Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday Night on the Trail

It's been kind of interesting trying to follow the race today.  Some of the spot trackers carried by the mushers haven't been working properly.  Perhaps it's just the conditions on the trail, maybe someone forget to reset them, but for most of the day they have been lying to me (sigh).

So, here's the real skinny.  Although the live tracking at one point showed Allen Moore as much as 30 miles ahead of Hugh Neff, in reality they were much closer.  Allen arrived in Circle City at 8:00 this morning, only three minutes ahead of Hugh.  Jake Berkowitz pulled in at 11:19, and apparently Hugh decided it was time to leave, as he departed at 11:26.  That gave his team only about 3 1/2 hours of rest.

Allen apparently didn't feel the pressure quite so acutely as did Hugh, as he let his team rest nearly five and 1/2 hours.  Brent Sass pulled into the check point at 13:04 and Allen left at 13:27.  Jake departed in third place at 15:22 and Brent hit the trail with his team at 16:37.  Scott Smith has just arrived at Circle City, pulling in at 18:55.

Finally, all of our front runners trackers seem to be working at the same time.  Here is a screen shot of their positions just a few minutes ago.  Mostly I wanted you to see just how windy this section of trail, over Birch Creek National Wild and Scenic River, really is.

Live Tracking showing Hugh Neff (1st), Allen Moore, Jake Berkowitz and Brent Sass on Birch Creek
Birch Creek is notorious for deep overflow that seemingly crops up overnight.  It's not unusual for mushers to have to stop and snowshoe a trail to bypass really bad patches.  Given the pace that Hugh has been running I don't think it's been too much of a problem today.

Now comes the fun part, and Hugh Neff's bugaboo.  The next leg of the trail runs from Central over the notorious Eagle Summit and into the Mile-101 dog drop.  I think all of the front runners will give their teams a rest in Central, and probably another at the base of the mountain. 

Today Susan Rogan was assigned a time penalty for not having mandatory gear upon check-in at Eagle. Two items were missing and each item was assigned a half hour penalty, totaling a one-hour time penalty to be served at Two Rivers. In addition a $250 dollar fine was assigned as part of the penalty.  The press release didn't specify which items were missing from her sled bag. 

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