Forgive the play-by-play of the Iditarod Insider footage if you've already seen it... But as they made their way along Front St., Kristy's team decided the fastest way to the dog lot (i.e. food and a warm bed, ASAP) was next to the chute along the sidewalk. She narrowly got her team turned in time to stay next to Anna and make her way down the official chute to the finish. Rarely ones that are phased, as soon as Kristy's team straightened out, the twins joined hands ~ eventually raising them high in the air before stopping their teams and reaching for hooks to secure them.
Oh Murphy and your blasted Law... Kristy was running one fewer dog than Anna, having made the decision to leave one with a sore shoulder in White Mountain and finishing with 11 solid dogs on her team. Anna was still running with 12. As you may know, your success in this race is initially determined when your lead dog's nose(s) passes under the arch. The twins stopped their sleds side by side. But as Kristy was running a slightly shorter team, it took a second for race officials and the twins to realize Kristy's leaders were not yet officially across the finish line! Had it not been for that, you may have seen a 5 second differential in their finishing times to go along with the 5 minutes that seperate these very tight sisters at birth.
Murphy not withstanding, it was a great finish to a great race. Anna and her team of 12 dogs claimed 43rd place after 12 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds on the trail. Kristy and her 11 dogs claimed 44th place after 12 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes and 13 seconds. C'mon... 43 seconds? It has to make you chuckle. Or at least smile. In my case, when I get past the overwhelming pride in what they've accomplished together, I get a little verklempt.
The quick and dirty from there... Kristy and Anna made the rounds on their dog team, complete with gratitude for what each dog helped them accomplish and a fish snack. I removed booties and passed them out to fans. They checked gear and gave quick interviews. Before heading to the dog lot, I asked Anna if I could have a ride (if I promised not to fall off and embarrass her) on the sled down to the dog lot. She was game, so I hopped on the right runner and with her on the left we made the 3ish block ride to the dogs' temporary home base. Please understand, I don't play favorites. But this was Anna's rookie run and Kristy had Paul's support, so I don't feel too guilty for joining Bib #33 for a post-race ride.
Dogs were de-harnessed and checked by vets, fed, rubbed down with any necessary ointments, and tucked in straw nests for the night. After a change of gear it was full speed ahead to the salad bar ~ side of fries and a soda, please! A nap and a few more chores were all that seperated the twins from the best night's sleep they've seen in over 12 days.
I have a host of pictures to post and tales from the trail starting to accumulate, but I have to be candid... while Anna enjoyed some peace and quiet in civilization, I got out of her braids (as we are sharing a room for a night) and went out to celebrate! If you've never heard of Dawson Dolly or the Board of Trade Saloon, I'll enlighten you soon in my last couple of postings. But until then, I will downlodad a few pics, hit the Publish Live button, and catch a few Zzzz's until Anna stirs around 8am and I join her to check on her dogs.
Please remember, though... Only 2 mushers have since come in after the twins, leaving 7 teams still out on the trail. Let's wish them well on the balance of their journey and remember, in a race like this, winning is great, but simply finishing is a victory.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.