Race resumes after 4-hour hold to bring fuel to checkpoints

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 6:49 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GALENA, Alaska (KTUU) - While the Iron Dog snowmachine race seems to always be “go, go, go,” the race saw a rare pause in action Thursday.

The race was put on hold at noon to allow for fuel to be transported to the Poorman and Ophir checkpoints where snow conditions had worsened.

According to an Iron Dog press release, it was enforced “in order to ensure that every participant in the race is able (to) fill all tanks to contend with unexpected snowfall.”

“We had adequate fuel in checkpoints prior to the race start,” Iron Dog Executive Director Mike Vasser said over the phone from Nome. “We had a couple checkpoints that — and I am not going to excuse anybody that we lost fuel or that fuel is gone — but we don’t have adequate fuel for all the teams to have an equal opportunity to race to the finish.

“... We could have let the lead teams go earlier today, but they would have taken all of the fuel in those checkpoints and could have potentially left seven or eight teams stranded out there because there’s no fuel, and we didn’t want to do that.”

After a four-hour hold in Galena, teams began leaving at 4 p.m. Thursday, based on their split times, led by Team 7 of Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad. who have been setting the pace for most of the race.

Updated standings and scratches can be found on the Iron Dog website.