King describes scratch decision
ANCHORAGE – After scratching from Iditarod 42 within 30 miles of Nome, four-time champion Jeff King described the conditions surrounding his withdrawal from the Last Great Race.
Buffeted by gale-force winds on the trail to Safety, King said his dogs were unable to continue and he was forced to set off towards the checkpoint on foot. He eventually accepted a ride from a group of passing snowmachines, he said, and arrived in Safety to find veteran racer Aliy Zirkle and successfully passed him on the trail and made it to the final checkpoint with her team.
“I had mixed emotions: One was, so it is navigable,” King said. “I said it wasn’t for my team, but clearly she made it.”
But King said he stands behind his decision to end his race within a day’s run of the finish line.
“Until you are experiencing the chill and the wind and the darkness and the feeling of approaching incapacity, do I feel like you have full ability to make your own opinion,” King said.