For the past week, our family has been tracking the Iditarod racers via GPS and watching nightly video clips from the Iditarod Insider on location at the checkpoints. It’s been a very exciting race! Due to lack of snow near the usual start near Wascilla, the race start was moved to Fairbanks in search of winter. Fairbanks not only had snow, but it had wonderful conditions for the first day of the race… then… the racers did indeed find winter. A big ole Alaska-like winter – with temperatures plummeting to -45 below zero. Real air temp! Not having trained in those conditions all winter, it was an apparent shock to mushers and probably dogs too. Mushers like DeeDee Jonrowe and Lance Mackey both came into checkpoints early in the race with frozen fingers. Mackey lost his gloves while untangling the team in -30 weather and he not only lost feeling in his hands, but they swelled so much that he couldn’t put booties on the dogs. His brother, also in the race, decided to stay behind and help Lance along. We hope he finishes – and keeps his fingers. Well, nine of them anyway (he’s already lost one). Which leads me on a tangent. At the mushers banquet, as mushers were signing autographs, it seemed as though a great many were missing digits. I really want to know how many have all of their fingers and toes. Hmm… or do I want to know. Maybe not. Okay, back to the race. Our favorite mushers, Kristy and Anna, seem to be sticking together on the trail. They’ve pretty much stayed in the upper-middle of the pack and seem to be keeping okay time. By the look of the photo below, it appears that the weather has taken a toll on them! But the cold temperatures are dissipating now – which actually leads to other issues on the trail. Aliy Zirkle (another fav) may have rested a little too long before getting to the coast because when she arrived there, the warmer temps made the trails extremely slow. She lost a lot of time and it looks like she won’t be a contender for 1st into Nome. Dallas Seavey on the other hand, appears to be set with a four hour lead over his father, Mitch Seavey, and rival, Jason Burmeister. All three are currently resting at a checkpoint almost 100 miles away from Nome. Jason did have a lead on Dallas but a snowstorm rolled in and he had to break trail for an entire night. If all goes well and Alaska doesn’t have a surprise storm in the works, it looks like Dallas will be mushing his team under the famous burled arch in Nome for his 3rd victory.