Friday, March 9, 2012

It's the Seavey, Zirkle show!

Mitch Seavey leaves Willow Lake on Sunday.
Seavey is currently running in second place.
The 24 hour layovers did wonders for the top teams. Concern that Aliy Zirkle would not bounce back from her schedule seems to have disolved as she has a firm command of the trail at this point. Until a few minutes ago she was the only one headed to Galena with both Seavey's - who have been running 1 and 2 up to Ruby after their 24s - opting to take their mandatory 8 hour rest. Each team must stop for 8 hours in a checkpoint in one of the four Yukon River checkpoints. Zirkle has yet to take hers. Most expect her to rest in Nulato.
Dallas is, however, the one to watch. He posted the fastest run time to Ruby of the top contenders, and his team is looking solid and, the musher says, "spunky." Mitch was not as happy with his team, and sounds to be pretty tired himself. While Mitch was first to the Yukon, it may have come at a price. Mitch will be watching over his shoulder, and will not be surprised to see Dallas catch or even pass him. This is not to count Mitch out, time will tell if his team can kick into a new and unknown gear, he seems to be holding his own as he travels the second section of the Yukon.

Folks are still hoping for one of two historic options: Aliy Zirkle becoming only the third woman to win the Iditarod, or Dallas and Mitch running down front street in the 1-2 position in some order. Should Dallas win he will also become the youngest musher to win - taking that title from Rick Swenson who was 26 when he won his first Iditarod.

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