Having completed their mandatory 24 hour layovers, the majority of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race competitors are back on the trail, racing toward the half-way point at the ghost town of Iditarod. As I write the leader board shows Aaron Burmeister left Ophir about half an hour ahead of Hugh Neff, Lance Mackey about half and hour or so behind Neff and a whole lot of others chasing in relatively hot pursuit.
Bjornar Anderson of Norway has scratched, apparently due to 'personal injury'. I've not yet learned any specific details. As he was right up there with other front-runners it does change the mix a little bit.
My friend Aliy Zirkle is currently in 12th place, having left Ophir slightly more than 5 hours behind the current race leader. With so many more miles to go, Aliy definitely remains within striking distance. Her friend Macgellan is doing a GREAT job keeping the SP Kennel Dog Bog updated. You can find a link to their blog in the menu on the left side of this text.
Under Iditarod Trail Committee rules, the time differential resulting from the staggered start is made up during the 24 hour layover, so from this point on in the race the standings you see on the leader board accurately represent each musher's actual standings race.
Meanwhile, things are quiet here at my place of employment. I have just a few more days before I can return home to my own dogs, my own house and my own chosen lifestyle. I'm very much looking forward to getting out on the trail and pursuing my own mushing adventures.