Iditarod 2012 Update: The Final Day!

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Iditarod leader Dallas Seavey left the White Mountain checkpoint this morning, with only 77 miles and one final checkpoint separating himself from Nome and total victory over the toughest race in the world.

As it stands, Dallas Seavey has an hour lead on Aliy Zirkle and almost two hours on the third place musher, Ramey Smyth. The only question now, is whether or not Zirkle's 10 dog team can overtake Seavey's 9 dog team before he reaches Nome.

Iditarod officials announced this morning that they expect Seavey to arrive in Nome sometime between 5p.m. and 6p.m. this evening, so stay tuned for the final results of this year's race right here at

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Nine

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Nine
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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!

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Eight

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Eight
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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 Another musher, Zoya Denure, has scratched and withdrawn her team from the race, but did not provide any explanation to judges or team officials.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!

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Seven

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Seven
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Day seven of the Iditarod is well underway, and the race is turning into a duel between former Yukon Quest champions Aily Zirkle and Dallas Seavey. Both Zirkle and Seavey have already cleared Nulato and are making their way toward Kaltag, with the rest of the pack fading further and further behind.

Kaltag is the final checkpoint that follows the Yukon River, and is only 261 miles from the finish line at Nome. However, the final stretch will not be easy, as racers make their way to Unalakleet and the edge of the Bering Sea. High winds, low visibility and fatigue become prominent factors along the coast, where the elements amplify the physical stress of the race with the intense mental fatigue of strategy.

The final stretch from Unalakleet is where winners are made and spirits are broken; where strategy and counterattacks are critical; and when experienced dogs matter most.

The toughest race on Earth is about to get a whole lot tougher, so stay tuned for more updates right here at I Has a Hot Dog!

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Six

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Six
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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!

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Five

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Five
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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!

Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Three

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Iditarod 2012 Update: Day Three
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A big day on the trail today, with female musher Aily Zirkle moving up from 14th on Sunday to first place, overtaking seven other mushers between the Rainy Pass and Rohn checkpoints with a pace of 9.17MPH.

The time between first and second place is incredibly tight, with only nine minutes separating Aily Zirkle and her team from Kelley Griffin, another female musher who also made huge gains on the rest of the pack during the night. Griffin is setting a more conservative pace than Zirkle, averaging 8.17MPH en route to the sixth checkpoint at Nikolai.

With 75 miles separating Rohn and Nikolai, the slow and steady mushers have an opportunity to make some big moves today.

Lead mushers are expected to arrive later this morning to the Nikolai checkpoint, so be sure to check back this afternoon for another Iditarod update!

*side note: two out of the three lead mushers are women? You go girls!