Iditarod 2008: Crowded At The Top

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We’re four days into the 2008 Iditarod and it’s already been a very exciting race with some big names still hovering near the top of the leaderboard, waiting to make their move, while still biding their time. The real veterans of the race know that there is a lot of racing to be done yet, and that this race is rarely won in the early going.

Day 4 sees Kjetil Backen holding down the lead position with everyone on the top of the leaderboard already into Nikolai. Right behind Backen, and ready to give chase, is Garry Willomitzer in second, followed closely by Paul Gebhardt, Lance Mackey, and Jeff King. Mitch Seavey hovers in the 8th position and Rick Swenson is one back in 9th, lurking just off the top dogs.

It was an active day outside of the Top Ten as well, with Tom Roig scratching at Finger Lake, citing healthy issues for himself and his team, and he was later joined by Joe Garnie, who dropped at Rainy Lake to protect the health of his dogs. But it was DeeDee Jonrowe who lost and then regained her team of sled dogs.

According to the weather reports, the next few days should be warm as the race moves into McGrath and the North Side of the Alaska Range. The warmer weather may bring snow to the region however, so we’ll have to wait to see how it impacts the speed of the race.

More news and commentary can be found at The Iditablog and at

Kraig Becker

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