It's 4:00 a.m., and I'm preparing for another wonderful day in paradox, my place of employment. As I write, Hugh Neff and Allen Moore are in a tight race for the lead in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Allen arrived in the Eagle checkpoint only 35 minutes behind Hugh, having made up nearly an hour and 1/2 during the run from Dawson. Of course, he had a better trail on which to run. Hugh left the checkpoint at 2:42 this morning, and Allen chased him by 16 minutes. According to the live tracker Allen is now running a faster pace, only two miles behind Hugh.
Jake Berkowitz arrived in Eagle only shortly after Allen left, arriving at 3:04 this morning. He is eligible to leave after his mandatory four-hour layover at 7:04 AST. Jake gained a full hour on the leader during this run, so he is also gaining ground. The live tracker shows Brent Sass is about an hour and a half or so out of the checkpoint, so it appears he has also picked up some speed.
Scott Smith, Markus Ingebretson, Susie Rogan and Abbie West are all out on the trail from Dawson, and another group of mushers will be eligible to leave Dawson in about 2 hours. The leg between Eagle and Circle is just a bit more than 160 miles, nearly all of it on the Yukon River.
Both Neff and Moore reported that the trail between Dawson and Eagle wasn't nearly so bad as they had been led to believe, but noted that snow is blowing into the trail, so it is likely to worsen for those further back in the standings.