Race Updates

Most updates are being posted on our face book page, it seems to be the most looked at page covering our race.

It is a public page, so everyone should be able to access it.

8 racers are heading to Nome currently. The weather has been unusually warm, wet and rainy. Despite, those 8 racers are pusing on. Tim Hewitt is leading the running division despite his heavy sled with 24 days of food supplies.

The leader of the race is Anchorage cyclist Bob Ostrom and he is making he way of the 122 miles of Yukon River to the next village of Kaltag. Iditarod is ferrying dog food down to Eagle Island from Kaltag since the bush planes were kept from flying because of bad weather. This should help and firm up this remote section of trail some more since there is no other traffic other than the Iditarod Trail breakers and mushers and runner and bikers of the two races heading to Nome.

Howard Cook and Anne Ver Hoef had finished their race in McGrath, but hace decided to fly to Unalakleet on the coast and travel the scenic 250 miles on the coast to Nome since they had sent out their drog bags on the trail to the village post offices.

Recent posts on our facebook page:

Update from Tim’s wife Loreen:
Tim Hewitt has also left the small community Grayling and is now heading up the 122 miles of desolate Yukon River. Most times racers face a head wind there. Currently there is a tail wind from reports we are hearing. Tim was able to get some rest in his wet gear in his parka along the trail. He is making amazing progress with a sled loaded with 100 lbs of food and fuel for 24 days. Go Tim!

This is a logistical challenge for Iditarod because of bad weather, but…
This is good news for our bikers and runners, if they are bringing in supplies by snow machine from Kaltag down to Eagle Island that means the trails get packed by additional snow machines between Kaltag and Eagle Island. Is is 60 miles of trail on the Yukon River not used by anyone other than the Iditarod sled dog race and our racers and broken out by the Iditarod Trail beakers ahead of the lead musher.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/ article/20130308/ iditablog-mushers-fret-over-dog -food-crisis-yukon-river

Update on Ausilia & Sebastiano from the principal in Grayling: They arrived there late last night at 22:44. They had pushed their bikes a lot but were in good spirits. Thank you Michael. Ausilia and Sebastiano are departing this morning for the 120 mile long Yukon River stretch up to Kaltag which is the next possible place to make a phone call to us. This section of Yukon River is notorious for head winds, if the wind blows and the trails drift in it could take racers 4-5 days to arrive in Kaltag.

Updates from the Nome racers: Beat and Marco arrived in Shageluk last night. They are drying gear, resupplying from the packages they mailed ahead. Everyone in the villages, principals, post master has been really helpful. Marco has issues with his borrowed shoes, they stay wet, his old shoes are falling apart, but he carries them as a spare. Beat reports conditions have been very challenging, wet, they got rained on and slushy trails. This morning he says it seems the trails are frozen. Marco wants to take a longer rest in Shageluk before heading out again. Beat plans to leave this morning and make it as far as Grayling tonight.

Update on Anne Ver Hoef:
Mike flew me back from McGrath to Anchorage on Monday, but looks like I may go back out on the trail. I had a back strain, so I could not continue early this week from McGrath. However, I am feeling much better (thank you, extraordinary Rolfer, Barbara Kavanaugh) and I think Cookie and I will fly out to Unalakleet and continue from there to Nome. I so wanted to see the coast and this is a way to run/walk the trail for fun. We already sent our boxes of provisions out there, so we just need to get ourselves back out on the trail. Here’s to fun adventures!

Great update on Howard Cook and Anne Ver Hoef:
They plan to fly to Unalakleet and travel the section of coast from Unalakleet to Nome, about 250 miles! One of my favorite sections of trail besides the section over Rainy Pass.

Howard Cook posted to Kathi Merchant about an hour ago via mobile
“Kathi I think that you will already know by now but I turned round and came back to Mc Grath yesterday . Very sad and miserable but today I have spoken to Anne Ver Hoef and it looks like we are going to fly up to Unalakleet next weekend and finish the last 300 miles or so to Nome . It’s not perfect but it’s a good compromise . Thanks for all of your hard work over the past couple of weeks . I don’t envy your job , being at the sharp end with all the friends and family. “Love Cookie xxxxx

Alan Tilling who started the race 5 days later decided to finish his ride in McGrath and not go to Nome this year. Glad you came to Alaska anyway and had a good ride to McGrath. Hope to see you again in Alaska in future years.

Update from Howard Cook
It’s not pleasant to watch an old guy cry so o took myself a few hours up the trail and sat on my sled in the wilderness . With just no fuel in the tank , sore feet and creaking muscles I had to admit to myself that Nome was a bridge too far . My tears were both of frustration and sadness . Frustrated that I am no longer 35 to 40 and that my age is starting to slow me down . Sad because my journey on the trail has come to an end . The trail is not just the thin White line weaving along the valleys of Alaska but it is also the sights , the sounds the people , the friendship , the sky at night , the hardship , the warm bed and the hot meal. It’s the hard days which cause those brief moments of joy to shine bright like a jewel and become a memory that will never leave you .I am sad that I am not with my friends Shawn & Klaus sharing their companionship and the joint endeavour. As in life it is often better to travel happily than actually arrive and that is why I will miss the trail .

I have now retraced my steps and arrived back in McGrath and due to fly out on Sunday.

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