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Archive: March 21, 2020

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Iditarod: Nome run

Saturday,  03/21/20  11:09 PM

2020 Iditarod Champion Thomas Waerner and team in the Nome stretch to the finishWell the 2020 Iditarod is history ... or is it?  It certainly has made history.  Let's review.

First, congratulations to Thomas Waerner of Norway, who rode a flawless Iditarod to win going away.  He finished late Wednesday night, putting 5 1/2 hours into multi-time champion Mitch Seavey, who finished second.  Jessie Royer was third, 7 hours behind, the veteran musher's best finish to date; she made a great run.  2020 Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass was fourth, 8 hours back, and Aaron Burmeister rounded out the top five finishing 9 hours back. 

Right: Thomas and team in the Nome stretch 


2020 Iditarod top dogs, K2 and Bark, with their musherThe key moment was on Saturday night, when Waerner decided to make a single long run from Kaltag to Unalakleet.  Everyone else stopped halfway through the run at "old woman cabin", but he chugged on through the night, getting into Kaltag early Sunday.  He took a six hour rest, and then took off right before the first of his pursuers (Wade Marrs) reached Kaltag.  From that point on the race was his to lose, and he played it conservatively, staying just far enough ahead to crush hope.

Left: K2 and Bark, top dogs in this year's Iditarod, with their musher

It's interesting how the psychology of Thomas' move played out.  He was in a big pack of contenders, he made his move, and that left everyone else running for second.

And then the weather turned crummy.  From fear of snow and fear of moose, the remaining mushers shifted to fear of icy water and high winds as a big storm moved in.  After the top 18 finished, it was a long time before #19, and then a long time before #20-23.  And so far, that's it!


Mitch Seavey's team runs down Front Street into second placeAs this is typed there are still 11 mushers out there running, but they won't finish until midday tomorrow.  So there will be a gap of 3 days!  I don't think that's ever happened before.  A whole bunch of mushers scratched trying to brave the conditions, including poor old Nic Petit, who you will remember nearly won in each of the last two years.  This time he made it cleanly across Norton Sound but couldn't get from Elim to White Mountain.  He and three other teams had to be rescued in the middle of the storm.

Right: Mitch Seavey's team looking good while running into second down Front Street

And so ends another year - a wild year, with checkpoints isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic, crowds restricted at the finish, and mushers running along in the Alaska backwoods while the world shut down around them.


Rookie Kaci Murringer crosses the finish line to claim the Red Lantern [Update: 3/22/20 at 12:27 AKDT, all of the Elim 11 have finished!  Rookie Kaci Murringer (shown at left) made it safely to Nome, and "wins" the Red Lantern award for the last musher to finish.  Great for them.  And what a race!  'Till next year...]

The Elim 11 - will they make it?

The Elim 11 - at one point after two days in Elim I was sure the race would shut down and give them all the red lantern.  But they waited out the storm, have all made it to White Mountain, and now we just wait to see if and when they finish.

Jessie Royer and team crossing frozen Golovin Bay; they finished third

Jessie Royer and team cross frozen Golovin Bay on their way to third place

Brent Sass and team

Brent Sass and team in the Nome stretch

Rookie of the Year Mille Porsild and her leader

Rookie of the year Mille Porsild with her leader

Iditapup

A future top dog waves to the finishers :)

Flow Tracker on Sat 3/21/20 at 23:00

Here's the "final" Flow Tracker graph (please click to enbiggen)
Note the big gaps - including the vast gap between #23 - so far the last to finish - and the 11 mushers still on the trail in White Mountain.

 

 

 

grounded

Saturday,  03/21/20  11:27 PM

keep calm and stay groundedHi blog public, how y'all doing?  Staying home and safe, I hope ... and so is this a weird time or what?

Seems like only a week ago I was posting "seems like the whole world has shut down", and indeed it has.  About the only thing that hasn't is telemedicine; my company Teladoc (InTouch Health) has had by far its busiest week ever, with a flood of new orders and session and server traffic through the ceiling.  Exciting and scary to be living at the tip of the spear, so to speak.  And I think this is the new normal; even after the pandemic crisis abates, telehealth adoption will have permanently inflected.

And so today I escaped for a bike ride, and read a bit, and ... blogged!

By far the best thing about the CoronavirusThe way ordinary people have responded.  Everyone is nicer, more patient, more understating, more willing to help.  It's a pleasure to be a human being right now, as we unite against this horrible pandemic.

What's been your best experience so far?  Focus on it, blog about it, post to your Twitter or Facebook.  It's so nice to read about other people being nice.

For example: some people are putting their holiday lights back up to bring joy and hope.

By far the worst thing about the crisisThe US mainstream media response.  Most seem absolutely determined to hit us over the head with their negative opinion of President Trump, regardless of the relevance.  Whether you like him or hate him, you cannot condone this unprofessional behavior.

Sadly for them and fortunately, most Americans see through this and approve of our President's actions.

For example: Google debunks false claims that it is not developing a national website to track coronavirus
Apropos: We're paying the price for the death of journalism.

From Lab Soft News: Some Details about an Emerging Healthcare Service - Hospital-at-Home.  Enabled by telehealth technology!

Wahoo for ZwiftNews I can use: the best smart bikes for Zwift.  I'm going to get one ... just haven't decided yet which one.  And by the way, Peleton is all very exciting, but they have a closed network; you can only ride Peleton courses and take Peleton classes and only on a Peleton bike.  Zwift is wide open, and it's where all the pros are riding to keep in shape.

First place right now: the Wahoo, because it tilts with the terrain.

kayak through icebergsMore news for me: Tour 5 National parks from home.  Honestly put on your headphones, maximize your browser (F11), and enjoy.  WOW.  Kayak through icebergs!

Congratulations to Powerline on their 1 billionth pageview.  Quite a few of those are mine...  Onward!

SpaceX-ing out: successful deployment of 60 [more] Starlink satellites confirmed.  When we're all working from home, we're all going to need high bandwidth and low latency.

21st century headlines: NASA fixes Mars lander by telling it to hit itself with a shovel.  I love it.

all objects in our solar system, mappedVisual Capitalist: Mapped: every object in our Solar System.  Awesome! - click to enbiggen amazingly.  (Does not include all the Starlink satellites ... yet!)

So there's a new iPad Pro, and if you want you can see it on your own desk.  I tried it and poof there it was.  I love the way it figures out where the surface is, that's much more impressive than the actual VR somehow.  Try it!

Waiting for Mandalorian Season 2 and finished rewatching Season 1?  Okay then, here you can watch a combination trailer for Season 2 and making-of for Season 1.

I have to confess, I did rewatch Season 1 already, and it was better the second time.  Just great, spare storytelling.

Well that's all folks... stay safe everyone.

 
 

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