Morning Update–

Here are some quick thoughts on the happenings of last night and this early morn–

Hugh Neff had a great run from Iditarod and has claimed the prize at Anvik–his team seems to be moving very well, and his dog count remains at 13, both wonderful signs. I’ve been kind of holding my breath concerning my friend Hugh, and for the first time since the race started I’m beginning to relax. He seems to be moving out from under the shadow of Eagle Summit–I really hope so.

John Baker is emerging as the strongest of the “old school” teams–he’s positioned very nicely right behind Hugh in second place, and he too stands behind 13 dogs, and is moving like a freight train.

As my friend Aaron Peck pointed out last night, Martin Buser was by far the fastest moving team going to Iditarod, but I no longer think this remains the case–he’s doing well in the standings placement/time-wise, but I’ve noticed that almost all the teams he’s traveling with are posting faster “transponder speeds”. Obviously still a player, but I don’t think he’s going to get the “magic-carpet” ride some of us were thinking he might based on the earlier days of the race.

Ray Redington is looking very strong and sticking with the lead pace–still well positioned for a win scenario.

Sab deviated slightly from the scenario I predicted last night–in actuality, he ended up stopping between Idit & Shag for something like 2-3 hours (a mini rest in mushing parlance), blew through Shag and is now making his way for Anvik and an 8 hour rest.

Hans Gatt stopped for about 5.5 at Shag, and is now looking for Grayling and 8–he’s looking good, but certainly not pushing the pace.

Dallas Seavey chopped his rest short at Iditarod and ran to Shag where he now sits–still in a good position, but one that relies on other drivers “falling apart” for a win scenario–he’s slowly dropping out of the picture now, I think, without the aid of a storm to stop the front runners.

Lance maintains–he dropped a ton of core dogs early in the race, but I imagine that this group of nine in front of his sled are becoming his “new” core. I truly admire what he’s doing out there–but at this point I think it will take a miracle to get him onto Front Street in first place, and I strongly suspect that he’s used up his share of miracles lately.

Mike Williams Jr is running a solid race–I’m liking him for top ten.

Same goes for Sonny Lindner.

At this point, R. Smyth is motoring along very nicely, out of Shag with the biggest team in the race–how do I find his chances? I think everybody else I’ve mentioned is slowly running out of the trail they need to shake this monster off their tails…time is running out, and Smyth is coming.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow…;

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10 Responses to “Morning Update–”

  1. Claudia Florchinger Reply March 11, 2011 at 08:45

    sorry to say he did drop a dog in Shageluk : (

  2. You know, ANY of those folks winning would make my day! This is one heck of a race. By the way, I wondered why you weren’t talking much about Hugh (maybe for same reason I didn’t even put him in my TTP’s – didn’t want to jinx him. 🙂

    • Well, I have been kind of afraid to jinx him–the reality is he’s coming off a bad experience in YQ, and the Iditarod has not been his favored race (in terms of his performance). Though he’s been running in a top position from the beginning, this is the first time I’ve felt that he was doing it naturally as opposed to just pushing regardless of consequence.

  3. I think Ramey will suprise a lot of people. He still has a large pool of dogs, and always finishes strong at the end. I think he will be in the top 3.

  4. Hi Jason
    I am really enjoying your blog and insights. Seems like this year may be a real sea change in the Iditarod. So strong and big a front pack doing what only Lance was doing only last year.
    Last saw you on the trail, still giving dog tours, still have the old sled I got from your dad.
    Please pass my email to Aaron tell him Jimmy is doing great.
    Wings and Pawss

  5. wow wide open for a lot of mushers. i have a few favourites id liek to see win. but dont want to jinx anyone, damn have i by just posting that? cheer jason! great break down! 🙂

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