If you're going to look for the model of how an Iron Dog race could be run, it would be hard to ignore the entirety of the 2022 effort from Team 7 Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad.
Finishing in first place with an average trail speed of just over 46mph (mind you this includes time stopped spent fueling, performing maintenance, etc), this racing duo seemed to establish themselves at the front of the pack and just simply stayed there. The racing gods smiled upon them in terms of them not having any major mechanical hurdles to overcome, and really there wasn't much to report other than 'they're still in first place'.
This years 2,600 mile race could arguably be one of the hardest on record as the distance was extended and teams had to start and finish in Big Lake versus years prior where teams would start in Big Lake and finish in Fairbanks. The main difference being that with a Fairbanks finish, the latter half of the race is largely river running where teams travel at near triple digit speeds for literally hundreds of miles. The overall trail speed for the entire course reflects that this race was run slower and was harder of the entire field.
Amazingly enough there hasn't been any additional teams to add to the list of DNF's as the remaining 16 teams have all finished the race with Tom Davis of Team 5 being the first rookie across the finish line in 5th place
As always any team to even simply finish a race like this has the credibility to stand tall and let people know that they completed the longest, toughest snowmobile race on the planet. Its admirable what these teams accomplish in about a weeks time and every year myself, and I know countless others, shake our collective heads in almost disbelief at what transpires. Watching this race is fun and these guys are incredible racers. Hats off!