Thursday, March 14, 2024

Ten teams still on the trail

All eyes have turned to "the back of the pack" today as the final ten teams continue to make their way to the finish line. Like most years the back is filled with Iditarod rookies, though the team closest to Nome at the moment is Iditarod Veteran Anna Berington. The teams stretch from just before Safety to just outside of Elim. If all goes well all teams will be in by Friday evening.

Fans have been puzzled at the slow movement of Bryce Mumford who finally made it to Unalakleet Wednesday night. The tracker shows him resting at the airport in the Coastal town. Current standings have not updated to showing him as checked in. So just what is going on? ITC has been silent.

Experience suggests Mumford's race has come to an end, either by scratch or withdrawal for lack of competitiveness. It seems harsh, but logistically he is at least two days behind the rest of the teams at the rate he's gone the last several days. They cannot keep volunteers who have jobs and lives to get back to in checkpoints indefinitely. It also becomes a danger to the team to be alone out on the trail. Yes, trail sweeps will follow along, but again it's a volunteer crew.

The ITC typically updates faster than it has here, and so one can only wonder if the PR team finally got some sleep after a long race and the announcement is just delayed. Here's hoping someone speaks soon.

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