Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Top 10

The "Top Ten" 2010 Iditarod mushers are in Nome, some with names etched deeply into the history of the race.  Lance Mackey won the race, becoming the first in history to win four straight years in a row and becoming the second musher in history to break the 9-day barrier.  Martin Buser still holds the record for the fastest ever win.  Given his phenomenal success in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, his name will forever be spoken with the same reverence as those of Leonard Seppala, George Attla and Doc Lombard.  It is said that he is already planning to run again next year, with hopes of tying Rick Swenson's record of 5 wins.

Hans Gatt arrived in second place, gaining ground on the leader up until Front Street.  He just didn't have enough trail to catch him.  Jeff King took third place, which ain't too shabby given the level of competition he faced.  Ken Anderson surged ahead of John Baker to take fourth.  Ramey Smyth prevailed in over Sebastian Schnuelle to claim the sixth place money.  In the race between father and son Seavey the Younger (Dallas) gained ground over Dear Ol' Dad to claim 7th.  Hugh Neff, who kept pace with the top three racers until late in the race, dropped all the way back to 9th and was chased into Nome by Mitch Seavey.

The race isn't over yet.  There are still 46 other teams out on the trail, each engaged in their own personal challenges vying to improve their positions. 

Tri-pawed Abner to Run in Jeff's Race

Jeff's Race is more formally referred as the Jeff Studdert Invitational, and is a unique fun race that marks the start of the Open North American Championship festivities.  Jeff's Race is a passenger race.  The size of the team is determined by the combined weight of the two humans on the sled, who are allowed 1 dog per 40 pounds.  "Moneyed" dogs, those that have been on teams that have won money during the regular season, are not permitted.  To add even more excitement to the format, driver and passenger must switch places half-way through the race.  Since most teams consist of an experienced racer carrying an inexperienced passenger, it is usually the newbie who drives the team across the finish line.

This year Lynn Orbison's team will include Abner.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see him running in lead.  Jeff's race will be held at the Jeff Studdert Race Ground on Farmer's Loop Road today (Wednesday).

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