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.