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Photos: a Saturday pivot to the coast

Sonny Lindner arrives into Unalakleet, Saturday evening

Sonny Lindner pulls into the Unalakleet checkpoint Saturday night: 6:09pm arrival, 14 dogs.

From Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, Iditarod 42′s competitors have been moving from one body of water to another: off of the Yukon River and onto the Norton Sound coast.

Yesterday, race leaders were passing through the transitional checkpoints of Kaltag and Unalakleet – Kaltag, the last of the Yukon stopovers (and the last chance to take the mandatory Yukon layover), and Unalakleet, the gateway to the Norton Sound.

Not too far past the horizon, about two days’ worth of mushing down the coast, the Nome finish line awaits.

Both for the lead mushers and the Iditarod officials and race fans following them, the race is now in full swing. The discretionary layovers (the 24-hour layover and 8-hour Yukon layover) have been completed for all but the back-of-the-pack mushers, which makes the mathematics of analyzing the race standings a bit easier. At this point, whoever is ahead in the standings truly is ahead in the race – at least, for the moment.

See photos from Saturday, in Kaltag and Unalakleet, as mushers turned their attention to the final push along the coast:

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