Things could get interesting. It’s a longshot, but Matt Hall is going make efforts to put the heat on current leader Allen Moore, and just back of them it’s starting to look like all bets are off. Here’s how it went down.
Matt Hall put in a blistering run to try to close some distance on first place Allen Moore, reaching Carmacks at 12:25am, not quite in time to see Allen Moore’s tail lights but the closest anyone’s been in a long time. Moore had departed just 39 minutes prior, at 11:46PM, with a team of 14 on six hours rest. Hall rested for four and a half hours and then charged hard with his 11 dog team so as to not let Moore get too far out of reach.
Laura Neese and Vebjorn Aishana Reitan were able to pass Paige Drobny after the latter stopped to camp around 11:30pm. Neese would arrive in Carmacks in third place just before 3am, Reitan in fourth at 5:45am, both opting to rest, while Drobny stayed only long enough to hit her drop bags and was back out on the trail with her reclaimed third place at 6:10am. Ed Hopkins also chose to blow through Carmacks, checking in and out at 6:47am, leapfrogging up the rankings to fourth place.
Eventually Neese and Reitan overtook the checkpoint bypassers after they stopped to camp up-trail, regaining their third and fourth place positions from earlier. Hopkins, too, jumped up a spot to fifth as he decamped before Drobny who remains. Neese’s arrival in Braeburn at 7:01pm was just in time to see Moore and his team of 14 depart at 7:08pm for the homestretch to the finish line in Whitehorse,
Matt Hall’s 8-hours isn’t up until nine minutes after midnight, at which point he will shoot out of Braeburn, finish line fixed in his sights.
Tim Pappas had another day of solo mushing, reaching the Pelly checkpoint at 12:32am, where he took a solid 7-hour rest, then blew through Carmacks at 8:15pm. He is now running a team of 12. He was roughly 50 miles from Braeburn at time of writing.
Bernhard Schuchert broke free of the rookie convoy today, leaving Pelly at 3:04pm. Luc Tweddell was next out at 5:12pm, followed by Alex Buetow and Claudia Wickert shortly after 7pm with teams of eight and nine, respectively. Day’s end finds Schuchert, Tweddell, and Buetow on the move, all within 30 miles of Carmacks, while Wickert is resting at McCabe.
With the exception of Rob Cooke, the back of the pack all availed themselves of the renowned hospitality at Stepping Stone. Riley Dyche arrived there just before 10am, hitting the trail again around 1pm. A surging Dave Dalton was next in, hitching his team there in time for lunch, where Nathaniel Hamlyn joined him just before 2pm. Both were making tracks to Pelly by 6:30pm and were within five miles of the checkpoint by midnight, where they joined the resting teams of Riley Dyche and Rob Cooke. Dyche made Pelly a little after 6pm, and Cooke’s decision to pass through Stepping Stone circa 3:30pm paid off nicely as he made up some lost ground to arrive in Pelly at 9:09Ppm in 13th with ample time to rest.
Standings as of 11:59pm:
- Allen Moore
- Matt Hall
- Laura Neese
- Vebjorn Aishana Reitan
- Ed Hopkins
- Tim Pappas
- Paige Drobny
- Bernhard Schuchert
- Luc Tweddell
- Alex Buetow
- Claudia Wickert
- Riley Dyche
- Rob Cooke
- Nathaniel Hamlyn
- Dave Dalton