Posted on 7th Mar 2013 @ 8:40 PM
Northern Outfitters Pro-Staffers are running strong halfway through the Iditarod, holding 4 of the top 10 positions.
Long-time Northern Outfitters Pro-Staffer and four-time Iditarod winner Martin Buser is currently first in the standings. He departed Iditarod (an old outpost about halfway between Anchorage and Nome) at 14:00 Alaska time (6 p.m. on the East Coast) and is moving quickly ahead of Lance Mackey, Sonny Lindner and Jeff King who were 1, 2, and 3 in the standings until minutes ago, and still have several hours remaining in their 24 hour layovers there.
Pro-Staffer Aaron Burmeister, winner of this year's Spirit of Alaska Award, pulled into Iditarod at 12:46 Alaska time, moving him into 5th in the standings. He left Ophir for Iditarod at 1:00 a.m. this morning Alaska time (5 a.m. on the east coast) running 15 dogs and moving at the very fast pace of 8.5 miles per hour. He's completed his 24 hour layover and when he leaves Iditarod, he'll move into 2nd place.
Aliy Zirkle, Yukon Quest winner and Northern Outfitters Pro-Staffer, is currently 9th in the standings. She left Ophir this morning at 1:30 Alaska time, with 14 dogs racing at an average speed of 9.2 miles per hour. At this pace she can easily move into 3rd place while Lance, Sonny and Jeff finish out their 24 hour layover.
Pro-Staffer Jake Berkowitz departed Ophir at 2:00 a.m. Alaska time (6:00 a.m. on the East Coast) and is currently running in 10th place. He's finished his 24 hour layover though and like Aliy, is gaining on the leaders rapidly.
Paul Gephardt and Ken Anderson are in 18th and 20th place respectively, both moving at 8.85 miles per hour.
Things are going to start getting really interesting now. After the 24 hour layover, strategy becomes as important as speed. The next mandatory layover of 8 hours will play a huge roll in where things go from here.
Check back tomorrow for an update.