A handful of developments have unfolded on the trail, turning the Iditarod upside down.

While they weren’t for the first part of the race, trail conditions are now playing a factor. For the better part of the week, there have been reasonable temperatures and moderate winds. That's changing though—at the checkpoint of Shaktoolik.

“It was a good run ‘til we dropped out of the Blueberry Hills. Wind picked up,” said musher Richie Diehl.

With fierce blowing winds and snow drift that seem to come out of nowhere, mushers and their teams are paying the price.

“You have to deal with it,” Diehl said. You can't just curl and call it quits. You got to keep moving down the trails.”

You wouldn't consider conditions like these advantageous, but for these mushers, it may be just what they need.

“I think probably the odds are against us, but with this weather, it probably helps our odds so we'll see,” said Pete Kaiser, who has four top-10 finishes under his belt. “Kind of put ourselves in a position a few of us to take advantage of an opportunity if it presents itself. You know, with just raw foot speed probably not, but if something happens up there with a delay, hopefully, we'll be close enough to take advantage.”

Another wily veteran, Wade Marrs, agrees.

“It's not over yet…there's a long ways to go, Marrs said. “I was just talking to DeeDee about how one of us could probably pretty easily catch those guys if the weather stays like this.”

There’s still a long way to go, and perhaps Mother Nature is now deciding to jump in as a storyline.

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