Anchorage, Alaska (AP) —Three additional mashers running behind the puck were scratched from this year’s Iditarod Trail dog sledding race after being assisted during a major storm. ..
A total of six mashers were scratched after seeking help in a storm struck by a strong wind on Friday. Two of those mashers needed help from a trial just a few miles from the end of the nearly 1,000-mile (1,609 km) race across Alaska.
Race Marshal Mark Nordman received help late Friday with newcomer Sebastian Dos Santos Borges from France’s Chasebon and Fairbanks couples Katillo and Jeff Dieter, who run separate dog teams. I was told that I was scratched. From race officials.
Dos Santos Borges and Deeters all accepted assistance between White Mountain and the safety checkpoint, just 22 miles (35 km) from the finish line of the gnome.
Snowmobile’s White Mountain Search and Rescue Team assisted the masher in the shelter cabin of the Nome Kennel Club over the storm.
As the situation improved, Iditarod volunteers were able to help bring the team of three and their dogs to the gnome. There the dog is checked by the vet.
All three mashers were in contact with Nordman while in the shelter cabin and reported that the team was in good health.
Last Friday, two mashers had to be rescued, and after returning to the checkpoint for help, the third suffered a scratch.
Rookie Gerhard Tiart from South Africa, who currently lives in Cheboygan, Michigan, has activated an emergency beacon due to a storm and a leg injury. A snowmobile passerby happened to him and took him to White Mountain. He was eventually sent to a gnome for the assessment of his injury.
Musher Bridgett Watkins of Fairbanks was able to ask Nome’s family for help. Apart from that call, her husband Scotty left a gnome with others on a snowmobile to help Smasher in the storm, and he found her. She was taken to a White Mountain clinic for her assessment and eventually flew to a gnome 77 miles (124 km) away.
Another masher, Chagiac rookie Sean Williams, also scratched late Friday after being helped by someone returning to White Mountain on a snowmobile.
The world’s most famous dog sledding race began on March 6th at 49 mashers north of Anchorage. Trails took them across two mountain ranges, along the frozen Yukon River and along the Bering Sea ice on the west coast of Alaska.
Since then, twelve mashers have been scratched, half of which occurred on Friday.
On Tuesday, Eureka’s Brent Sus won the race. He encountered his own bad weather just a few miles from the finish line in a strong wind blowing through the Bering Sea. He fell off the sledge and lost his way.
He thought he had to stop and hunt with his dog to wait until the weather improved.
“I couldn’t see anything,” he said in a post-race interview.
“Dog, the only reason we got out of there was because they trusted me to get the dogs back on the trail. And when they got back on the trail, they took off again at 100mph and I was able to stay on the trail and get in here. It was a lot of work, “he said.
On Saturday evening, there were still four mashers on the trail, heading from White Mountain to a safe place.