Saturday, February 25, 2012

Junior Iditarod sits at the halfway point.

Ben Lyons at the finish of the JrT - Jan 2012
Lyons holds a small lead at the halfway point
of the Junior Iditarod this weekend.
Nine of the ten mushers who started the race this morning have made it into the halfway checkpoint at Yentna Station. Rookie Ben Lyons - who is sponsored, in part, by the Seavey family and is running their dogs - came into Yentna first at 5:51pm AKST. Ben does not have a cusion, however, as Conway Seavey was right on his heels coming in just two minutes later and Bailey Vitello checked in one minute after Conway. Benjamin Harper came in just five minutes after the leader. 

This is not the first time Conway and Ben have been neck and neck from the half way point. In January they were one and two in the JuniorT, with Conway coming into the finish just minutes before Ben. Their banter in the checkpoints then was entertaining to the volunteers, their friendship is evident, but both proved they were equally competitive.

Conway was poised to have a close finish last year with Merissa Osmar, but a wrong turn found both mushers finishing near the back of the pack. Conway told the Junior Iditarod organizers that one of the reasons he wanted to run this year was so that he could redeem himself for the mistake, that there were members of his family making sure he didn't forget it.

Only one team is out on the trail this evening trying to make his way to Yentna. As of 8:40pm Brayson Bruton - a rookie from Willow, Alaska - was at mile 52.75 of the trail, Yentna is mile 75.

No comments:

Post a Comment