13 March 2018
Iditarod Day 9: Top 3 mushers race to White Mountain
Joar Leifseth Ulsom in Unalakleet. Photo copyright by Mille Porsild.
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) -
Following a day of shake ups for the 2018 Iditarod race, the top three mushers competing for the finish line are racing hard for the next checkpoint, White Mountain, where they will be afforded a mandatory 8-hour layover.
Out of the Elim checkpoint, the times were stacked just about how they were into Koyuk. Joar Ulsom checked out at 1 a.m., behind him Nic Petit at 4 a.m., and most recently Mitch Seavey, leaving to give chase just before 6 a.m.
However, just one day prior, the standings were different, with Petit showing almost a 2-hour lead in first place, before he ultimately
took a wrong turn and had to backtrack, allowing Ulsom to push past.
Now, while the healthy 3-hour lead Ulsom showed out of Elim may seem indomitable, the fact that unexpected shale-ups happened as little as two checkpoints ago means its still very much anyone's game.
The stay in White Mountain will act as an equalizer for dog fatigue, with a lengthy layover being mandatory for every musher.
Seavey, who is also a contender, though even further behind than Petit, represents half of a father-son legacy who have won the Iditarod race for the past seven years.
Whether Ulsom holds the lead or Petit displays yet another shake up and catches up, it would effectively end the Seavey streak.
March 13, 2018
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