When I awakened about half an hour ago I found that Grace had been up before me, and had gotten into the kitchen garbage bin. Abner and I both slept through it (she can be a little sneak when she wishes). There wasn't too much of a mess and I can't think of anything in it that could have hurt her. It only took a bit to clean up the mess, but it is a reminder that even the very best behaved dogs are not to be trusted when faced with great temptations.
I nonetheless did my duty. As much as it pained me, I rolled up a magazine, smacked myself over the head three time saying "bad human, very bad human" and then let the dogs outside for a while. Tonight I'll make it a point to go downstairs to the "real" bed, and close the bedroom door so Grace's curiosity can't get the best of her. Of course than plan requires me to not fall prey to the dog's scheme to put me into a deep, sound slumber.
It's warm enough that I could just let this pair sleep outdoors with the rest of the team, but I won't. I won't because the house feels empty when I don't share my space with a dog or two (or three, or four).
While I enjoyed a nice, luxurious night of sound sleep the racers out on the Iditarod Trail have been busy indeed. Before I crashed last night I reported that the front runners were arriving in Rohn, having endured the notorious Dalzell Gorge. This morning the combination of the Iditarod's offical standings and the GPS Tracking system show that most took a little bit of rest at the checkpoint, though not so much as I've seen in past years.
Paul Gephardt was the first musher out of Rohn, followed within minutes by Sebastian Schnuelle. Hugh Neff left about an hour after Sebastian. Here's what the leader board looks like this morning:
|Pos||Musher||Bib||Checkpoint||Time In||Dogs In||Time Out|
|1||Paul Gebhardt||7||Rohn||03/08 |
|2||Sebastian Schnuelle||35||Rohn||03/08 |
|3||Hugh Neff||56||Rohn||03/08 |
|4||Warren Palfrey||27||Rohn||03/09 |
|5||John Baker||8||Rohn||03/08 |
|6||Mitch Seavey||19||Rohn||03/08 |
|7||Hans Gatt||20||Rohn||03/08 |
|8||Gerry Willomitzer||55||Rohn||03/08 |
|9||Dallas Seavey||41||Rohn||03/08 |
|10||Sven Haltmann||42||Rohn||03/08 |
|11||Jeff King||15||Rohn||03/08 |
|12||Zack Steer||47||Rohn||03/08 |
|13||Michael Williams, Jr. (r)||59||Rohn||03/09 |
|14||Aliy Zirkle||50||Rohn||03/08 |
|15||Lance Mackey||49||Rohn||03/08 |
|16||Cim Smyth||3||Rohn||03/08 |
|17||Sonny Lindner||44||Rohn||03/08 |
|18||Ryan Redington||25||Rohn||03/08 |
|19||Martin Buser||37||Rohn||03/08 |
|20||Linwood Fiedler||2||Rohn||03/08 |
|21||Jessie Royer||6||Rohn||03/08 |
The only race rookie on this list of front runners is 25 year old Michael Williams Jr. According to his bio, posted on the Iditarod website, Mike is a Yupik Eskimo who grew up running and caring for sled dogs. He's certainly hanging out with some very good company at this stage of the race and is well placed to earn the "Rookie of the Year" award.
Looking at the track speeds recorded on the official standings, it would appear the teams recognized the gravity of their situation in the gorge, and took full advantage of it.
According to the GPS Tracker, Sebastian Schnuelle has regained the lead and has a little bit of distance in front of the rest of the pack. If the scale on the tracking mark is accurate, Sebastian has as much as 10 miles on Mitch Seavey, who has moved up into the second position only a wee bit ahead of Hugh Neff. They are followed by Hans Gatt, Dallas Seavey, Gerry Willomitzer, William Palfrey, Aliy Zirkle and Lance Mackey. Lance is being chased by Zach Steer and Jeff King and
Linwood Fiedler played the rabbit for quite a long ways, but it looks he's now paying the price for doing so. He's had to drop three dogs from his team, and now has the smallest team among he front runners. I'll be surprised if he is still in the "Top-20" by the end of the day. It seems like every year someone jumps up front and runs like hell for the first couple of hundred miles only to fall back into the middle of the pack. This year was apparently Linwood's turn to do so.
I'Rod in Cincinnati
When I go Outside for my work related clinical training the most common destination is Cincinnati, through which I drive as quickly as possible down to my training venue in Kentucky. I ran across a small article about Cincinnati's version of the reading the news on the CNN website this morning and deemed it cute enough to share.
The Cinciditarod is a wacky shopping cart race through the city. It's named in tribute to the Alaskan Iditarod - a brutal 1,100-mile dog-sledding race - but instead of dogs, it's people; instead of sleds, it's shopping carts; and instead of Alaska, it's Cincinnati.
While physically attached to their grocery carts, teams push through a nearly five-mile course over the streets of downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and Mt Adams, picking up items on a grocery list and stopping at five mandatory checkpoints.
Grocery items benefit Cincinnati’s FreestoreFoodbank, and a challenge awaits team members at each checkpoint.
You can learn more about the Cinciditarod at www.myfountainsquare.com/cinciditarod.