Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad continue to hold a strong lead in the 2022 Iron Dog. They completed the northern Red Dog loop in 13 hours of nearly non-stop riding on Feb. 23, then checked into Unalakleet that night at 9:19 p.m.
Former second-position racers Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie were forced to scratch out before leaving Nome on Feb. 23. Leslie was injured on the run into Nome, and was unable to continue the race. Mike Morgan of Nome and his teammate Chris Olds took over second position, and managed to gain a little ground on Aklestad and Olstad. Morgan and Olds started an hour and 13 minutes behind the leaders in Nome on Feb. 23, but they closed that lead to just an hour and one minute by the end of the day. Morgan and Olds checked into Unalakleet at 10:20 p.m. on Feb. 23.
Brad George and Robby Schachle were in sixth position when they arrived in Nome on the afternoon of Feb. 21, but they’ve now climbed to third. They’re about two and a half hours behind Morgan and Olds in overall course time. They arrived in Unalakleet at 1:45 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 24, but they only declared an eight-hour layover. The first two teams declared 13-hour layovers, which means George and Schachle were the first racers out of Unalakleet on Feb. 24.
Rounding out the top five, Bradley Kishbaugh and Kelly Sommer, now in fourth position, checked into Unalakleet at 3:14 a.m. on Feb. 24, and Tom Davis and Zack Weisz, in fifth, arrived in Unalakleet at 5:21 a.m. on Feb 24.
Checking in with the Nome-based teams, Jarvis and Jordan Miller climbed to seventh by the morning of Feb. 24. They checked into Unalakleet at 3:56 a.m. on Feb. 24, a little less than three hours behind Shane Barber and Troy Conlon in sixth. Evan and Steffen Booth were in ninth that morning. They checked out of Kotzebue at 2:46 a.m. on Feb. 24 and passed through Koyuk at 7:34 a.m. that morning.
Eleven teams had scratched out of the race by the morning of Feb. 24, leaving just 17 still in the running.
Aside from Boylan and Leslie, those scratched teams are:
- Jim Baldwin and Steven Williamson
- Chad Moore and Travis Temple
- Geoff Crouse and Trevor Helwig
- Cody Barber and Brett Lapham
- Leah Bauer and Jacob Dahle
- Jesse Bradley and Tad Covault
- Jeff Stoll and Dan Zimmerman
- Chad Gueco and Cody Moen
- Joe Brady and Gage Schaak
- Steven and Sven Gustafson
Image at top: Iron Dog racer Chris Collins rides past a crowd of race fans in Kotzebue. Photo by Tom Stokes. Used with permission of Iron Dog 2022.