Future Iditarod champions right here!
Big News! Big News! Aliy Zirkle has once again captured first place after blowing through the Ruby checkpoint this morning at 9a.m. AST, overtaking both Mitch and Dallas Seavey who opted to take their mandatory eight hour layover in Ruby, rather than push on to Galena.
Two more mushers have scratched since Silvia Furtwängler dropped out yesterday,with Ryan Redington and Wade Marrs pulling out of the competition due to fatigue and concern for their dogs' well being.
So far this year, warm weather and smooth trails have helped push teams further and faster than ever before. With day six well underway and Galena less than 400 miles to Nome, this year's Iditarod has the potential to be a year of lightning times and shattered records.
Stay tuned for more Iditarod 2012 updates, right here at I Has a Hot Dog!
With 30 of the 66 teams already resting at Takotna, the eighth checkpoint along the Iditarod trail, this year's race is on pace to be the fastest ever recorded.
Takotna is situated over 350 miles from Anchorage and only 623 miles from Nome. Most mushers have chosen this checkpoint as the location to take their 24 hour break, and there has been little change in the top standings as a result.
Aliy Zirkle is still in first place, with John Baker holding on tight to second. Surprisingly, Lance Mackey has slipped from third to 32nd place and has decided to take a long rest at McGrath, rather than push his team the final 18 miles to Takotna.
Taking Mackey's place behind Zirkle and Baker is Mitch Seavey, the 2004 Iditarod champion and veteran musher who had to withdraw last year at Ophir after severely injuring his fingers with an axe. Seavey is fielding an almost identical team to the one he ran in 2011 and should be considered a serious contender for this year's Iditarod race.
For current standings, checkpoint interviews, and in-depth Iditarod news visit Iditarod.com!
Zoya DeNure is a veteran musher and works at rehabilitating and rescuing dogs with her friend John Schandelmeier when not training for the Iditarod.
DeNure and Schandelmeier own and operate Crazy Dog Kennels, where 25 of their 45 sled dogs are rescues. "We're retraining these 'discarded' dogs and running them in the main team or placing them with the appropriate musher" says DeNure. "We're excited to say we're making a difference, one dog at a time."
For more info and photos on DeNure's 2012 Iditarod team or to learn more about Crazy Dog Kennels, you can check out dogsleddenali.com!