In Iditarod 44, a combination of high-quality dog care, mental toughness, and resiliency brought many mushers to Nome in record times.
Sass had his dogs ready to go right as his 8-hour rest ended in White Mountain. But they wouldn’t budge.
“Unless there’s a big earthquake, one of us is going to win,” Mitch Seavey predicted about himself and his son, Dallas, during his layover in White Mountain.
It’s become a close race between Brent Sass and Mitch and Dallas Seavey, as the three jockey for position and scramble through the final checkpoints of Iditarod 44.
Unalakleet was buzzing overnight as Iditarod mushers and their dog teams arrived on the Bering Sea Coast. Their sense of urgency was palpable.
We caught up with Brent Sass at a remote shelter cabin along the trail between Kaltag and Unalakleet as the dogs rested in a midday sun Saturday.
On Friday, some Iditarod mushers chose to push their teams before taking the mandatory break on the Yukon River.
“It’s always good to get to the Yukon,” Iditarod musher Brent Sass says.
Halfway to Nome, the real racing has begun.
Mushers give themselves options for where to take their 24-hour layovers. Jeff King is breaking from the pack by intending to 24 in Ruby, where, he says, a mimosa will be waiting.