The leaders in this year’s Iron Dog race left Kaltag last night after 9 p.m. and are now on a layover in Galena.
Team 7 of Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad hold onto a very tight advantage with less than 700 miles left in the race. They are scheduled to depart Galena by 9:30 a.m. this morning, Feb. 23, after completing an 11-hour layover.
Aklestad and Olstad will be given a time credit of 23 minutes based on their return journey to White Mountain Wednesday morning, according to Iron Dog race marshal Tyson Johnson.
The pair of racers came across the Ambassador Team of riders who were stuck in a foot of water in Golovin Bay, Johnson said.
Aklestad and Olstad brought some of the wettest ambassadors back to White Mountain then refueled and departed the checkpoint for the second time that day.
Iron Dog rules require racers to stop and assist anyone they encounter along the trail during the race who might be in a life-threatening situation.
Wet and heavy snow along with ice buildup could prove problematic for the race leaders. Trail reports indicate Iron Doggers will face half a foot of new snow between Ruby and Poorman, which will most likely slow racers down while they break trail.
Nome’s Miller brothers, Jarvis and Jordan, are currently in 4th position about five hours behind Aklestad and Olstad in total course time. Chad Gueco and Cody Moen are in 11th position.
Image at top: Most teams have made it to Galena for a layover. Photo by Iron Dog, used with permission (2023).