The front runners in this year’s Iron Dog continue to push closer and closer to the finish in Fairbanks, yet one team was sent backwards on the trail yesterday. Team 8 of Tyson Johnson and Tyler Aklestad reached White Mountain yesterday 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.
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 Zack Weisz and Brett Lapham who according to the leaderboard, elected to take an eight hour layover in Tanana. Nome racer Jarvis Miller and partner Amos Cruise are currently spending ten-hours in Galena. They arrived into that checkpoint at 3:32 this morning in ninth position.
The race to the finish will resume after 11pm tonight, once the first-position team of Morgan and Olds can get back on the trail.
Image at the top: KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen with Mike Morgan during Iron Dog snowmachine race.