Iditarod 2019, Day 6: Lead Mushers Finish Their 24’s

As Iditarod’s frontrunners finish their mandatory, 24-hour layovers, the mathematics of the leaderboard begin to simplify, and leaders begin to emerge.

Here are highlights of KNOM’s Iditarod coverage from Thursday, March 7.

Stories and Leaderboard Analysis

  • As of Thursday afternoon, Nicolas Petit holds on to position 1. He’s completed his 24-hour layover and is currently the only musher to have departed the Iditarod checkpoint (at 12:22pm Thursday). Petit is still running with a full string of 14 dogs.
  • Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes points out that, while Aliy Zirkle was first to the Iditarod checkpoint (the halfway point of the race) and declared her 24-hour layover there, other mushers who had taken their 24-hour rest elsewhere were primed to overtake Zirkle in the standings. Read more in “As 24’s End, Iditarod Leaders Emerge.”
  • There has been only one scratch so far in Iditarod 2019, an unusually low number for this point in the race. Zach spoke with Bruce Lee, a retired musher and Iditarod analyst, on possible explanations for this year’s low scratch count and context for how much the race has changed over the decades. Listen to the interview with Lee in “As of Thursday Afternoon, There’s Only One ‘Scratch’ in Iditarod 2019. That’s Unusual.”

Trail Weather Forecast

UAF climatologist Rick Thoman predicts light snow and possibly even rain in the near future for McGrath to Shageluk. Temperatures in the 20s–30s will likely make the trail “slow in places,” Thoman says:

Photos (Takotna)

A large pack of Iditarod mushers departed Takotna on Thursday, or were resting there. All photos below are from Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes (click to expand):