Aaron Burmeister has been trying to win the Iditarod for 20 years. Dallas Seavey has won the race four times already. Will it be a fifth victory for Seavey, or will Burmeister finally succeed?
At this stage of the race it's all about getting to Skwetna first for the last mandatory rest. The sprint to the finish is exciting, with at least three mushers still in the race for first place.
Seavey, Burmeister and Sass
It seems that the battle for first place will be in between Seavey, Burmeister and Sass.
Burmeister has a large, strong team that he has run conservatively and sensibly all the way.
Seavey has a strong winning mentality and is athletic himself, so he can help the dogs by running up the slopes.
Sass is enduring and used to covering long distances with little rest. Sass stopped before Finger Lake and left just before Marrs and Redington in 4th and 5th place were to pass him.
I think Dallas seems strongest now, but there is still one day left of racing, so things can turn around quickly, says Thomas Wærner.
Is a fifth victory within reach?
Dallas Seavey was the first musher to reach Finger Lake. This year’s race is in many ways a comeback for Dallas Seavey. It will be a huge personal victory for him to be able to claim his fifth victory. Only one man has done that before him, Rick Swenson. He won five times, in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1991, and is the only person to win in three separate decades.
Top ten for Joar
Joar Ulsom has taken a little more rest lately, as the team has been battling a few issues. He now adjusts the race plan according to the dogs' needs.
Joar has only top seven finishes in the Iditarod. It definitely looks like he will manage the top ten, and it will be very exciting to see if he manages the top seven this year as well
It's impressive to see Joar's perseverance and ability to always perform consistently well.
A previous year's winner, Peter Kaiser has had to make the difficult decision to scratch from the race. He is the eighth musher to scratch.
What a thriller!
The top mushers are now out of Finger Lake, headed to Skwenta for that final mandatory 8-hour rest. It is only about six kilometers between Burmeister in second and Seavey in first.
This is going to be a nerve-wracking nose to tail race toward the finish line in Deshka Landing!