of White Mountain Thursday night around 8pm. Maybe 8 hours from WM to Safety... the last 3 hour dash to Nome...
Call it Friday, March 14th, 7am AK / 11am EST.
Quick note on the checkpoints and the map ~ although Golovin is shown as a dot between Elim and White Mountain, and is reflected in some race mileage charts, it is not technically a checkpoint. There are no drop bags, vets, facilities, etc. Well, except for a small shelter cabin, which I hope conditions don't warrant either twin to have to use. You'll also notice it is not captured in the race's official standings, which shows mushers going directly from Elim to WM.
For the Canine Inclined, the aptly named Little Bit from Kristy's team is back at the kennel, bit of a sore shoulder, but otherwise fine. In fact, while the kennel is a bit more crowded than normal, all of the "dropped dogs" are convalescing very comfortably.
Kristy and Anna had the opportunity to speak with host Boyd Matson on National Geographic Radio the Friday morning right before Iditarod started. It aired March 9th (episode 1410). Click the NatGeo logo to launch the broadcast (it's about 11 minutes long so plan accordingly, but well worth the time). Description of the episode:
And a few other items of bid-ness ~
There are 21 teams into Nome, 29 on the trail. Congratulations Nathan Schroeder, and your 11 dogs, on Rookie of the Year!
Still haven't gotten enough? A couple of articles from the Alaska Dispatch worth reading if you haven't.
Relive the trail conditions ~ More than howling winds, bad trail made this a nightmare Iditarod for Zirkle, other mushers.
What's the latest buzz in mushing circles? Despite head injury scares, Alaska mushers resist requiring helmets.