Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017 Iditarod Tails 5:00 P.M.

Iditarod Tails March 9, 2017 5:00
The five leaders  Mitch Seavey, Jessie Royer, Michelle Phillips, Ralph Johannessen and have departed the Galena Checkpoint in balmy weather of 11 degrees  396 miles from the start heading to a -3 degrees Huslia 82 miles ahead with Mitch Seavey 3 ½  to 19 hours ahead of the four mushers chasing him.13 mushing teams are in Galena but have not left and 8 mushers led by Aliy Zirkle in 19th have left Ruby for Galena with 21 teams having arrived in Ruby but not left. In the rear are 20 teams on the trail Tenana to Ruby. What is amazing is that a growing number of mushers must know that they have no chance of winning and yet they mush on lonely sleds in the cold and Northern Lights and until the next checkpoint not seeing a single human being.  Yet they have the will to finish that keeps them going
If you have any doubt that although this race may be the last great race on earth it is a real struggle for dogs and mushers as David Branholm in 37th place in Ruby is tending to his frostbitten toes. Amazing the leaders are not even halfway through the ordeal.
© March 9, 2017, Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet 
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