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Nearing Nome, teams face harsh conditions

By Dave Goldman 6:23 AM March 10, 2014

Frontrunners describe icy coastal conditions

NOME – Strong winds buffeted Aliy Zirkle’s sled as she crossed the Bering Sea.

Despite the sunshine, frigid headwinds created difficult racing conditions between the coastal checkpoints of Unalakleet and Shaktoolik. Current frontrunner Jeff King said the majority of the trail was ice. Zirkle — who fell behind King out of Elim — described it as about 50 percent glare ice.

“I could either hide behind my sled or ski pole, and both of them have the same effect. So it was like when I got cold I’d ski pole, and otherwise I’d hide behind my sled,” Zirkle said. “But I didn’t go very fast. It’s crazy. It keeps getting crazier.”

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