Ryan Redington was again the fastest team to Unalakleet (mi 737), posting a 10 hour 5 minute time over the 81 miles. I’m not a big fan of doing that long run non stop, it’s only the 3rd time in Ryan’s 16 Iditarods he has run it with out a camp mid-way. It’s a power move, but a risk as well. He’s hoping to stay half a run ahead of Pete from here to Nome, likely going through Shaktoolik to camp, and then there to Elim.
Pete Kaiser broke up that same run, camping 3:45 on the trail 20 miles prior to Unalakleet. He’ll now go non-stop to Shaktoolik (or possibly even the shelter cabin past there). He and his team looked like they planned on winning coming through Unalakleet, and it’s possible that Ryan’s long run opened a window for them. His moving time was 10:15 to UNK.
Richie Diehl is right with them, but a little slower, 10:40 moving time, and stopping an hour longer (4:50) at the same spot that Pete did. He looks great, but isn’t showing signs of racing the previous two.
The big movers are Hunter Keefe and Eddie Burke. I generally don’t give much credence to rookies towards the front on the river, but the run from Kaltag to Unalakleet has long separated the dogs from the puppies, and after leaving Kaltag in 10th and 5th respectively, these two moved up to 4th and 5th. The Iditarod needs a few up and comers to take over for the wave of retirements, and these two seem more than ready to take over in the next few years.
Nic Petit’s team seems to be feeling better today, and after some extra long stops yesterday, he’s back on the trail and moving FAST. He’s too far behind to catch the leaders, but he’s picking up positions.
As for overall speed, Ryan and Pete are on a 9-day-flat pace, which would put them in Nome at roughly 3pm Tuesday.
Photo of Pete Kaiser arriving Unalakleet via Iditarod Insider.