Remaining Iron Dog teams out of Nome, heading southbound

Iron Dog 2023: Remaining teams are out of Nome and heading southbound
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:12 AM AKST
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NOME, Alaska (KTUU) - With many of the major milestones of “The World’s Longest, Toughest Snowmobile Race” behind them, the remaining 15 teams on the Iron Dog trail have turned their attention towards the final 1,000 miles as they leave Nome and head south.

As per usual, Mother Nature is playing a large role in this year’s race. The restart out of Nome is typically at 8 a.m., but Team 7 of Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad, the first team into the checkpoint, left at 6 a.m. with better visibility and less flat light.

As racers now put their mind on the Big Lake finish, leaving Nome was like leaving home for Team 23 of Jordan and Jarvis Miller.

“There’s definitely anticipation, you want to get going,” Jordan Miller said. “... It’s like getting a second wind, knowing that you’re halfway home. That’s good.”

“Pulling over the mountain and seeing the town lights, you know you’re close to family and meals and your own bed for awhile for me,” teammate Jarvis Miller added.

Others are excited to get back to some familiar territory.

“More so to get off the coast, you know,” Brett Lapham of Team 39 said in the Nome garage. “We’re from Big Lake area, Willow, so it will be nice to get off the coast and get back to a trail that we know a little bit better.”

At this point, the common phrase of “run your own race” rings even more true down the stretch.

”We’re just going to keep on trucking along, like we have been doing, running our own little race,” Jarvis Miller said.

“Just a clean run back,” Brett Lapham of team 39 said when asked what his team’s goal is. “We are still within an hour of the leaders and in second place, so thinking about that but still running our own race as well.”