It's 3:45 as I write, prime time for running racing sled dogs. Out on the Iditarod Trail there is some serious racing going on, and some interesting changes overnight.
The front runners are en route from Elim to the checkpoint and mandatory 8 hour layover in White Mountain. As I noted last night, the early portion of the run from Koyuk to Elim presents some significant terrain challenges, including Little McKinley. Currently, Mitch Seavey still holds the lead, well beyond Little McKinley and is crossing Golovan Bay. Aliy Zirkle, who has moved up and is crossing the ice-covered bay strongly only three miles behind him. She has an 8 mile advantage over Jeff King's team, who are 8 miles behind and matching her pace. These two teams are about 10 miles from the White Mountain checkpoint and the promise of a good, long rest.
Ray Redinton Jr. is currently holding the fourth position, but is being challenged by Dallas Seavey, who has strongly continued his 'end game' push though down to only 8 dogs.
At this point I'm predicting the winner will cross the line sometime this evening, most likely before I crawl into my own bed, in my own home.
At this point it looks like Aliy is maintaining the SP Kennel tradition of very close, nearly photo finishes. Aliy and her husband Allen Moore are the only married couple in history to each have won a 1,000 mile sled dog race. Allen won this year's Yukon Quest. It is quite possible that they could become the only married couple in history to each win a 1,000 mile sled dog race in the same year. Now THAT would be a record guaranteed to stand for a long, long time.