Despite Controversial Trail Conditions, The Race Goes On
Conditions along the Iditarod race trail have been the subject of controversy as twelve mushers have left the trail only 200 miles into the race.
While conditions have contributed to a much faster race, many mushers are concerned about their own safety, the well-being of their dogs and the integrity of their sleds.“We had been told that the gorge had as good of conditions as last year, but that must have changed significantly from the time that the reports were made,” said 31-year Iditarod veteran DeeDee Jonrowe. “I, in 31 years of going down the gorge, have never seen the gorge as bare as it was.”Jonrowe sustained injuries to her head, knee and shoulder when she was repeatedly thrown from her sled. Though the injuries weren’t critical, they were significant enough to force her to make a critical decision to bow out of the race.
Halfway Through Iditarod, Burmeister Cashes In at Cripple
Cha-ching, Aaron Burmeister. The Nenana musher bagged $3,000 in gold nuggets this afternoon for winning the Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award when his team of 13 dogs reached Cripple first at 3:26 p.m.
A first-time recipient of the award, Burmeister edged Jeff King by roughly three miles, according to King's GPS tracker.
Also on their way into Cripple are Sonny Lindner, John Baker and Paul Gebhardt.
As the frontrunners inches toward Cripple, there is speculation over where each will declare his 24-hour layover. According to Iditarod Insider, the trail from Takotna to Cripple is fully blanketed with packed-down snow that is ideal for racing. Information like that indicates some of the front runners might choose to 24 in Ruby.