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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, March 2nd, 2008
11:49 am
Our Very First Scratch
G.B. Jones scratched after the run from Anchorage to the Campbell Air Strip.

"Date: March 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm
  ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - (Saturday, March 1, 2008) - On Thursday night at the pre- race Mushers Banquet, G.B. Jones (Wasilla, AK) told the audience that he would retire after day one of the race because of a previous illness.  Jones (Bib #45) made the decision to scratch from the 2008 Iditarod at 1:50 p.m. today after making the 11 mile run to Campbell Airstrip.  Jones has finished the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race twice. "

I have to admit I'm not familiar with what the illness could be, if it's something major (eg. cancer, pneumonia) or something smaller (a cold earlier in the week). Does anyone have a clue on the illness (his website is over its bandwidth allotment - not a good sign!)?
11:29 pm
Just a little over 10 hours until sign ups close!
Sign up soon if you're going to, because yesterday was the ceremonial start of the race through Anchorage (anyone get a chance to see it?) and in a little over 10 hours, at 2.00 local time, the Iditarod race will restart at Willow and the race is on!
Saturday, March 1st, 2008
11:59 pm
Last call for Fantasy Iditarod sign ups!
Race day is nearly upon us, so if you want to sign up for the Fantasy Iditarod, get in fast!
Sunday, February 17th, 2008
10:10 pm
Fantasy Iditarod Sign Ups
The deadline for mushers to withdraw from the Iditarod and still being eligible for a 53% refund of their sign up fee has now passed. (This year the entry fee has increased from US$1,860 to US$3,000, btw.) I'm therefore opening signups for the Fantasy Iditarod based on the current field, even though there's still the chance that people will drop out between now and then. (If this does happen to you, you can pick a replacement musher up until the race restart.)

How the Fantasy Iditarod will work:
You get to pick one veteran and one rookie (or if you only want a veteran or a rookie, you can do that too), and then you follow their progress through the race. Whoever picks the veteran and/or rookie musher who is the most successful from those selected for the Fantasy Iditarod gets glory, a nice warm glow, and possibly a banner. The person who picks the last musher from those selected for the Fantasy Iditarod to complete the course gets the Fantasy Red Lantern award. Hopefully, everyone gets to have fun!

If your pick scratches:
If one (or both, god forbid) of your choices scratches before the race restart (this is the competitive second start) you may select an alternative musher. Once the race begins, no substitutions can be made.
I will do my best to monitor the racer listing and notify you if your mushers have scratched, but I encourage you to keep an eye on the listings too, just in case.

How to sign up:
Comment below with the name and corresponding number for your veteran and your rookie musher. Please check the post listing and the comments above you to make sure someone else hasn't already claimed your musher. I will respond to confirm your sign up. Sign ups will run from now until the race restart, but mushers will be assigned on a first come basis, so I recommend you sign up earlier rather than later to avoid disappointment. After that time, sign ups will close and I will update this post to reflect that.

In the event that we have more sign ups than mushers, I will run a second Fantasy Iditarod. If the number of participants for the second Fantasy Iditarod are low enough, I may merge the two competitions. We'll see how it pans out.

Musher listingCollapse )
Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
11:24 pm
Iditarod 2008
Welcome back to iditarod_race for 2008!

It 17 days from today until the start of the Iditarod for 2008! kaptainsarcasm has kindly let me take over the day to day running of the comm this year since she'll be too busy to take it all on, so if you have any problems I'm the one you should contact. Like last year, this community is open to those who are familiar with the Iditarod and those are not but would like to be.

Firstly, the Fantasy Iditarod will be returning again this year. I'll have a sign up post and more details up shortly. :) I'll also have some more info about the race up shortly, for anyone new to the race or is otherwise interested. Just below this post you should see an intro post, where people can introduce themselves to the other comm members and generally chat to each other.

Secondly, if you're reading this it's probably because you're still watching from last year, which is great! Please help me spread the word that we're back on this year, for everyone who's stopped watching or for everyone who missed us last year. The more the merrier! To help us all promote the comm, or just for you to celebrate your participation for the year, I've been creating some banners, which should be up shortly (as soon as I redo the work I lost when the power went out. *facepalm*) If you'd like to make some banners or icons of your own, that would be really cool too.

There are several other races happening around this time - the Yukon Quest started on the 10th, and the Jr Iditarod (for teens 14-17) starts on the 23rd. I won't be posting about them much (if at all) but any and all posts related to those races are most welcome!

Admin details - posting to the comm, contacting me, useful links - cut for spaceCollapse )

Any other questions or suggestions you want to make for this year's iditarod? Comment below!
11:35 pm
Intro post for Iditarod 2008
Here's the official intro post for Iditarod 2008. Even if you were here last year, feel free to introduce yourself again (or for the first time if you lurked last year!), and chat about what drew you to this comm or to the Iditarod itself and so forth. :)
Friday, September 28th, 2007
10:18 pm
Balto's True Story website
Hello all,

A new website, covering the events of the 1925 Serum Run, opened up this summer. Please feel free to have a look, and to become a member of the forum!

Balto's True Story
Friday, July 6th, 2007
5:29 pm
Lance Mackey nominated for ESPY
Lance Mackey, winner of both the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest this year has been nominated for an ESPY award for Best Outdoor Athlete. You can vote for him here until midnight on July 7th. Just scroll down until you see the "Best Outdoor Athlete" category.

The ESPY Awards take place on Wednesday, July 11th.

Everyone vote for him! If anyone deserves it, it's Lance Mackey! :)
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
11:48 pm
Lance earning stud fees
I received this note from a friend who's step-daughter is a neighbor of Lance's:

We just talked to Michelle, and she said that all the neighbors are joking about buying Lance Mackey a lawn chair so he can sit and watch his dogs mate!  Apparently, people are paying $1000 stud fees to Lance if he lets his males mate with their females!  He is making a lot of money from stud service, not to mention the $60,000 for winning the race, and the new truck.  He will also, according to Michelle, never have to buy his own dog food again.  And, the best part...she says he is a really nice guy.  Some of the other mushers she knows who do the Iditarod are kind of conceited, but not Lance.  The guy who came in 6th is also her neighbor, and she knows Jeff King, too.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
11:40 am
The race is finished
All mushers have now reached Nome. The red lantern winner was Ellen Halverson.

Apparently Ramy Brooks was disqualified at Safety. Does anyone know why?

Congrats to all the finishers of the 2007 Iditarod. :)
Monday, March 19th, 2007
9:08 pm
Some Thoughts...
Some thoughts/questions/food for thought...

1. Has anyone heard if they found G.B. Jones' dog?
2. Any updates on Zorro (Lance Mackey's husky with pneumonia)?
3. Something I found by Karen Ramstead I thought was very touchingCollapse )

I was incredibly touched by the comments by Karen, especially by the gestures made by fellow mushers. Even though things happen that cause great uproar (Ramy Brooks), there are things that bring out the true spirit of the race.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
7:17 pm
So how are our fantasy picks going?
12:19 am
Lance Mackey has just won the Iditarod. HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
8:06 pm
Mackey is out of Safety with 9 dogs. heres hoping the weather permits him a fast and safe trip to Nome.
5:16 pm
White Mountain Update: Gephardt out, Buser, Steer, and King in
Paul Gephardt left White Mountain at 12:16 PM and was still 2 hours and 38 minutes behind Mackey. Martin Buser arrived at White Mountain at 9:45 am. Zack Steer arrived 20 minutes later at 10:05. Jeff King arrived at 11:33 pm

The race has shifted from race for first to a race for third. The gaps between Mackey, Gephardt, Buser/Steer, and King are too great to overcome at this point. If Steer has a fast run, he can catch and pass Buser, but it will be close.

Current Mood: ecstatic
3:40 pm
Update: Mackey out of White Mountain, Eric Rogers found resting in Don's Cabin.
Well, Lance Mackey has started the final 77 mile run through Safety into Nome. It is 55 miles to the Safety checkpoint, which is almost always a pass-through checkpoint, and then 22 miles to Nome. Teams will pick up their race bibs in Safety and wear them the final 22 miles.

Eric Rogers spent the night in Don's Cabin, which is between Ophir and Iditarod. His team is fine, but his sled is damaged beyond repair and he had both leg and frostbite injuries. He is being escorted by trail sweeps to Iditarod, where he will most likely scratch. Trail sweeps,for those who don't know, are snowmobilers (snowmachiners to the locals) whom, as the name suggests, clean up the trail after the red lantern.
11:27 am
Tuesday morning update
Since worldinmyhead covered Lance Mackey's arrival in White Mountain, I am going to tell how he got there in first. In Unalakleet, Jeff King and arrived first and was followed by Mackey, Martin Buser, Paul Gebhardt, and Zack Steer. Departing Unalakleet, however, the prder was Gebhardt, Mackey, Buser, King, and Steer.

Mackey was first into Shaktoolik with Gebhardt 8 minutes behind him. About an hour later, Buser and King arrived 2 minutes apart. Steer was four hours behind King. Departing Shaktoolik were Mackey, Buser, Gephardt, Steer, and King

Mackey arrived in Koyuk with a three hour lead over Gebhardt. Martin Buser arrived an hour after Gephardt. 45 minutes later, Zack Steer arrived in Koyuk. Another 45 minutes, King arrived. Departing Koyuk was Mackey, Gebhardt, Buser, King, and Steer.

Mackey arrived in Elim with a 2 hour and 23 minute lead over Gephardt. Buser arrived 4 hours and 20 minutes after Gephardt. King arrived 19 minutes after Buser. Steer arrived 18 minutes after King. Mackey departed the checkpoint first, followed by Gephardt, Buser, Steer, and King.

Mackey has a 2 hour and 38 minute lead over Gephardt in White Mountain, so unless something goes seriously wrong, Mackey should win the race. Mackey should be in Nome sometime between 5:38 pm - 7:38 pm AKDT this evening.

The field is now spread out from the trail to Iditarod checkpoint to White Mountain. The red lantern, Eric Rogers, has been on trail to the Iditarod checkpoint for nearly 3 days. I do hope he is okay.

Now for the bad news, Snickers, a 6.5 year old purebred Siberian Husky on Karen Ramstead's team, died late Sunday night in Grayling. The cause of death has not been officially reported yet, but I have heard that it was due to gastric ulcers. Ramstead scratched on Monday morning so she could be with family members while they grieved over Snickers' loss.

Gerald Sousa also scratched yestarday in Grayling, due to a leg injury he obtained in Rainy Pass. Sousa felt that the injury needed medical attention. Sousa's scratch brings the total number of scratches to 21 musher, or 26% of field. The 2007 race now has the second highest number of scratches in the history of the Iditarod.
7:06 am
Mackey first into White Mountain
Hey Guys-

I see Lance Mackey is into White Mountain at around 1:38 this morning. My mom is the head checker at that checkpoint for many years now. She is supposed to call me Wednesday, so I'll ask her for a detailed report of what it's like and what's happening out on the trail, what the mushers were like going into WMO, etc. Can't wait to hear how it's going.

And for those hoping Mackey fulfills his family's  custom- he is the only one into White Mountain so far with at least an hour buffer and an 8 hour layover to rest his dogs for the final sprint. I've crossed my fingers for him, hoping he wins his sixth attempt in  bib #13, just like his father and brother, not to mention it really looks like he could be the first person to win the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. If any year is his year, this is it.
Sunday, March 11th, 2007
10:33 am
Leaders out of Kaltag!
Jeff King and Martin Buser have left Kaltag and are off the Yukon River. Lance Mackey, Paul Gephardt, Ken Anderson, and Zack Steer are in Kaltag. Mackey and Gephardt ran together, often switching positions to minimized the time that their lead dogs faced the 65 MPH winds on Yukon River.

There were no scratches yesterday. There is still no word on Afees, although they are still looking for him.
Saturday, March 10th, 2007
10:53 am
Leaders on the Yukon River and more scratches
Martin Buser, Jeff King, Zack Steer, Lance Mackey, and Paul Gephardt are making their way up the Yukon River. Its a flat but tough run because the teams are running against the wind that flows down the Yukon River. Buser was first into Anvik and won the the First to Yukon Award which is a seven-course meal and $3,500 in cash. He was followed by King, Mackey, Gephardt , and Steer. Buser, King, Mackey, and Gephardt took there mandatory eight-hour layover in Anvik while Steer blew through Anvik and left the checkpoint behind Buser and King, When the teams reached Grayling 18 miles up the Yukon River, Buser, King, Mackey and Gephardt blew through Grayling and probably are going to run non-stop (except for short breaks to feed the dogs snacks) to Eagle Island, which is 60 miles from Grayling and stop there. Steer appears to be taking his eight-hour layover in Grayling.

Teams must take a mandatory eight-hour layover at one of 5 checkpoints on Yukon River. Those are Anvik, Grayling, Eagle Island, and Kaltag. Shageluk is also considered a Yukon River checkpoint, even though it is not on the Yukon Rive and the 8-hour layover may be taken there as well.

Buser, King, Mackey, and Gephardt appear to be making 9-10 hour runs and resting 6-8 hours. Since they took their 24-hour layover Ophir, Buser and King have gone 90 miles non-stop to Iditarod. They rested there and then ran 90 more miles though Shageluk to Anvik. Mackey and Gephardt rested in Takotna, blew through Ophir and rested on the trail to Iditarod. They then ran to Iditarod where they took their 24-hour plus time differential layover. Then they ran straight to Anvik. Steer is running a conservative 6-hour run / 6-hour rest schedule. Following his 24-hour layover in Ophir, Steer ran 6 hours down the trail to Iditarod and stopped to rest for 6 hours. He then ran 6 more hours and blew through Iditarod before resting for 6 hours on the trail to Shageluk. He then ran to Shageluk and rested there for 6 hours. Then he ran to straight to Grayling for his 8-hour layover.

The rest of the top ten have reached Anvik. The top 20 and 30 have reached Shageluk. The teams at the back of the pack are still in McGrath, Takotna, and Ophir.

Three more teams scratched on the 9th, bringing the total to 19 mushers or 23 percent of the field. Deborah Molburg Bicknell, whom got lost on the way to Rohn, scratched in Rohn. Dave Tresino scratched in McGrath because was concerned about his team's ability to perform when some of his team became ill. Linwood Fielder scratched in Iditarod due to extreme frostbite on his ear.

The 2007 race is now tied with the 1985 race for 3rd highest number of scratches. The 1980 race has the highest number with 24. The 1984 and 2003 races are tied with the second highest at 20 each.

Edit: Still no word on the status of Afees, G.B Jone's lost dog. I do hope he is okay.

Current Mood: excited
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