The Koyuk Checkpoint is filling up, but the first team has already left, Dallas Seavey pulling out, right when his dad Mitch pulled in. Dallas quickly stomped in his snowhook and ran back to greet his father. This might be the last time those 2 meet, until the finish line in Nome. Dallas is moving much faster. His runtime over the ice is misleading with him stopping for 2 hrs along the way. That makes his runtime a whooping 2 hrs fast than John Baker and one hour faster than Aliy and Aaron. John is commenting on his slow runs, of they do not feel right, but that his team is doing nothing wrong neither, they just are not on fire this time.
The push up the Coast. Trails have been very soft for the front runners, so a few more of them have been taking shorts rests along the way. Aaron Burmeister took 4 hours in Shaktoolik, while John Baker and Mitch only too about 2 hrs. Dallas took a 2 hour rest on the ice coming over here. The only 2 mushers who have done a hard push over to Koyuk are Aliy Zirkle and right now Ken Anderson is on his way. He is known to run strong on the coast and has set up his dogteam well to pull of a few long runs. After running in the middle of the pack for much of the race, Ken has now pushed his way into the Top 10, same counts for Ramey Smyth.
Into the coastal town of Unalakleet. Running the Yukon River from Nulato to Kaltag was a blast. Flat as a pancake, we could really make time. I now know that my machine tops out at 70 mph, Gerds does 85 mph. I want that one….
It is always exiting to get up first thing in the morning, with the wakup call: Sab, you have 20 minutes, than Aliy comes in. I have gotten used to the fact, that this means typically 5 minutes at best, and sure enough, I barely had clambered outside and saw her zoom around a 90 degree corning coming into the checkpoint, whith her trademark “ holy cow “ expression. That is a very nice looking dogteam she is driving. Aliy wasted no time, her dogs did not even go in the doglot, turned them around on the raod. Gave each a piece of Fish, which they all gobbled up. She had her vetbook signed, loaded a few more snacks and chuckled at the question if she wanted straw. She clearly does not intend to stop before Kaltag.
Saffron and Ruger in lead in Aaron Burmeister’s team. He was going to drop Saffron earlier in the race, because she did not pull. That was because she was FAT. Now that she lost weight, she is her usual self again. This is her 11th Thousandmiler. Ruger is her new boyfriend. Accroding to Aaron, they have been flirting all trip long and egging each other on to go faster.