Good morning. It's about 4:30 AST, and I have a couple of hours before I need to leave for my place of employment. Everything is pretty well ready here at the house so I'm not as pressed for time as I usually feel at this stage of the process. I have a hot cup of coffee in hand, which is more than most on the Yukon Quest trail can say today.
Of course the major news story of the day, in today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, is under the headline "Gatt Claims Fourth Yukon Quest Championship in Record Time." The most important paragraph reads "He traversed the 1,000-mile trail in 9 days, 1 hour and 35 minutes, blowing away Sebastian Schnuelle’s 2009 mark by 22 hours, 45 minutes. His four Quest wins are matched only by this year’s runner up, Lance Mackey." That just about says it all.
Another article in the paper notes "Lance Mackey Isn't Disappointed by Second Place in 2010 Quest." Unfortunately, the issue doesn't include a headline story on Hugh Neff's remarkable third place finish.
This morning I see that Zach Steer was able to hold off Ken Anderson in an incredibly close race for fourth place. Steer completed the course with an official corrected time of 9 days, 14 hours and 49 minutes compared to Andersons 9d, 14h, 52 minutes. After 1,000 miles of racing a mere 3 minute lead speaks volumes.
Out on the trail, Sonny Lindner, Josh Cadzow, Brent Sass and Abby West have all left the last checkpoint of Braeburn and are racing toward Whitehorse. Cadzow dropped one dog at Braeburn, so like Sass, he is racing with only 7. Sonny and Abbie both have 8 dogs on their teams. According to the live tracker they maintain that marching order about half way to the finish line.
Tenth place musher Normand Casavant is still waiting out his mandatory 8 hour layover in Braeburn, and will be back in the running at 9:56 pst this morning.
For me, it's time to shower, shave, pack my shaving gear and hit the highway. Because Tuesday is changeout day over most of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline it will be a relatively busy day at work. Don't be surprised if this Blog is silent for a day or two. Rest assured, I'll be busy earning the money necessary to feed the team, and their musher.