2017 Iron Dog Race – Coverage Day 3 - Battling Towards NomeBattling was the theme on the trail last night in the 2017 Iron Dog race and today the theme will continue as teams charge up the Western coast of Alaska toward Nome. Riders battled extreme cold, rough trail conditions, frostbite, additional equipment issues, a few spills and wrecks on the trail, and just generally a tough day on the 2017 Iron Dog Race trail. To catch up on last night race happenings, we had many teams including most of the front runners race all the way up the Yukon river to Kaltag, while some racers opted to stop in Galena Some teams stopped in Galena an hour shy of Kaltag for their 8 hour break. There isn't much in Kaltag, but it has become a popular layover spot in recent years so I'm sure they can handle up to 10 teams staying the night there, comfortably. It's safe to say that most of the teams will likely stay in the homes of local villagers they have connections with or have met in years past. The aforementioned time correction, due to the frozen fueling pumps in McGrath, was applied in Kaltag, allowing Team 16 to leave 19 minutes early from their layover release time. Team 41 got to leave 2 minutes early because of the same fuel pump fiasco. This correction put Team 16 out of Kaltag about 6 minutes ahead of Team 8 and Team 41 about 25 minutes behind Team 8 to round off the top three racing teams to depart the checkpoint. The other teams in the Top 10 are 1 to 4 hrs behind the leaders.
Todd Minnick of Team 16 with protective duct tape on his face to help prevent frostbiteThe first team to leave Kaltag (Team 16) got on the clock just before 1am this morning. The typical strategy is to race to Unalakleet, take another 8hrs of layover, then run up the coast and on to Nome in the daylight, trying as best as they can to make the fastest time from White Mountain to Nome to claim that $6,000 payout. Kaltag to Unalakleet is 98 miles of very rough overland trail. Large clumps of frozen tundra with typically just moderate to little snow, and what is there is often hard and wind-drifted. The top 3 teams made the run to Unalakleet in just about 2 hrs. Team 16 made the run in 2:02 Team 8 made the run in 1:59 Team 41 made the run in 1:53 (the second and third place teams making up a bit of ground on the leaders)
Team 8 installing fresh skis and carbide for the race up the Western coast of Alaska toward Nome in the 2017 Iron Dog RaceAs of roughly 9am, there were a dozen other teams already in Unalakleet or they are headed toward the checkpoint, and it is suspected that many more teams will take their last 8 hrs of layover in Unalakleet. Some of the teams farther back in the pack that are 8-10 hours behind may decide to push up the coast during the daylight and take their last 8 hours of LO in White Mountain about 90 miles from Nome.
Rebecca Charles: "2015 just past the jumble of logs at Egavik Creek"
Rebecca Charles: "2015 overlooking the ocean from the Blueberry Hills"
Trail from White Mountain to NomeIn Nome all the machines will be impounded in the Nome Public Works Garage. Teams will be able to do a 15 minute inspection of their sled but they will not be allowed to work on them in any way. Once their inspection is complete the teams will go back to their resting spots and develop their strategy for the maintenance and repairs their sleds will need. They will inform the Race Marshal when they plan to do their repairs/maintenance, but will only begin once everything is organized, prepared, and ready for work as quickly as possible since ll repairs and maintenance are done while the clock is running and while an Iron Dog official is watching. Once the repairs are complete, the elapsed time that it takes will be added to each teams departure time.
Evening Update:[video width="640" height="360" mp4="https://www.thealaskalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Iron-Dog-Leaving-Unalakleet-Team-42-.mp4"][/video]
Thank you so much for the videos and updates! Beauty shots and Go Team 32..Stay safe to all riders and have fun
Kyle, as always kudos on a superb job of reporting/analysis
For sure. Cool of them to take the time with the kiddos there!
Nice shot of Team 6 – George / Schachle sleds with the students!
You’re welcome Melissa! Thanks for the support!
Thanks for the updates. Very informative.
go get em team six Iam so happy for you guys as I read this and watch the sun come up in Elpaso texas yes Starr mad it out of Alaska for a minute or two but all for team six and say hi to dad mr.lube thankyou Andy Gorge for being a awesome boss go team 6 robby and Brad
Got it updated. Thanks for that!
Berg/George are on Arctic cats. Schachle/George (team 6) are on ski-doo so I hope they got the make wrong….. thank you for your coverage.
Thank you for the updates and pictures! Go Cleary/Hausbeck, team #32 from Michigan!
Thanks for the updates. Good to read.