A 36-year-old Anchorage cyclist has absolutely shattered the record for the time it takes man or beast to cover the 350 miles of Iditarod Trail up and over the Alaska Range from the headwaters of Cook Inlet to the Interior community of McGrath. Oh, what a difference the weather makes in Alaska.
One of the most notorious sections of the Iditarod Trail is now a little less perilous. Iditarod Trail Committee crews spent three weeks in October chain sawing, mulching and packing down a 20-mile section between the checkpoints of Rohn and Farewell Lake.
When an SUV slammed into musher Karin Hendrickson's four-wheeler Tuesday evening, she was thrown into the air and her dogs ran from the scene of the accident. She landed in a ditch about 20 feet away, then began making phone calls.
It's hard to tell who's actually leading a race due to the idiosyncrasies of start-time adjustments, mandatory layovers, trailside camping, and general musher sneakiness. And the unknown is part of the sport's appeal.
Lean dogs in the middle of the Iditarod race are a concern to everyone because they may not have the reserves they need to both run hard and keep themselves warm if the weather gets too windy or too cold.