The top 5 leaders were all officially reported out of Galena (appx race mile 404) by early afternoon. Per GPS as of this writing, Aaron Burmeister is holding the lead at race mile 445, about midway between Galena and this year's host of the halfway checkpoint, Huslia (pronounced HOO-slee-uh). Our friend Charley has settled into a comfortable pace with the twins, and Scott Janssen was out of Ruby in 36th. The current 'red lantern', or musher in last place, is around race mile 260, giving the field a 180 mile spread. Another musher has scratched, rookie Gwenn Bogart, leaving that field at 75 teams. To those out of the race ~ safe travels to your home kennels.
The trail is still reported as hard packed and fast. The pictures on the Iditarod website give visual evidence. And comments from Sebastian Schnuelle just before 10am today indicate the 'arctic blast' is alive and well. He said the checkpoint of Galena at that time was -20F, and temps out on the Yukon River and during sunrise would be even colder. But cold temps and clear skies in that region of Alaska are known to lead to some amazing Northern Lights. The twins are carrying cameras... we'll see after the race if they use them much!
In the meantime, to tide you over... Here are a few pictures and links to a few articles I found mentioning the twins.
- This cute article mentions the twins earlier in the race in Tanana, courtesy of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
- This one from KNOM Radio Mission quotes Anna and how her dogs are doing in the cold.
- And this one mentions Kristy and the role of women in mushing and the Iditarod.