Posts Tagged ‘Nome’

Iditarod (More)


March 12th, 2013 Posted 9:43 am

Reporting from Bisbee AZ. Real Chet and Bernie country.

First, here’s the latest from Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook, our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth. Many thanks, Rebecca. She’s already at the finish line in Nome.

The team pulled into Unalakleet not too long ago after a long day on the trail.  What Chet might like to know about Unalakleet is that some of the best pizza I’ve ever had was in this town that serves as the first checkpoint on the coast.  Pizza aside, I look at Unalakleet as the entry point for the final third of the race.  There are 236 miles until the finish line.  

I arrived in Nome midday on Monday.  Not only would Snowhook like to share the starting line with the Plunderers, but the finish line in Nome as well.  Wouldn’t that be something!  Race fans from parts near and far have begun to pour into Nome.  Flights are full, motels are booked, and there is a constant chatter of the race on the street and at the temporary race headquarters.  The burled arch is in place on Front Street, snow has been plowed onto the road, and everyone awaits the arrival of teams.  The unofficial rule of thumb is to expect a team to cross the finish line twenty-four hours after the team leaves the checkpoint of Elim.  This means we could see the winning team cross the finish line on Tuesday evening. 

And here are two members of the team, Jesse and Lefty.


Welcome Misti.




March 16th, 2012 Posted 8:39 am

“Yes!” says Spence. “AJ and the Snowhook team reached – and blew through – our checkpoint: Golovin.”

“So they detoured through Russia?” Admin says. “Didn’t some recent politician say you can see Russia from Alaska?”

“Stop right now,” Spence says. “The big question is – will AJ cross the finish line in Nome tonight? Seems to be a possibility from Rebecca’s (and thanks so much for taking the time to do this, Rebecca) Thursday night report:”

Sometimes you have to push the reset button.  Wednesday was a difficult day, yet AJ and the team have appeared to push that particular button before leaving Koyuk today; they’ve had good run times on the trail today without—and this is my favorite part—any heart sickening, worry causing incidents.  Elim—check.  Golovin—check.  White Mountain—check.

After a mandatory eight hour layover in White Mountain, the team will set out for Nome with only one more stop of their 908 mile journey in between.  White Mountain is a village, but Safety is not.  Safety is a roadhouse that is only opened during the race.  Teams usually blow through Safety as the end of the race nears, yet last year AJ remained in Safety for several hours.  Why the delay to the finish line?  One word—Annabelle.  She is his main leader, and last year as the female alpha and leader she decided to extend the brief stop in Safety.  He could have dropped her and continued on the way less one leader, sure, but he refused.  Our girl had been with him in all his qualifying races, on all of his training runs and it was her that helped him get to the starting line in the first place.  They would cross the line together.  He waited her wait out.

At the finisher’s banquet, I saw a race vet I knew from my time on the trail in 2007.  He was stationed at Safety when Annabelle it was time for a nap.  I stated I understood he spent some quality time with AJ at Safety, to which he confided, “Yeah, I told him ever dirty joke I know and he still wouldn’t leave.”  After a nap, Annabelle rose, told the team it was time and raced to the finish line.

Could we see a late finish on Friday night?  It’s possible.  Rule of thumb—figure on the average run taking 12 hours from White Mountain to Nome, however this can be impacted by dogs, weather and life on the trail.

Welcome long-lost twin.


Ides Of March Edition: Wookie’s Checkpoint, Coming Up!


March 15th, 2012 Posted 7:48 am

“Looks like AJ’s on his way to Elim,” says Spence. “Which is Wookie’s checkpoint. Go Snowhook! We’re talking about the Iditarod, for anyone new here, this great race where we’re very emotionally involved with the Snowhook team.”

“What’s our checkpoint, again?”

“Golovin, I think,” Spence says.

“Sounds Russian,” Admin says.

“I don’t think they go that far.”

“But have they been through Golovin yet?”

“Not sure. How about we give Rebecca a call today? She’s in Nome.”

“Why not?”

Welcome Smiley LaBrador and Bazalgette.


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