Mushers battle slower trail, tired eyes into Takotna
The night owls have made it -- following Mitch Seavey’s arrival at 9:45 Tuesday night into Takotna, the early morning hours of Wednesday were busy.
The checkpoint welcomed in Ryan Redington next at 12:18 am. He had plenty of company. The Norwegian, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, was bucking the trend -- he decided to go through.
So far, the times are slower with a trail that has bogged down teams.
But mushers are in full mode pushing their own envelopes. Veteran Linwood Fiedler also knew he needed to stop.
“I think I added up four hours of sleep since the race started. I’m so tired I can’t even think,” he said after pulling into Takotna.
Musher Jessie Royer, off a top-five finish last year, is back again. The slow trail has affected everyone.
“There’s slow and there’s really slow so hopefully we were just going slow,” she said.
To give an idea of how tired some mushers were, veteran musher Aliy Zirkle, regarded as one of the most amenable on the trail, couldn’t even speak to the press. She was so wiped out, she offered to make good on it when she awoke.
Seemed like everyone needed a well-earned break.
Mushers are required to take one 24-hour stop and two eight-hour layovers. One must be on the Yukon River. The other is at White Mountain.
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