Race Update – 27 February 2013

7 finishers have arrived in McGrath. All 7 of them shattering the previous record set by Pete Basinger in 2007. We are still waiting on defending champ Pete B. to arrive tonight. Rookie Eszter Horanyi is also on course shaving off several hours off Louise Kobin’s record set in 2011.

In the running division David Johnston is setting a blistering fast pace and far ahead of his closest competitors Joe Grant and John Logar and Eric Johnson.

6 time Nome finisher Tim Hewitt with his massive sled packed with food and fuel for 24 days is keeping pace with “regular racers”.

A strong women’s runner field including Loreen Hewiit, Anne Ver Hoef and Shawn McTaggert are steadily moving up the trail towards the halfway point in Puntilla at Rainy Pass Lodge. Anne checked into Puntilla at 15:20

While I was writing this Anchorage cyclist Brian Hartman has also finished in McGrath in 8th place.

Cyclists Ausilia and Sebastiano and Joe Grant and John Logar are expected in Rohn tonight.

Exciting day for the racers, fans us, everyone, record setting year.

Mild temperatures, little wind and good trails with a stacked field made it possible this year for all these racers.

Another record so far, no scratches 3 days and 7 hours into the race.

Will write another update in the morning.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 26 February 2013

Suspense. Everyone is waiting to hear from the Nikolai check point. Who is the leader? Will there be a new record? Bill always said:” A rookie will never win this race.” Well… it is possible this year. New recors in the men’s and women’s division are up for grabs. Everyone is glued to the computer screens tonight waiting to get news from Nikolai. Stephamie Petruska has food ready for them and is waiting for their arrival.

Bill Merchant, trail breaker headed over to McGrath this afternoon by snowmachine. He is inMcGrath tonight.

The trail to Nikolai was rough, but he covered Nikolai to McGrath in 2,5 hours, 50 miles.

It is getting really late tonight, and the leaders have been pushing on without any sleep, so we might have to wait until morning to get some updates.

No scratches so far, all racers are moving up the trail steadily!

Kathi M.

Race Update – 26 February 2013

8 bikers are out of Rohn on their way to Nikolai this afternoon. Defending champ Pete Basinger has made up time on them. Women in the lead Eszter Horanyi was not in Rohn when I spoke with Rohn checker Rob Kehrer earlier in the day. Bill Merchant went ahead of them by snowmachine to make sure there was a trail where the trail has potential to get drifted in when the wind blows. Our Nikolai checker Stephanie Petruska is currently waiting for Bill M and the first bikers. They could be there as soon as 8 or 9 tonight.

By tomorrow we will have a new champion in McGrath.

4 more bikers hace checked out of Puntilla. We are waiting to hear word about the leading runner Dave Johnston who left Winterlake at 7:40 this morning.

Racers are also moving up the trail from Skwentna mile 90 to Winterlake Lodge mile 130.

The last three racers were seen 13 miles below the Skwentna Roadhouse on the Yentna River this afternoon.

No scratches so far.

Leader board is updated.

More news this evening.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 26 February 2013

Bill just called from Rohn on the Sat Phone: Oately, Breitenbach, Berntson and Lackey are in ROHN at 9:30. Took them just over 8 hours over the pass!!! Trail must be hard packed and fast this year!

We have news from Puntilla halfway point mile 165: in the lead are 4 Jeff O. John Lackey, Kevin B, and Tim Berntson out of Puntilla at 1:19 AM followed by Jay P at 1:48 , Jason Buffinton out at 4:10 and our fast woman Eszter out at 6:50 am this morning. What a race!

David Johnston leading the running field out to Winterlake this morning at 7:40 AM. Fast pace on foot!!

Kathi M.

Race Update – 25 February 2013

All racers have made it to Yentna Station. A charge of veteran and rookie bikers is chasing rookie Jason Buffington into the foothills into the Alaska Range up to Puntilla Lake, the location of the oldest hunting lodge in Alaska, Rainy Pass Lodge has the 75th anniversary this year. Fast first woman and keeping up with the boys is rookie Eszter Horanyi from Colorado. She spent her training in the mountains of Colorado. There are many hills between Winter Lake Lodge and Puntilla, then more climbing follows over Rainy Pass at an elevation of 3300 feet.

Bill Merchant race organizer and checker and Rohn checker Rob Kehrer are getting a good sleep tonight getting ready for the first bikers tomorrow.

Bill Merchant will leave Rohn early in the morning to break trail ahead of the leaders into Nikolai.

More bikers have arrived at Winterlake Lodge nestled at the edges of Fingerlake in the foothills of the Alaska Range.

Willow resident David Johnston is charging ahead and leads the running division. He is a veteran of the race and finished the race last year with his wife Andrea. A bit over 2 hours behind him is race veteran from Utah Eric Johnson.

Legendary 6 time finisher Tim Hewitt pulling his 110 lbs sled going self supported checked into Yentna Station at 11:20 this morning.

The race leaders arrived at Winterlake Lodge early this afternoon with Jay Petervary from Idaho in the lead. A pack of 5 bikers chasing him with race veteran Jeff Oatley and Kevin Breitenbach from Fairbanks, Alaskans Tim Berntson and John Lackey only 20 minutes behind Jay, followed by Jason Buffington from Minnesota,a rookie racer with wins in the Arrowhead 135 and Tuscobia 150. What a race we have!

Jason Buffington sneaks out the Winterlake Lodge check point and takes the lead ahead at 15:55 followed 5 minutes later by Jay P, Jeff O,Kevin B,and John Lackey and Tim Berntson. What a race!!Rookie Eszter Horanyi from Colorado is staying with the boys and arrives at Winterlake Lodge at 16:25 as well as Nome resident Phil Hofstetter at 15:30 and Alaskan Brian Hartman at 17:07.

Hoping to have more news from down the trail to see where the running leaders are.


Race Update – 25 February 2013

The leaders are reported at Shell Lake Lodge, 110 miles into the race: Tim Berntson leading the charge closely followed by Jeff O, Jay P. and Kevin B. Not sure why defending champ Peter Basinger is further behind at this point. This is second hand information through face book. The bikers started and arriving and departing early this morning at the Skwentna Roadhouse, our second check point 90 miles into the race.

The first runner into the Yentna Station check point was David Johnston from Willow at 5:05. He departed at 7:40 followed Eric Johnson from Utah 8:32.

We have got quite the race in the biking and running division so far.

The weather is clear here this morning in Anchorage with 18 degrees, clear in Skwentna and snow was falling at Winter Lake Lodge the third check point, mile 130.

Bill M. and Rob Kehrer are ready in Rohn with the Wall Tent up, fire wood cut and split to keep the wood stove going. They are ready there for the racers too. They are taking another trip with two snowmachines up towards the pass back down the trails to get it packed some more for the racers.

More later, as I hear reports from the trail.

Kathi M.

Race Update – 25 February 2013

Update early this morning I received by e-mail from Peggy Garoutte, longtime host of human powered events on the Iditarod Trail from their cabin:

Good Morning, from Flat Horn,(mile30)
Busy nite on the lake, Rich and friend stopped by around 4, then Craig Medred was here around 7 and did some computer time and left around 9. Headlights on the trail steady, plenty of hot water at bottom of our hill. Biker Leslie came by to change and get some water and tea, stayed for 15 min. then headed back on the trail. Nice full moon before I went to bed at 10:30. I woke up this morning at 2:30, stayed up to read a book, then later I saw headlight out by cabin, It was Ann, she stayed with 2 others on foot at the cabin since 11:00p,m. So she came in and gave her a hug with some hot water, and a cup of Russian Tea. She left here around 3:30 am. I went over to the cabin and cranked up the wood stove the other 2 guys are camped out on the couch and floor. I put their sneakers by the wood stove and left them sleep. No other headlights on the lake at this hour(4:45 am.).
Check in with you later..Peggy:))

Thanks Peggy & Kirk. A big Thank you!!


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