Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mission Accomplished

The mushers have been streaming in to Nome for the last several days.  This is one of the fastest years for times, probably because the weather mostly cooperated.  There was big storm of several feet of snow early on and several racers were knocked about, some severely, in the Dalzell Gorge, but for the most part the Farewell Burn was not as difficult as predicted, there has been no reporting of ice overflow on the Yukon,  and no major wind storms on the coast. The other deciding factor has been temperature.  The dogs like it cold and it has certainly been that with temps near or below 0°F for the most part.  Good thing the start was not this week as it was 43°F in Anchorage yesterday and 28°F in Nome.

Last night (EDT) looked like a good window for the group that Newton was running with to come in.  They don't really run in groups but the racers seem to settle out into sections that are in a checkpoint within 3-4 hours of each other.

While the webcam is not the clearest picture it is all I have and almost immediate, plus I can take screen shots.  Actually it's thrilling to be watching people moving in real time 4500 miles away in a totally different climate.  Also 'talking' with folks on Ravelry in our Iknitarod forum at the same time is too cool.

The first one I saw come in yesterday was a rookie (BTW rookie means first time in THIS race) from Fairbanks.  Tamara Rose is a veterinarian and a baker who placed 43rd arriving with 9 dogs.

Just a few minutes behind her was Art Church, Jr  from Willow arriving in 44th place with 10 dogs.

Then there was some wait time.  The wind chill must have been quite something in Nome the last few days because even though a finishing team was expected within 30 - 40 minutes the street cleared out until folks were told they were off the ice and coming on to Front Street. During the waits I kept myself amused with Iknitarod knitting.

Excitedly awaited was rookie Wattie McDonald from Stonehaven, Scotland, UK who came in with all 16 starting dogs and placed 45th.  I did not see them but a fellow Iknitarodder, who is an Iditarod Insider member so could access special video footage, heard Bag Pipes playing on her computer.

About a half hour later  Lachlan Clarke from Buena Vista, CO arrived in 46th place with 11 dogs.

Then it looked like it might be another hour wait for Newton but that same Iknitarodder wrote me that Newton was actually nearer than I thought.  As taught by Lance, he stopped just before he came off the ice and gave each dog a hug and thank you for the effort and work they all did. 

I was cheering too as he came in with 11 dogs, placing 47 out of a field of 56, 
waving the Jamaican flag.

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