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Iditarod day one

Monday,  03/06/23  02:06 PM

It's been 24 hours since the "real" start of the Iditarod yesterday; thought I'd check in and see how it's going.  The best way is via the Flow Tracker, which looks like this:

It's super early but at this point there are five mushers in the lead: Richie Diehl, Brent Sass, and Jessie Holmes, who are more or less on the same program - running until recently and now resting around mile 162 - and Ryan Reddington and Hunter Keefe, who are on a different program - have been resting in Rainy Pass for several hours now.  Mille Porsild, Nicolas Petit, and Peter Kaiser are the next three; they're running and look like they're up there, but will have to rest soon.  The Tracker makes this easier to see.

Biggest surprise for me is Wade Mars, a perennial contender who's pretty far back.  He was bib #28 so started late, but still.  And the other thing is the tiny field, it's weird not having 60+ mushers out there.  A key point is that it makes logistics in the early checkpoints easier, and will make the trail better; both often-cited reasons for front running in the early days.

For me the favorite right now is defending champion Brent Sass, based on his average speed of 9.5, considerably faster than anyone else, and his run ratio of [a low] 65%.  But it's only Day One, the tough pass across the Alaska Range lies ahead, including the difficult decent down the back, then the long reaches along the Yukon River, and finally the tough crossing of the ice in Norton Sound.  A week or more in which everything can happen.

Brent Sass and team flying along

Stay tuned!