20 Iditarod Trail Invitational racers have made it to McGrath after 350 miles through the snow. For several this is their planned finish. Several others are heading on to Nome another 750 snowy miles away.
Jay Petervary won the leg to McGrath in 3 days, 14 hours and 20 minutes. He is now on his way to Nome. Most likely he’ll be passed by the sled dog teams that started yesterday. This summer while we were in Alaska, I talked to a musher and asked him if he had seen the mountain bikers when he was racing the Iditarod. He had and said they were a pretty strange sight.
Jill, who has on a record pace early on, began having trouble staying awake. She spent 17 hours at the Rohn checkpoint. The long stay was partly to dry out a boot that got wet from a bad decision. Most likely that bad decision was from lack of sleep.
She wrote in an update from the Nikolai checkpoint
I bivied again last night at Sullivan Creek when I kept literally falling asleep and falling off my bike. I woke up after three hours and set out to pack up, but it was so, so cold. Everything was frozen solid. My chemical warmers had turned to ice bricks and I couldn’t make them go. I crawled back into my bag and waited another couple hours before attempting again. Again, couldn’t quite handle the cold. I finally just decided to wait until daylight and stayed in my bag until 10 a.m., but didn’t sleep much.