Jeff King is the first musher into Ruby this morning and as the first musher to the Yukon, he will enjoy a gourmet meal from the Millenium Hotel He was in at 6:41 with 14 dogs. Sonny Linder came in an hour later at 7:41. Neither have taken their 24 hour layover. Out of cripple is and Martin Buser, who has completed his 24. In Cripple as of 11:30 Thursday are Aaron Burmeister, John Baker, Paul Gebhardt, and Kelly Maixner. Maixner has completed his 24 along with Robert Sorlie, Hugh Jeff, and Nick Petite.
Mike Williams Junior is out of Ophir on the way to Cripple. He left at 3:06 this morning after nearly 4 hours rest. Pete Kiaser and Richie diehl are racing within a couple minutes of each other. They each spent 10 minutes in Ophir and left at 6:55 and 6:57 respectively.
Pete Kaiser in Takonta said that he’s taking lots of rest with the young team.
“If we get to a point in the race where I really like what I’m seeing we may end up racing harder, but now, just trying to ease them into the race. For eight of them, it’s their first 1000 mile race. So far so good,” said Kaiser.
He says he’s still looking to see how they do as the race goes into its 5th day.
“Physically, they’re probably one of the best teams I’ve driven, it’s just being young, and not having done this before, how they’re going to handle it mentally when we get 6-700 miles in the race. They definitely have the potential to race hard at the end,” said Kaiser.
Kaiser dropped two dogs and now has a string of 13. Diehl is also racing with h13.
Diehl told KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Takotna that the trail is great and he doesn’t have to ride his brake like he did early in the race.
“I think running from Nikolai to Mgrath, it was great to watch the dogs boogey down the trail, they didn’t have any real obstacles. I think we’ll look at things a little different now,” said Diehl.