The roughly 47 miles from Nulato to Kaltag, appx race mile 633 and the last checkpoint on the Yukon River, took the twins about four and a half hours. Running from just after 8pm Sunday to around 1am Monday morning must have been a very cold adventure with ambient air temps reported as low as -45F. The girls and their dogs rested, and undoubtedly thawed, in the Kaltag checkpoint for about 6 hours before hitting the trail again just before 7am Alaska time today, Monday March 16th. Anna was reported out of Kaltag in 32nd place with 13 dogs on the line. Kristy pulled out in 33rd after dropping 1 dog, leaving her with 11 on the line.
It is roughly 85 miles from Kaltag to Unalakleet, a leg of trail following the ancient Kaltag portage that has been used for millennia by natives. The weather can vary dramatically as mushers approach the coast, with wind being the primary variable. Historically, it takes teams 10-15 hours to run this stretch, unless the weather gets really hairy, in which case it can be more like 20 hours. Of the teams that have already raced this stretch, a few are coming in after a little under 11 hours, many are needing 15-17 hours. Based on what we've seen so far, I would look to the twins to take 17-18 hours on this stretch. Fortunately, there are a couple of good camp spots along the way, including two shelter cabins ~ Tripod Flats cabin, about 35 miles outside of Kaltag (around race mile 668) and Old Woman cabin another 15 miles beyond that. Watch for the twinis' GPS to take a longer break at one of these points.
The official leader board has the front teams out of Shaktoolik and GPS currently shows them around race mile 800 and closing in on Koyuk. An additional team has scratched since my last update, leaving 71 mushers still out on the trail. The current red lantern is midway between Galena and Huslia, around race mile 447, taking our leaders-to-laggard spread up to 350 miles. Mushers are still running pretty full dog teams for this point in the race... one team is down to 9 dogs, and less than a half dozen still have 15 dogs in harness.