In an effort to somehow push fast vibes to Alaska via my internet connection, I have been checking the Iditarod Trail Invitational Leaderboard non-stop since Sunday evening. Every year Mother Nature sends a cruel twist at the 50 or so racers who try to prepare for what history has shown them to be the biggest challenges of this race. Temps to -40F, biting wind, ground blizzards, and overflow would top my list. Warm temps would not be at the top of my list.
JayP and T-Race are doing awesome and there is a lot of racing left sports fans! The 40-mile section of trail from Finger Lake to Puntilla must be absolutely brutal this year. It took Pete Basinger 9.5 hours, Jeff Oatley 15.5 hours, and JayP 17 hours. My take? I would guess that Pete was able to ride marginal trail that Jeff and JayP were forced to push. Is this equipment, fitness, a Jedi mind trick, or all of the above? Or did Jeff and Jay stop and bivy in an effort to conserve energy for a big push later in the race?
The good news is that once they get over Rainy Pass, the temps will drop significantly which "could" mean a firm trail.
Mike and Michelle climbing towards the Packsaddle Corrals
Meanwhile, snow biking here in the Tetons is good! The days have been warming up a bit but if you catch the trails early they are firm and fast. I don't think winter is done with us yet...this warm spell is just a teaser.