Posted on 12th Mar 2013 @ 4:34 PM
ALIY ZIRKLE SECOND INTO WHITE MOUNTAIN –
ARRIVING 13 MINUTES BEHIND RACE LEADER MITCH SEAVEY
Northern Outfitters Pro-Staff Member Aliy Zirkle pulled into White Mountain this morning at 5:24 Alaska time, just 13 minutes behind race leader Mitch Seavey. Aliy's time from Elim, the previous checkpoint, was 6 hours, 59 minutes; Seavey's time 7 hours, 34 minutes. Both arrived with 10 dogs. The mushers are required to take an 8-hour break in White Mountain.
Now here's where it gets interesting. Mitch can pull out of White Mountain today at 1:11 pm Alaska time. So if you take the 77 miles remaining and divide it by 6.08 mph, Mitch's average speed from Elim to White Mountain, the travel time is 12 hours, 40 minutes, putting him into Nome at 2:51am Alaska time, 5:51am Eastern if my calculations are correct. (Someone please let me know if they aren't.)
Aliy can hit the trail 13 minutes after Mitch, 1:24pm Alaska time. Assuming she travels at 6.59 mph, her average speed from Elim to White Mountain, her travel time will be 11 hours, 41 minutes, putting her across the Finish Line in Nome at 1:05am Alaska time, 5:05am Eastern, 46 minutes ahead of Mitch. A huge margin in terms of The Last Great Race.
What are the odds it will work out just this way? Slim. What are the odds Aliy wins this year's Iditarod? Pretty darn good. Things can get pretty tense out there during that last dash for the finish line so anything can happen. Let's just hope everyone plays nice and gives way when another musher is trying to get by. I'll keep you posted as things develop on the final stretch.
Regardless of whether Aliy wins, at Northern Outfitters we couldn't be prouder to have such a likeable, kind, and clearly talented woman as part of our Pro Staff. You go girl, there are a lot of people pulling for you.