Iditarod Coverage, photos, video interviews, more…

Our Editor Amanda Byrd is on location at the Iditarod, bringing you exclusive video highlights from Nome.———————————————————————————————————–March 14, 2007 – 7:50pmRobert Sorlie may not have won the race, but he has won the hearts of the children of Nome. Besides Lance, Robert had the largest crowd in attendance as he drove his team up Front Street.The dogs were a little tired and Sorlie’s face was covered in frost bite. Sorlie was asked a few question from media and then scores of children had their clothing, and scarves signed bvy the Norwegian. The Norwegian flag was proudly displayed under the burled arch, and like when he won the race in 2005, he posed with his leaders in the sunlight.Sorlie has run the Iditrarod 4 times, winning twice.———————————————————————————————————–March 14, 2007Ramey Brooks arrived with a fleet of Cellular One clad supporters waiting. Ramey had a tough run, and when arriving in the chute, he answered a few questions before quickly leaving to tend to his dogs. Roxy Wright, Ramey’s mother, was waiting as was a crowd of fans with banners and posters.We are now waiting for Cim Smyth and Robert Sorlie to finish. Cim is known for his speedy finishes, perhaps a throwback to his sprint racing days.———————————————————————————————————–March 14, 2007Tollef Monson arrived in Nome under very clear skies. His dogs were a little unsure about going into the chute and tried to go around it, but at his word they quickly turned and entered the chute.The dogs quickly ran through the burled arch and some lay down, while others wanted to keep going. One particular dog wanted to keep moving and chewed its neckline and banged in its harness.Tollef is running Jon Baker’s second team. ———————————————————————————————————–March 14, 2007Mushers have been streaming into Nome. Throughout the night the siren was sounding as teams passed the road crossing. With the tight race in the front of the pack, the mushers were working hard to keep their positions, or even do one better.Ken Anderson arrived at 9.28am, and was sweating as he had helped his dogs along as much as he could for the last miles from Safety to Nome. Ken’s seal skin hat, a gift from a friend in Shishmaref, had a large chunk out of it from where a stick had poked him in the head and eye. Mushers come in and have every mile of the race etched in their expression. Tired is the first word that usually comes from them. The race continues, and mushers will continue to stream into Nome over the next few days. ———————————————————————————————————–March 13, 2007Lance is finally in Nome!!!Lance crossed the line to cheers of hundreds of fans. Before he came up the street though, all of the trail groomers rode through the burled arch. These guys are one of the major factors in getting the teams to Nome.These dogs are phenomenal. Lance crossed the line, the dogs were banging in their harnesses to keep going. Jason Mackey ran up and almost knocked over his winning brother. Lance was very upset that he had to leave Zorro in White Mountain due to suspected pneumonia. Lance learned that Zorro pulled through, and thanked the vet crew who have done a wonderful job.Lance received a large dinner and ate it while completely relaxed. Lance’s family is very proud and as Lance was answering questions, his father Dick Mackey arrived. Tears were shed by both Mackeys, and Dick was obviously proud. Dick proceeded to introduce the entire Mackey family, and spoke about Cain being the next champion.———————————————————————————————————–Tues. March 13th, 2007 – 6.15pmWell, 13 is Lance’s number! I just saw him in Safety and he was so happy and just thrilled that he may well be the first into Nome. Lance is very emotional about having his father, Dick Mackey, at the finish line watching him come in. Lance says that he has cried a few times in the last 100 miles, and will most likely blubber at the finish line as well.Lance’s team looks strong and happy to run. As he came into Safety, the dogs all quietly stood waiting for a snack. He snacked them and then went about making sure the booties all on. The trail is very rough, and Mackey has no runner plastic on his sled anymore. He down to bare aluminum. Mackey then was given his number 13 bib to put on, and pointed to the 13 excitedly. He was told by a friend that is was the 13th and he was in disbelief.He whistled to the dogs, they all stood up moved out the checkpoint down the trail.We went on back to Nome and around 10 miles out we had a snowmachine race towards us. It was Jason Mackey, lance’s brother. Jason was brimming with pride when we told him that Lance was just 10 miles back. Jason smiled and shook his head. The pride was evident.Everyone in Nome is excited, and everyone is happy that it is Lance coming in first.Check back for videos and images from the trail and finish.———————————————————————————————————–Tues. March 13th, 2007We woke up this morning to the news that Lance had arrived in White Mountain and was due to leave at 9.30am. Our plan is to still ride out on the snow machines to see the teams, though whether or not we make out to White Mountain is still to be decided. We all want to see Lance cross the line, and hopefully in first place. So we may just go to Safety and see the teams on the trail.The Convention Center is a hive of activity. Race vets are here, the race organizers. We are leaving right now and will take photos from the trails. Keep checking back for updates.———————————————————————————————————–Mon. March 12th, 2007After what has seemed like my own Iditarod, I am finally in Nome. The flight in was in clear skies and beautiful. The passengers were all destined for the finish line, some simply as spectators and some were there to see their loved ones finish the race. Ken Anderson’s parents, Betty and Henry are here to see Ken finish his most amazing race, and Tonya and Cain Mackey arrived to handle for Lance, and to be here when he finishes his most monumental race to date. Rookie musher Jon Korta’s parents made the trip from Wisconsin to see their son make the journey. James Keller from JJ Keller, a sponsor of Dallas Seavey is here with his family to see the race first hand. James’ son is out on the trail filming and getting interviews along with the mushers.The atmosphere here is exhilerating. The burled arch is standing proudly on Front Street, banners are being hung by the dedicated volunteer crew, and inside the Nome Convention Center, the air is full of excitement as to when the first musher will arrive, and speculation on who it will be.Volunteers from all over the country are here, including two women from North Carolina. One woman has made the trip 4 times, and her friend is here for her first. Signs of mushers names are being hung from the ceiling, and the leader board is regularly updated. When a name is updated, people hover to see who has moved up, or back.The town is in full swing with the craft show, a beautiful display of native arts and crafts, and tonight is the wet buns contest. I might stick my head in and see what Nome is made of. Yukon Quest finisher Benedikt Beisch is tipped to be the winner this year, assuming he drinks enough to enter. Last year Benedikt won the tatoo contest, and will compete again. The sea ice is firm close to land, but a little distance from shore the ice is open and water is clearly visible.More updates to come. ——————————————————————————————————————————Sat. March 10th, 2007Martin Buser was the first team to reach the Yukon River, and enjoyed the feast that awaited the first musher. Jeff King has reached Kaltag first, and really right now the race is still up for grabs. Gebhardt, Mackey and Steer are still within strking distance, but don’t count out Anderson, Iten or Seavey who have been running very conservative races.Time will tell.——————————————————————————————————————————Thurs. March 8th, 2007Mackey is the first musher into the ghost town of Iditarod. Mackey battled tussocks and large moguls along the trail, making travel difficult. Mackey, by reaching the half-way point first, wins the GCI Dorothy Page halfway award as well as $3000 in placer nuggets.Martin Buser, Jon Baker and Jason Barron have taken their 24 hour rest at Ophir, while Ken Anderson and Aaron Burmeister have taken their mandatory rest at Takotna. The front runners are yet to take their 24, and where they take it is anyone’s guess.While the front runners are dealing with the low snow conditions and wind, the back pack has been dealt a blow with a large snow storm creating dangerous white-out conditions, and putting enromous pressure on leaders. Many teams quit along the trail, but sportsmanship came into play with mushers helping teams that had quit along the trail. Fourteen mushers have scratched the race, leaving 68 teams racing to Nome.——————————————————————————————————————————Wed. March 7th, 2007Lance Mackey is leading the front pack. He really wants to win this year and make it a quinella with his Yukon Quest win, and to go down in history as the first musher to win both races in the same year, and with 13 of the ame dogs. Mackey is also wearing his lucky number 13, the bib number his father and brother both won the iditarod with.Mackey limped into Nikolai checkpoint on one runner, and traded sleds before heading down the trail to McGrath.Martin Buser was the first musher into McGrath, and received the PENAIR Spirit of Alaska Award; a spirit mask, and $500 towards freight shipment or travel.Mackey is the first musher out of Ophir, ahead of Paul Gebhardt by just under 4 hours.More mushers have scratched including Dan Huttunen, Randy Cunmmings and rookie Tom Roig.——————————————————————————————————————————Tues. March 6th, 2007The Iditarod trail is taking its toll on the mushers, but race vets say that the trail is ideal for the dogs. The predicted wrist and shoulder injuries have not occured, but sleds and mushers are the casualties. The fact that the dogs are closer to the ground, says Chas St. George, is why they are handling the conditions well. The mushers are higher off the ground and they are taking the full brunt of the treacherous trail.Most recent mushers to drop out include Melanie Gould and Jaques Philip. Philip was concerened about the trail conditions and Melanie had sled damage which put her out of the race.The list is getting longer of mushers scratching. Check back often for more information.——————————————————————————————————————————Tues. March 6, 2007Jeff Holt and DeeDee Jonrowe have both scratched in the past 24 hours. Jeff Holt, of North Pole, Alaska felt a sharp pain and blacked out. He decided to scratch at Finger Lake. Holt and his team were transported from Finger Lake.Jonrowe, on her 25th Iditarod, had a fall between Finger Lake and Rainey Pass and broke her pinky finger and may have suffered more hand injuries after a crash just a few miles before the Rainy Pass checkpoint.79 teams remain in the race. Jason Barron leads the field out of Rohn, with Cim Smyth, Lance Mackey, Zack Steer and Martin Buser close behind.——————————————————————————————————————————Mon. March 5, 2007Four time Iditarod Champion Doug Swingley has withdrawn from the 2007 race at Rainey Pass after a crash left him with suspected broken ribs and a dislocated thumb. The crash occurred between Finger Lake and Rainey Pass.Cim Smyth leads the field out of Rainey Pass followed closely by Lance Mackey and Aliy Zirkle.——————————————————————————————————————————Mon. March 5, 2007Mushers set out on the trail yesterday under clear skies and with just a hint of the breeze that had hampered the Anchorage area over the past week.Setting a fast pace is Martin Buser with a run time to the first checkpoint, Skwentna, of 5 hours 45 minutes.The hard fast trails will allow for fast speeds between checkpoints, but this could also bring on injuries to the dogs as there is no cushion in the snow. Mushers will want to keep their dogs’ speed in check to prevent the wrist and shoulder injuries which can occur on a fast and hard trail.Most drivers will run and rest for equal time, but at around the half-way point we will start to see strategy playing out. Some mushers will run longer and rest shorter, others will remain equal and steady.The leaders are through Finger Lake and on their way to Rainy Pass.——————————————————————————————————————————Fri. March 2, 2007Ok, here’s a plug for another website. I’ll admit to not coughing up the 20 clams for an Iditarod Insider pay per view membership last year. It was probably because I don’t believe in the business model of paying for content on the web, or didn’t before. I’ve seen it tried before, and seen it failed. Having said that, I logged on to the Iditarod.com site and searched around for my credit card to order up a subscription. I started to take a look at some of the pre race video interviews they have up. If their coverage of the race is as good as these videos, I can say it will be great. Heck, the interview with Ed Iten talking about his lead dog Zoe, being put back together after a moose attack and ending up as one of his main leaders, is worth the price of admission. The interviews with Seavey, Buser, Mackey, Swingley are all gravy on top. if you’re a fan of the sport, check out iditarod.com There is also excellent coverage on Cabelasiditarod.com, with frequent Mushing Magazine contributor Jon Little.Cheers, Greg Sellentin, Publisher Mushing Magazine———————————————————————————————————————————Thurs. March 1, 2007Iditarod Trail Committe hoping to break even this year.As reported in the Fairbanks Daily News Minerhttp://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AK_IDITAROD_FINANCES_AKOL-?SITE=AKFAI&SECTION=HOME

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