Twenty-one mushers have crossed the finish line in Deshka Landing, leaving 15 teams still out on the historic Iditarod Gold Trail Loop. Leading the 15 remaining teams is Chad Stoddard of Anchorage. Right now, Chad Stoddard is set to be the Rookie of the Year as the first rookie to cross the finish line.
Cody Strathe and Matthew Failor have finished this year’s Iditarod Trail. Strathe reached Deshka at 10:45 this morning, and Failor at 12:03, cementing the 20th and 21st finishing positions.
About 100 miles down the trail from Stoddard are some fellow rookies vying for the honor of the 2021 Red Lantern. Dakota Schlosser of Willow and Victoria Hardwick of Bethel continue to go neck and neck for that position, occasionally tagged out by Will Troshynski of Two Rivers. Schlosser comes from a mushing family, he is 22 years old and ran the Jr. Iditarod in 2015. He has also done the Willow 200 and K300. Hardwick lives and mushes in Bethel — she was also the Red Lantern in in the 2019 Iditarod. Troshynski, like Schlosser, is also doing his rookie run. Troshynski is a transman who runs in awareness of LGBT issues and mental health. He’s originally from Wyoming and began mushing under the tutelage of Martin Buser.
For the back of the pack, temperatures are warming up in the Alaska Range. As mushers come into Skwentna for their final leg they will have temperatures as high as 34 degrees today with a real feel of 26. It’ll drop down to zero for the evening with some light wind so that could make for some pleasant mushing for the back of our pack.
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Image at top: Sled dog from an 2020 Iditarod team at the finish line in Nome. Photo from JoJo Phillips, KNOM (2020).