The 2018 Iditarod is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and closest finishes in the history of the race. The lead mushers have now passed through the checkpoint in Elim, which puts them just 125 miles from Nome. And as we turn towards the finish line it is looking like a three-man race, with the end-result far from settled.
As of this writing, the lead has changed once again with Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom now in the lead. He’s followed closely by Nicolas Petit, who had been out front over the last few days. Stalking just behind the two leaders is defending champ Mitch Seavey, who could still overtake his rivals during the stretch run to Nome.
Ulsom was able to grab the lead when Petit took a wrong turn and veered off the trail. Bad weather has made it a challenge to navigate and Petit went the wrong direction. He was forced to backtrack to get back on the correct route, allowing his Norwegian rival to slip ahead. This development was a sharp reminder that the race isn’t over until the musher and his dog sled team reach the finish line. With more than hundred miles to go, this is still a wide open event.
The sleep and rest strategy for the lead teams will play a crucial role down the stretch. At this point in the race, everyone is exhausted so knowing when to push on and when to take break is crucial. There will be some strategic moves made in the final run, but it is beginning to look like we’ll have a winner sometime late tomorrow or early on Thursday.
To follow all of the action, visit Iditarod.com.
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