Iron Dog Race Update, Hale Brothers First to Leave Koyuk En Route to Nome

Snow machine racer on trail.

Brett Lapham and Zack Weisz have taken over first position in the leaderboard. The team checked out of Unalakleet on the way to Nome at 10:08 this morning with 30 layover hours used.

The Hale brothers are the only team to have checked out of Koyuk at this point. However, their total course time is 19 hours and 36 minutes, which is about 3 hours longer than Lapham and Weisz’s total time.

Mike Morgan and Chris Olds are now in second position, following closely behind Lapham and Weiss’s team. Morgan and Olds checked out of Unalakleet only 5 minutes after them at 10:13 this morning, and also having used 30 hours of layover.

Following Morgan and Olds, in third position, is the team of Brad George and Robert Schacle. They checked out of Unalakleet at 10:17 this morning with 30 hours of layover used.

The rest of the top five includes the rookies Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie in fourth and Kenneth and Kruz Kleewein still in fifth.

According to Iron Dog’s Executive Director Mike Vasser, all Pro Class racers received a COVID-19 test in Galena per the Iron Dog COVID plan. The next COVID-19 test will be in Nome.

Dr. Wade Erickson of the Expedition class had to scratch yesterday due to an injury he sustained during a crash. According to a release from Iron Dog, Erickson rode 400 miles with a punctured lung and some broken ribs before ending his race and receiving medical attention.

In other Iron Dog news, the Nome team of Jarvis and Jordan Miller scratched in Puntilla early on Day one. Vasser said in a statement that frustrating mechanical issues was the reason for the brother’s early exit in this year’s race.

Similarly, last year’s champs Tyler Akelstad and Nick Olstad experienced mechanical issues shortly into the race but were able to declare a layover in Puntilla and fix the necessary parts. That wrench and repair time will go towards their running race clock time.

The first racers could arrive into Nome later this afternoon. Stay tuned to KNOM Update News at 5pm for the next 2021 Iron Dog race update.

Image at top: A racer comes through Nome during the 2019 Iron Dog snowmachine race. The Iron Dog race crosses more than 2,400 miles of Alaska backcountry.