At the Finish Line: Iditarod 41


by Jake Ryle

NOME, Alaska--For 51 weeks of the year, Nome, Alaska is just like any other small town in the country's largest state.

But for one week in mid-March, the streets of Nome come alive just as if people found gold again.

I've been told Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle have both left White Mountain after their mandatory 8 hour layover. For the less knowledgable trail-goers, both Seavey and ZIrkle have approximately 10 hours before they enter into Nome.

Something tells me this is going to be a close race. Seavey and Zirkle are only separated by 13 minutes leaving White Mountain. Both left the checkpoint with 10 dogs.

Media members and fans alike are starting to trickle in here at Iditarod Headquarters in Nome. I wouldn't doubt this place will fill to capacity after the first riders make their way down Front Street.

Outside of the top two, there's still a pack of mushers waiting at the White Mountain checkpoint. Jeff King is in a solid third place, and he'll be able to leave for the last leg of the Iditarod at 2:52 p.m. AST.

Meanwhile, last year's Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey and Ray Redington Jr. are neck-and-neck with only two minutes separating the 4th and 5th place mushers. The younger Seavey and Redington Jr. will be free to take off at 4:11 and 4:09, respectively.

If what I've been hearing is true--Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle should cross the finish-line at close to 10:30pm AST.

Martin Buser, the musher who used a unique strategy of using the 24-hour layover only 177 miles into the race, is currently sitting in 17th place out of Elim.

Be sure to tune to ABC-Alaska at 10, and FOX-4 news at 9 p.m. for more updates from Sports Director John Thompson live in Nome.

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