The front of the pack is hunkered down in what is considered the halfway checkpoint of Cripple, race mile 425. Brent Sass was the first musher to reach this checkpoint just before 10pm on Wednesday night, collecting the halfway prize. Brent is one of six mushers resting in Cripple currently. But we're starting to see mushers behind them check off their 24s and hit the trail again, with about a dozen teams out of Ophir and catching up to the front of the pack. What about the back of the pack? There are three mushers resting in Nikolai, mile 263, which means the overall mileage spread of our field has widened out to about 160 miles. We still only have one scratch from the race, leaving 56 teams still on the trail.
So when will Seeing Double's GPS trackers start moving again? As I mentioned, race officials also use the 24 to adjust musher's overall rest time to make up for the 2-minute intervals at the start. Kristy, in Bib 4, left the start 28 minutes before Anna and even further ahead of the final musher in Bib 57. This means Kristy has to stay an extra 108 minutes on her 24. Anna has to stay an extra 80 minutes. The only musher who is allowed a true 24 is rookie Kaci Murringer in Bib 57.
Mushers don't have to hit the trail the second they're able to, but many do. The earliest the twins can pull their snowhooks today is:
Is it possible we see Anna depart before Kristy? Yep. Is it possible we see Anna remain in checkpoint until Kristy can also hit the trail? Yep. I'm sure it is a discussion they're having, and my hunch is the answer mostly comes down to the dogs. If Anna still thinks Kristy has the slightly faster team, she may well hit the trail as soon as she can, assuming Kristy will catch up. If she thinks her dogs could use the extra Zzzz's , she'll wait. We'll know fairly soon.