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Baker, strategizing runs and rests in Ruby

John Baker in Ruby

John Baker in Ruby, Friday morning, a few minutes before departing the checkpoint. (He left, with 12 dogs, at 10:53am.)

It was an “uneventful, cold” run to Ruby, John Baker says.

“Things went smoothly.”

The Kotzebue musher and 2011 champion (and current record-holder for the fastest Iditarod run ever) talked with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Ruby on Friday morning.

John Baker sled dog in Ruby

In Ruby on Friday morning, a sled dog from John Baker’s team gets some rest a few minutes before mushing on to Galena.

With Laureli, Baker talked about the strategy of when and where he’s taking his mandatory rests (the 24-hour layover and the 8-hour layover on the Yukon River).

Baker took his 24 hour layover in the Cripple checkpoint, he says, so that he could hold off on his 8-hour (Yukon) layover until later in the race – ultimately, to allow him to bring a “fresher” team to the Norton Sound coast.

In Ruby this morning, Baker was thus hoping to delay his 8-hour Yukon layover until Kaltag, the last checkpoint where he’d be eligible to do so.

With 12 dogs, John Baker was feeling pretty good in Ruby this morning: