Coaster (arctic_pup) wrote in iditarod_race,

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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.
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