Close Finishes and Broken Records 3.16.11

Temperature in Nome 0°F, winds 3 mph

Last night there were some CLOSE finishes which is very unusual in a sled dog race. Ken Anderson and Jessie Royer raced into the chute at the same time, Ken’s team taking 9th position by 3 inches of dog nose. In close finishes like this, it’s the dog that gets under the arch first that is the winning team, and sometimes a team wins by a nose, just like in horseracing.

Shortly afterwards, we thought we were standing at the chute waiting for DeeDee Jonrowe to come in, and were surprised to see Aliy Zirkle come in ahead of DeeDee. Aliy takes 11th place and DeeDee is in 12th. Read these 2 paragraphs again to figure out what position Jessie Royer is in.

The fastest race time record held by Martin Buser was broken by John Baker this year. Calculate how much faster John’s time is than Martin’s.

2002 Martin’s record–8 days 22 hrs 46 min. 2 seconds

2011 John’s record—8 days 18 hrs 46 min. 39 seconds

John Baker holds the distinction of being the first western native Alaskan to win the Iditarod, a fact that fills Kotzebue, his hometown, and native Alaskans with pride, a recognition of running dogs as a traditional way of life for these people.

Other native Alaskans in this year’s race include Paul Johnson, Mike Williams, Jr., Robert Nelson, and Ramey Smyth. Please note this list may not be complete.

What are you proud of in your family or town?