Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday in Takotna by Myron Angstman

The  run from Nikolai to Takotna  reveals much about the contenders in this year’s race.  But for many years I have focused on the run from  McGrath to Takotna  as a very good barometer of what  might happen from there to the finish. Why?  Because it is a short run at the end of a long run for most teams, and  how well  a team performs  when tired is a strong indication of how they will perform  towards the end of the Iditarod.   

What do those run times show?  The fastest team in that run might surprise some—Jake Berkowitz at 2:08.   After that comes  Lance  Mackey at 2:10,  Mitch Seavey at  2:11,  Pete Kaiser at 2:12,  and Sonny Lindner at 2:12.  Others a bit slower were Aaron Burmeister,  Aliy Zirkle, and Dallas Seavey.  Not included on this list are some  names that no one should ever count out,  Martin Buser, who has yet to make the run,  John Baker who travels slower than  these teams  most of the time but still manages to move up, and  Rayme Smyth who  often makes a mad dash the last half of the race.  

Mackey didn’t take his 24 hours at Takotna, but clearly is the  man to watch right now. His overall moving speed  is high, and last night’s times show that he hasn’t slowed down yet.  His four titles suggest he knows how to win, and no thinking person would make a huge bet against him at this point.

Myron Angstman, lawyer, pilot, and dog musher, lives in Bethel, Alaska. Read more about dogs, law suits and rural Alaska gossip by checking 

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