Which means we've had three more mushers step out of this year's Iditarod, bringing the tally to a whopping 18 mushers. Karin Hendrickson was the last musher to head home from Unalakleet while Robert Redington and Nic Petit were both officially scratched in Elim. Petit had a bit more of a harrowing experience, choosing to activate his SOS beacon on the Bering Sea Coast between Elim and White Mountain during a storm. He and his dogs were located by search and rescue and reported safe in a shelter cabin. Get home safe everyone.
Even if all of the remaining 20 teams on the trail successfully get to Nome, and we sincerely hope they all do!, the current rate of scratched teams is unusually high. 18 of 57 is 31.6%. My records indicate the average percentage of the field to scratch since the race's inception in 1973 is 21.4%, and since 2000 is 19.4%. I don't see a scratch rate over 30% since 2003, and before that you have to go back to 1984 and 1985. Proof in the numbers it's been a very challenging year.