Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Late Night Drama

The late night drama  Monday not only kept me and other fans up, it also prevented a morning report.  What a finish.  Things went south in a hurry  for  Jeff  King, who I  had named the winner about 9 pm.    By  11:00 he was  out of the race.  My report, which was compared to the Dewey beats Truman headline from 1948, was a little early but seemed safe at the time.  Someone asked for a retraction.  Of course not, this is meant to be one old guy’s thoughts and nothing more.   But  refunds will be paid, of course.  Anyone that can prove they bet on King after 9  based on my report will get their money back, simply by sending me the receipt.

It is obvious that many in Alaska wanted  Aliy Zirkle to pull it out, and thought she had after reaching safety first. Instead she settled for her third straight second place finish, and  an elite record held by only one other person.  Zirkle and Rick Swenson are the only racers ever to finish second in  the Iditarod when leading at Safety.  Of course, for Swenson it was the  1978 one second loss to Dick  Mackey that earned his spot on that list.

Dallas  Seavey earned his second win, and third in a row for his family.  Some call it a dynasty but it is not quite there yet, especially considering the circumstances of this win.    The big blow of 2014 determined the winner.  Dallas survived it, but could hardly claim he dominated the race.  King gets that honor.  And Zirkle is not far behind in that category, making up a bunch of time on  Seavey to lose by a couple of minutes.

John Baker spent the night at Elim with a bunch of other teams wary of the Golovin Bay winds.  He is now  in White Mountain, and will leave at midnight in 17thplace.  He is unlikely to move up. (there I  go again)  Katherine Keith spent the night at a shelter cabin 15 miles past Shaktoolik.  She made it to Koyuk around  6 pm in 26th place, and has  a good chance to hold her spot.  I suspect she will be delighted if she does.

The Kuskokwim trio left White  Mountain and are headed for Nome.  Mike Williams Jr was one of few teams traveling last night, and he made it  from Elim to White  Mountain in the teeth of the wind. He trained all  year on ice here in Bethel, which likely served him well in that run.

There will be one more report  tomorrow.  For more Iditarod news, and other assorted  stuff, check the monthly news  on  my website, angstmanlawoffice.com

Zirkle 1st Into Safety, King Trouble on the Trail, Swenson Calling the Shots in Downtown Nome

Aily Zirkle  was the first to check in at Safety, as reports of 45 mile per hour winds  emerge.  Jeff King is parked  about 4 miles from   Safety, and there is no word what the issue might be.  I do know  that some dogs have an upper limit  on wind, and 45 might be past it.    Lots of  communication between serious race fans tonight.  Five time champion Rick Swenson was one who called.  He said  depending on how things shape up in the next couple hours, he might  have a drink in downtown Nome.