We're back home from another go at Iditarod. Thanks to all for following our progress and thanks to Gwen and my mom for keeping you updated as much as possible.
All things considered, the race went well for me as a whole. The first half was perfect, putting me in the top five with what I felt to be a well-rested team. Once I got to Ruby. I was given a two-hour time penalty for an infraction that happened back at the starting line which completely threw me off. It was a new rule put in place that stated we can't run more than two dogs abreast. Typically, new rules are highlighted in the driver's meeting, but this one wasn't. I do read the rules every year but somehow I missed this one. For reasons I'm still trying to uncover, the race marshal and this three judge panel decided I should receive the maximum penalty (second to a disqualification) which is a two-hour time penalty. Unfortunately, I wasn't notified of this until I reached the Yukon River where the penalty was to be served, which threw my race plan off a bit. Although I clearly broke a rule (naively), I was unhappy with the severity at which I was penalized, which didn't help my mental state any. This may come as a surprise to those of you who may have seen my respones onlne, but as usual, there is always more to the story than what's presented by the media. I do plan to appeal the penalty.
We cobbled things together the last half but slipped to 16th place which, given the depth of competition, still wasn't too shabby. I will say I was a bit disappointed and felt I let the team down.
I kept a very extensive voice recorder this year and was able to record with a surprising mental clarity I don't usually have. Unfortunately, I sent the voice recorder through the washer and dryer the night I finished and destroyed all those recordings. However, I'll try to sit down and do my best at writing a full race journal.
Spring has hit hard back home and it looks like it will be an early thaw. I'm foregoing the Kobuk 440 this year to spend more time at home and take a snow machine trip with my dad and brothers out to the White Mountains (weather permitting..).
The Seavey's have set the bar super high the last few years, but I'm already looking forward to next year's race and thinking about how best to prepare the dogs. I think I have a good plan.
All told, it's been an interesting year. First with Wendy, then shifting gears to try to salvage this year's season, and having a great time with the Norwegian invasion to our place. Gwen is up to her eyeballs in work as well as grad school classes in the evenings. I've got a million projects on my list to get done before we head to Iceland in May.
Thanks for tuning in,