Shortly after the 7am race update this morning, brothers Joseph and Israel Hale checked out of Kaltag leading the remaining field of 19 Iron Doggers. The Hales are rookies to the pro class but they’re coming off their first Expedition or Trail class win in 2020.

That puts Brett Lapham and Zack Weisz in second position with 30 total layover hours used at this point. They have taken four more layover hours than the leaders, but they are not yet to Kaltag. Also note that the Hales have a total course time of 17 hours and 21 minutes while Lapham and Weisz have about 13 hours and 19 minutes.

Behind them are Mike Morgan of Nome and his teammate Chris Olds also with 30 layover hours. They left Galena this morning at 7:08am about nine minutes after Lapham and Weiss.

Rounding out the top five are Andrew Gumley and Klinton VanWingerden in fourth followed by Kenneth and Kruz Kleewein.

All 20 teams left in this year’s race have reached Galena as of 8am. According to Iron Dog‘s Executive Director Mike Vasser, all Pro Class racers received a COVID-19 test in Galena per the Iron Dog COVID plan.

Dr. Wade Erickson of the Expedition class had to scratch yesterday due to an injury he sustained during a crash. According to a release from the Iron Dog, Erickson rode 400 miles with a punctured lung and some broken ribs before ending his race and receiving medical attention.

In other Iron Dog news, the Nome team of Jarvis and Jordan Miller scratched in Puntilla early on Day One. Vasser said in a statement that frustrating mechanical issues was the reason for the brother’s early exit in this year’s race.

Similarly, last year’s champs Tyler Akelstad and Nick Olstad experienced mechanical issues shortly into the race but were able to declare a layover in Puntilla and fix the necessary parts. That wrench and repair time will go towards their total race course time.

Stay tuned to KNOM Update News for the next 2021 Iron Dog race update.

Image at top: Tyler Akelstad and Nick Olstad arrive into Nome first in the 2020 Iron Dog. In this year’s Iron Dog, they have fallen behind due to mechanical issues early on in the race. Photo from Davis Hovey, KNOM (2020).