A dwindling group of Iron Dog racers push on towards Fairbanks. The pack is now down to only fourteen teams.
Team 8 of Tyson Johnson and Tyler Aklestad reached White Mountain Thursday morning but then by afternoon, scratched from the race and were towed back to Nome. According to the Iron Dog website, one of their machine’s motors blew. Aklestad was involved in a crash with team 16 towards the beginning of this race but continued on after making quick repairs. Also scratched from the race are Scott Faeo and Robby Shachle who called it quits in Unalakleet just after midnight. There is no report yet as to why they made their choice.
Looking further up the trail to Manley Hot Springs is where we find current race leaders Mike Morgan and Chris Olds. The returning champs arrived into the checkpoint at 5:05 this morning for their 18-hour layover, just over 300 miles away from the finish line. In second position Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie reached Manley Hot Springs at 5:48 this morning to begin an 18-hour layover.
Rounding out the top three are Andrew Gumley and Klinton VanWingerden who overtook team 5 and began their 18- hour layover in Manley Hotsprings at 8:30 this morning. Nome racer Jarvis Miller and partner Amos Cruise are currently spending ten-hours in Galena but should be back on the move at around 1:30 this afternoon. They are in position 12.
The first-position team of Morgan and Olds will be able to get back on the trail after 11pm tonight. Tune in to KNOM (780 AM, 96.1 FM) newscasts 5pm for more Iron Dog race info.
Image at Top: Mike Morgan is the first racer to reach Nome in Iron Dog 2019. Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM.