I made it to Nome first!
Okay, I cheated by flying but it was still a bit of an ordeal. Nevertheless, I am here and settled into my new "operations center." I've got internet... sort of. It's really slow and not very stable, but I'll do my best to make it work!
Now... Let's take a look at the leader board:
Aliy is doing great! She was 12th into Eagle Island, getting there within 6 hours of all the top runners except Lance. All of them -- again except Lance -- are still there, so she remains right in the thick of it like she has been since the beginning! Go Aliy!
Speaking of Lance, there is no dispute that he is on a tear and doing extremely well. As he himself has said, however, it's way, way too soon to make any predictions. You may be aware that he fell asleep on the sled and got lost yesterday, later commenting that having to turn around and back track had a noticeably adverse effect on the morale of his dogs. Now we see that he has dropped a dog at Eagle Island. Writing as someone who is dedicated to good sportsmanship yet also obviously rooting for Aliy, I hope you will forgive me for choosing to look at those two events as a couple of chinks in the Lance armor!
Allen continues apace, now within 10 miles of Anvik and still running 13 dogs... Go "Kids & Kooks"! When Bridgett -- who lives here in Nome -- picked me up at the airport, she said that she thinks Allen is having a good, fun run this year. You may recall that he had a miserable Iditarod last year, picking up a parasite along the trail that made him so sick he was hospitalized briefly upon his arrival in Nome.
I'm afraid the only "news" I have for you today is that Amy Wheaton just called to say she was on her way to pick up Spicy, the dog Aliy dropped back in Iditarod. We don't know why she was dropped, but the fact that she was shipped to Anchorage and immediately released means that she has no medical issues. We've heard nothing yet about the dog Aliy dropped in Anvik.
If I get any other news I will, of course, post it immediately. Meanwhile, I am going to try to find a way to get from Nome back to a checkpoint or two along the coast either tomorrow or Monday. Stay tuned!