Race Strategy – Dallas Seavey, Nicolas Petit and Martin Buser
Different strategies are being employed. Some are going full force, others are saving their dogs for the end game. Let’s examine three mushers who are currently running strong and have given us some insight on how they are operating.
Dallas has moved fast to position himself toward the front of the pack. At 8.30 mph, Dallas isn’t blistering the trail the way Nicolas Petit (9.47 mph) is. Dallas is setting his dogs up to have more energy at the end by frequently rotating his dogs (two and four at a time) in the basket. He is calculated and has a strategy that he is very confident in. Dallas is quickly moving through checkpoints, as other mushers are taking a bit more time.
Currently running the fastest in the field, Petit has placed himself in a position to solidify a strong finish if he continues as he is now. He is running at a scorching pace followed by longer periods of rest. While not as methodical as Dallas, Nicolas is giving the dogs long breaks that will reserve their energy for late in the race. Petit passed 14 mushers to arrive first in Tanana.
This is the first race in a long time Buser is running only one team in the Iditarod, meaning, he isn’t sharing dogs and equipment with another musher. Buser has started fast. He was first into Manley Hot Springs and second into Tanana behind Petit. Martin is currently running at 8.52 mph and has already taken an 8-hour mandatory rest along with a host of other mushers including Jeff King. This strategy will allow Buser’s team to rejuvenate after a really strong opening run into Tanana. If trail conditions hold up, and if Buser doesn’t get slowed down by the 15 or so in front of him, he will be able to challenge the lead as other mushers start taking mandatory rests.
The Way Too Early Pick To Win
The strategy Dallas is using makes a lot of sense. Strong and steady wins the race. With his stamina, determination, competitive nature, and strong team, he will be hard to beat (barring any major setbacks).
The Way Too Early Top Five
These guys are all running fast. Each have a history of success. Because of their speed and experience, expect to see a top five that resembles something close to this.
1. D. Seavey
2. N. Petit
3. M. Seavey
4. M. Buser
5. W. Marrs
Did you enjoy this article? Here are a few others featured on The Alaska Life:
2017 Iditarod Reroute
2017 Iditarod Rookies
The Original Iditarod Trail
Dog Races – The Fastest Dogs Don’t Always Win
Why Moving the Iditarod Trail is a Good Idea
A Yentna River Experience – Photo Gallery