The leading teams are in the final stretch of the 2014 Iditarod, heading for Nome. Jeff King has widened his lead over Aliy Zirkle a bit - it is now 9 miles, with about 50 left to go - and they look to finish one two. Jeff has already won this race four times and will join a select group of five-time winners (nobody has won six). And Aliy is going to finish second for the third straight year, behind a different team each time. That's got to be tough.
Reminds me of listening to DeeDee Jonrowe speak, a few years ago; someone asked her "what does it take to win the Iditarod" and she said "if I knew that I wouldn't have finished second twice" :)
Dallas Seavey is running a solid third but although he's closing on Zirkle he still needs 13 miles, and it doesn't look like he'll catch her. Shown at left are the three leading teams, resting in White Mountain, King, Zirkle, and Seavey. In fourth is Dallas' father Mitch, the defending champion (Dallas won the previous year in 2012); that's Mitch's team above right, on the way into White Mountain.
A recent post by experienced musher and blogger Sebastian Schneulle about the final stretch from Golovin to White Mountain is a great overview of the conditions, and is accompanied by great pictures of the leading teams. Sebastian has been following the race all week via snowmachine, leapfrogging the leaders, and he's given us all great insight. Knowing the intricacies of what it takes to get a team of sled dogs through 1,000 miles of back country makes the accomplishment seem all the more impressive. Here's his latest: Safety update.
Here's the current GPS tracker map, showing King (#17), Zirkle (#10), and Seavey (#14) all heading to Safety, the last checkpoint, and then on to Nome:
It looks like the race will finish right around midnight tonight, and the King will be crowned :) I'll check back in with a final post just after... onward!
(All Iditarod 2014 posts)