Nic Petit switches up strategy, takes 24-hour rest early in race

Race veteran Nic Petit switched up his race strategy, takes 24-hour rest early at the Nikolai checkpoint
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:31 PM AKST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:33 PM AKST
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McGrath, Alaska (KTUU) - Nic Petit is no stranger to the Iditarod trail, having seen it many times. But this race, we are seeing him try a much different strategy.

Typically mushers who want to seriously contend in the Iditarod take their mandatory 24-hour layover in McGrath or later, but this time around Petit is trying something different.

The veteran musher dropped the hook in Nikolai for his 24-hour layover, trying a new plan — even though he won’t tell you that.

“I don’t make plans man — plans are subject to change, so why make them? You should plan to be able to adapt,” Petit said.

According to Iditarod Insider, the last time that the strategy was employed in a winning race by Martin Bauser in 1992.

Petit has placed in the top-10 six different times — with his best finish being second — so he has been really close to the top of the podium. Last year right before the race, Petit tested positive for Covid-19 and was forced to pull out of the race and let mushing legend Jeff King run his team instead. This year, Petit is glad to be back on the trail with “the kids,” the nickname for his dogs.

“Definitely good to be on the trail with my dogs because previously they went without daddy. It was fun to watch them go but it wasn’t fun to watch them on the couch either,” Petit said.

Petit was in great spirits and he only stayed in the McGrath checkpoint for nine minutes as he tries to catch up with the lead pack and hope that his strategy pays off.