After a few years away from Iditarod mushing, Aaron Burmeister’s re-entry into the Last Great Race, some had predicted, would be a humble one. Instead, he’s leading the pack.
In Unalakleet – where the Nome musher arrived in third position, at 8:30 Sunday morning – Burmeister said his “team is coming together.” The dogs are “just rockin’ right now,” he told KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen. They’re “exceeding my expectations.”
Burmeister struck a cautiously optimistic tone in Unalakleet. He said that he’s hopeful that he can make it first to White Mountain, which is two checkpoints removed from the finish line and often seen as a final litmus test for Iditarod champions: many who make it to White Mountain first will also make it to Nome first. Although it’s “a long ways… to White Mountain,” Burmeister said – noting that he didn’t “want to get too excited” – he was feeling good for the trail ahead.
Burmeister also confirmed the well-known hospitality of the Unalakleet checkpoint, saying that he felt very “welcomed” to be back on the Norton Sound coast:
Nome’s own Aaron Burmeister was first out of the Unalakleet checkpoint; he departed with a large team – 14 dogs – at 12:35pm Sunday afternoon.