Competitors in this year’s Iron Dog Snowmachine Race are making their way back to Big Lake after an overnight in Kotzebue. With roughly 900 miles to go, the top three teams left Unalakleet just before 11 a.m. today, with less than 15 minutes separating them. KOTZ reports:

The team of Brad George and Robert Schachle are the current leaders, with Brett Lapham and Zack Weisz right behind them. Bryan Leslie and Casey Boylan are holding on to third. The next checkpoint for the teams is in Kaltag.

The team of Chris Olds and Mike Morgan is in fourth, having left Shaktoolik at just before 11:30AM. Andrew Gumley and Klinton VanWingerden were about fifty miles behind them, departing Koyuk.

All 17 remaining Iron Dog teams have left Kotzebue with the last pair, Utah racers Mark Nelson and Daniel Thomas, leaving at 11:30 this morning. 

Leaders are expected to hit the Galena checkpoint this evening and take their layovers, though officials say some racers may continue on to the checkpoint in McGrath, about 250 miles further down the trail.

This story was written by KOTZ Radio and republished with permission.

Image at top: The Iron Dog Race Map from 2021’s race. Photo from race website (2021)