The Iron Dog 2023 race restarted in Galena at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 and saw the 15 remaining teams begin to move southbound toward the finish at Big Lake.
The restart came after officials announced at noon that the competition was on hold to allow for fuel to be moved to checkpoints where snow conditions have worsened. The stoppage was to ensure that every participant in the race can fill their tanks to deal with unexpected snowfall, according to an Iron Dog Facebook page.
The race restarted with team 7 of Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad remaining in first position. Team 14 of Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie departed Galena in second position at 4:37 p.m., and team 39 of Casey Barber and Brett Lapham got underway in third position at 4:56 p.m. Nome’s Miller brothers, Jarvis and Jordan, were scheduled to depart in fourth position at 5:26 p.m. Nome’s Cody Moen and Wasilla’s Chad Gueco, team 8, were set to leave Galena in 11th position at 6:46 p.m.
All teams took a layover in Galena; each team must, at specific and checkpoints of their choosing, take layovers of varying length. Mandatory layovers on the northbound portion of the race — between Skwentna and Nome — are in McGrath, Unalakleet, Kotzebue and Nome, according to the Iron Dog race rule book. On the southbound route, from Nome back to Skwentna, Pro Class race teams will be allowed to take up to 40 hours of layover time at stops of their choosing. The layovers are taken in one-hour increments.
The race organization on Wednesday announced that Dave and Penny McKibbon, Steve Mattila and Eric Johnson were inducted into the Iron Dog Hall of Fame. The inductees will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the 2023 Awards & Hall of Fame Banquet in Wasilla.
Image at top: Fuel delivery comes courtesy of two-time champions, Tyler Huntington and Cliff Cleaver. Photo by Melissa Captain, courtesy of Iron Dog, used with permission (2023).