Had the pleasure of meeting Tim Hewitt when he arrive in Anchorage after his unprecedented seventh finish to Nome. He has established himself as a true legend of the Iditarod Trail Invitational. This year Tim carried everything he needed from Knik to Nome. No resupply and he did not enter a building start to finish. I enjoyed all the stories but none more than his story of a pack of hunting wolves waking him howling and barking all around his bivy site. Stuck in his bag with a frozen zipper he said yellingÄ‚â€Ă‚Â at the critters in the dark that sounded only a few feet away seemed his only option and it worked. Were they chasing prey that just ran next to Tim’s bivy or was Tim the prey they were so excited about. You would think they would know better than to try and eat anyone as tough and stringy as Tim. Guess we will never know for sure.
Currently Beat Jegerlehner and Marco Berni have left the warm hospitality of Joanna Wassillie and her husband Jack in White Mountain this morning at 10:30 to finish the last 77 miles to Nome. Joanna and Jack are and have been through the years true trail angels to all of us who have passed through White Mountain on our way to Nome. They go above and beyond to care for our racers like they were family. Beat and Marco hope to finish sometime Sunday in Nome well under the 30 day cutoff for an official race finish.
Shawn McTaggart left Shaktoolik yesterday after she picked up her package at the post office to head out across Norton Sound to Koyuk. Klaus Schweinberger planned to leave Shaktoolik about 6:00 PM. The 40 miles of sea ice between Shaktoolik and Koyuk can be one of the most beautiful sections on a nice day or one of the most intimidating if the wind is blowing. I have heard being on the ice during a ground blizzard referred to as like being on the inside of a ping pong ball. Having been caught in a windstorm on this section I would say that’s a pretty good way to describe it. With no horizon and everything white with no contrast it is difficult to even stand without falling over from vertigo. I hope to hear about their crossing sometime later today when they arrive in Koyuk.