At the Nikolai checkpoint, John Baker told KNOM that he was “running a little bit behind.” It wasn’t anything major that delayed him – the 2011 Iditarod champ cited “changing booties” and other incidentals – but Baker said he was about 45 minutes behind his target when he pulled into Nikolai Tuesday morning.
Baker, however, told KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen that his dogs seem to be running faster this year. He also commented on the trail so far (including some “pretty bare” stretches over the Farewell Burn) and outlined his run/rest strategy for the coming days.
As for how to make up his 45-minute deficit, Baker had a simple solution: “get up earlier.” (It’s a strategy that seems to have worked: he left Nikolai at exactly the same time as Aliy Zirkle, who had arrived into Nikolai more than 20 minutes earlier than Baker.)
Hear John Baker in Nikolai: