Iditarod Update # 7: Update from Nome

Sunday, March 13, 2016

I apologize for the long delay in writing another update; the kids and I have now relocated to Nome for the finish and I've been dealing with several logistic issues that have allowed few opportunities to sit in from of my computer to compose an update.  And a lot has happened since I last wrote. 

Ken received a two hour penalty in Ruby for leaving the starting line with 3 dogs abreast.  He called me from Ruby and was pretty bummed out about this, since he did not realize this was a rule and in the big scheme of things, seems like a fairly minor infraction.  (Rule 38 states no more than two dogs abreast).  A two-hour time penalty is fairly serious, especially since Ken couldn't really plan his schedule around this extended break.  Nonetheless, he had a good attitude about it as he realized there was nothing he could do to change this, and he needed to adjust his plan accordingly.   

He decided to switch at that point to a speed game, resting more in the middle of the race (which he did) in the hope of making a big push at the end and picking up a number of positions.  He told me when he called me from Ruby that this was probably better suited to his team anyhow, as his team likes to run fast and wasn't well set up for too many long marches.  After hopscotching down the Yukon and stopping at each checkpoint, he went through Kaltag yesterday and camped out at the Tripod cabin, setting himself up to go through Unalakleet and stop at another shelter cabin about 15 miles past Unalakleet just before noon today.  He should stay there until about 5:30pm, and then run straight through Shaktoolik to Koyuk.  He will probably take a 4-6 hour break there and then run through Elim and straight to White Mountain where he will take his mandatory 8 hour layover.  Clearly, Ken is not in contention to win at this point, but he still has a shot at a top 10 finish.