So watching this years Iditarod via the internet was not as fulfulling as other years. It kind of was like watching the inevitable. Dallas Seavey wins again. The kids got it - I'll give him that! I mean he's putting up record breaking trail times (8 days 11 hours? seriously that's impressive!) and he's doing it with small teams! He crossed the line with 6 dogs today. Now that my friends is impressive. I don't like to run teams smaller than 8 dogs unless they are puppies! And this guy is finishing a 1000 mile race with his 6 best dogs...simply amazing. That's 4 wins in 5 years... he's a record breaker for sure.
I have to be honest I was cheering for Aliy, Brent, and Wade to beat the Seavey's. Aliy deserves a win! She rocks and is an inspriation to us women mushers, especially after this year. Kudos to her and she has even more of my respect! I enjoy watching her in the race videos and like her theory of just not quitting - she wants it but is always just a little behind...She'll get it! And seriously 3rd is nothing to scoff at. Wade is just awesome! I worked with him in Skagway a couple years ago and he's a great person! He's fun to watch and I like his dogs. He likes little females and taught me that they can pull just as hard as the big boys! And well why do you need that much power when you are running 16 dogs? Good Question Wade! I agree! My Chili, Ajax and Tuff all come from Wade's kennel.
Brent - he's from Minnesota so there is a bit of a soft spot there for the "local guy". He moved to Alaska followed his dreams and is running dogs competitively. He's very successful and from what I see / hear he's a good musher too! He had a very aggressive run plan for this race and he's got the experience running both Iditarod and the Yukon Quest before. This year it just didn't work. There is a fine line of pushing your dogs and pushing your dogs too hard. That is the line that competitive mushers walk on every race. Brent just happened to push his dogs over that line and they said no more...I will give him a TON of credit! He waited, he rested the dogs and he is on his way to the finish right now...later than the top 5 spot he was racing for but still he didn't quit and is looking to still get a top 20 finish which is HUGE! I know a lot of mushers would have been frustrated and pulled the plug...quitting less than 100 miles from the finish...
Watching all of the mushers in this race over the last 8 days has been interesting. The weather this year was pretty much ideal if not a little warm, the trail conditions have been fast (not a lot of new snow reported) and there haven't been any big storms that have come up on the coast to complicate things. Its just been interesting to watch. Doing homework... watching run times and speeds, trying to remember terrain and see what types of training will help me out in the long run to prepare for this race. Its another one of those things that I'll just jump in and hope for the best because until you do it you really can't prepare for it!
My friend Miraim is running this as a rookie and running a young team for Joar Ulsef that placed 6th - which is fantastic! I really can't wait to meet up with her later this summer for a recap and heads up on the trail!! I want to be like her when I grow up for sure!
The start of the finish is sad, that means its starting to be over :( no more big races for the winter to watch, the snow here in Minnesota is disappearing (although apparently we are supposed to get 4-8 inches by tomorrow?? Mother Nature at her finest again...). And summer is coming! Heading to Alaska!! Now that is always an adventure :)