With less than 120 miles to Nome and roughly 20 minutes separating first and second place sled dog teams, the battle for this year's Iditarod championship is coming right down to the wire.
Earlier this morning, Dallas Seavey blasted through Koyuk and pushed his team forward to Elim, the 18th checkpoint along the trail, situated along the coast of the Bering Sea and only 95 miles from Nome. Meanwhile, Aily Zirkle is nipping at Seavey's heels. Although Zirkle is trailing by 20 minutes, she is running a team of 12 dogs while Seavey is down to just 11, allowing her to gain ground and time on the leader with each passing mile.
Be sure to check in tomorrow for what is sure to be the final day of the 2012 Iditarod race! My money is on Zirkle to bring it all in, but I'll never count a Seavey out, so at this point it is anyone's guess! Who knows, maybe even last year's winner John Baker will pull some tricks out of his sleeve and jump from fourth to first down the home stretch!
Stick around for more updates right here, at I Has a Hot Dog!
Day eight of the 2012 Iditarod is underway, with Aily Zirkle maintaining her 40 minute lead over Dallas Seavey and hang on to first place after reaching Unalakleet around 7:30a.m. AST this morning.
Only three mushers have made it to Unalakleet so far today, with the majority of the teams in Kaltag or en route. Another musher, Zoya Denure, has scratched and withdrawn her team from the race, but did not provide any explanation to judges or team officials. This is her third consecutive year to withdraw from the race, after finishing 53rd in her rookie season back in 2008.
62 teams remain, and over 200 miles of ground separates the leaders from their final destination in Nome. Stay tuned for more Iditarod updates from your pals here at I Has a Hot Dog!
Day five is underway, and teams are already making their way toward Cripple, the tenth checkpoint on this year's Iditarod trail.
Musher Aily Zirkle, the woman who has dominated this year's race so far, has slipped to fourth place, with Jim Lanier now in the lead. John Baker has also dropped from second to seventh place, as mushers Trent Herbst and Mitch Seavey battle it out for second place.
Surprisingly, only one musher has scratched so far, which is rare this late in the race. Rookie Silvia Furtwängler threw in the towel last night after arriving at the Nikolai checkpoint due to concerns about her health.
For more real-time updates and in-depth coverage, go to Iditarod.com!
Naki'o was abandoned as a pupper in Nebraska and had super bad frostbite from getting stuck in a frozen puddle. Poor little guy lost his paws. But now he has all new feet and can run and play just like every other dog! Hooray for his human, Christie Tomlinson, and Othopets who designed his new legs!