Nome, Alaska is abuzz with all things Iditarod today. Our population has swelled with tourists, race officials and other visitors, and on many of their minds is a single question: when?
Predicting Iditarod finishes is always tricky. A ballpark figure for the White Mountain-Nome run is 10 hours (7 hours to the Safety checkpoint, then 3 more to Nome), but this can vary depending on high winds – for which this stretch of trail is notorious – as well as the close standings of the top mushers. If there’s a close race between them, it’s a good bet that the mushers will make the run to the Burled Arch in less time.
As of 3pm, Iditarod’s own GPS tracker shows Dallas Seavey with a substantial – but by no means definitive – lead, with Aliy Zirkle about 10 miles behind him on the trail to Safety.
Judging both by the GPS tracker and historical run times, we might expect Seavey to pass through Safety sometime around 3:30 or 4pm.
If all continues as expected, Dallas Seavey could arrive at the finish line sometime between 6 and 7pm, Tuesday night.
Ultimately, however, this is a race, and even with just hours to go, anything can still happen. All bets are off until we have a musher on Front Street.