Iditarod: Three Women in Top Ten before White Mountain. Andre Jute reports.

The famous 1000 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race across Alaska is one of the few top sports in which women compete as equals. There is no separate entry list for women. They must compete with some of the hardest men, and definitely the toughest terrain, anywhere in the world. But in Alaska men are men, and women can win the Iditarod, and have won the Iditatod.
So only rookies are surprised to see three women in the Iditarod top ten before White Mountain, where all teams must take a mandatory 8 hour break to rest the dogs for the 77 mile sprint to the victory arch over Front Street in Nome.
Left to right:  Jessie Royer looks fairly safe in 6th. Aliy Zirkle in 8th may come under pressure from Peter Kaiser. Michelle Phillips in 10th also looks relatively safe.
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of
The Greatest Race on Earth
by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK



GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on AmazonGoogle and all the vendors above:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singaporeAndré operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

IDITAROD ANALYSIS BEFORE WHITE MOUNTAIN. Andre Jute thinks Mitch Seavey’s raw speed will be decisive.

The youngsters don’t have Mitch Seavey’s raw speed.
 
All Mitch needs at White Mountain is half an hour of clean air behind him, then he can put the win in his pocket with well-rested dogs sprinting the 77 miles to Nome.
 
Only the weather or tired dogs refusing to run can now stop Mitch.
Dallas Seavey just isn’t fast enough and Nicolas Petit is 2h10m behind Mitch out of Koyuk, too much to make up in less than a 100 miles.
Unless Dallas picks it up, Petit will be second into White Mountain. And second out of it. And faster across the trail. It’s a killer combination.
 
Space behind a musher into White Mountain is the same space behind him leaving White Mountain for the sprint to Nome.
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of
The Greatest Race on Earth
by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK



GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on AmazonGoogle and all the vendors above:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singaporeAndré operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

Gearing up for the Greatest Race on Earth

Last year at the end of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska, a thousand miles and a bit running behind a dog sled within spitting distance of the Arctic Circle, I noted: “The first fifteen places are filled by mushers who haven’t won before, most of them in their thirties still, and  two in their early twenties have finished in the top ten.”

And you can still hear the surprise in my tone: “Holy moses, the first Iditarod champion into Nome is Lance Mackey in 16th place, followed by Martin Buser in 18th and Rick Swenson in 20th.”

Then I asked,  “Is this the changing of the guard at the Iditarod?” By then it was not an ingenuous question. I wondered about it in 2011 when John Baker, 48, won, watching younger men pressing him hard, catching up towards the end of the race. But, while some of the more open-minded observers were willing to discuss it, quite a few with their feet planted firmly on the ground were expecting the process to last five to ten years, because “experience counts for so much in the Iditarod.”

Then Dallas Seavey, 24, won the tense 2012 race.

Not that anyone with brains thinks the old guys are finished, you understand. They are very, very hard men, and women. As I also noted last year, “Swenson heroically ran with broken collarbone since the Steps, and still finished 20th.” And in such a dangerous race, experience counts, something that can’t be said too often, so don’t discount those over technical middle age.

Aliy Zirkle, leading the 1200 mile Iditarod, cutting a corner tighty, fighting to keep her sled upright.

And don’t discount the women. In a blindingly fast race last year Aliy Zirkle ran out front for most of the race, until worn down by Dallas Seavey’s heavier dogs. In good conditions all the way — possible if not very likely by past history — Zirkle, tooled up with those fast little dogs, could get out front and stay out front.
Last year’s result included three women in the top 20:
10 Jessie Royer 58 00:23:17 10
11 Aliy Zirkle 18 01:22:31 11
12 DeeDee Jonrowe 2 01:24:17 10
After a thousand miles running behind a sled, being less than an hour and a half behind such a strong winner as Dallas Seavey is most definitely a threatening posture.

There will definitely be a woman in my shortlist of possible winners for newbies to follow. Well, actually, since the sparkling Zirkle is guaranteed a place on my shortlist, there will be women, plural in my shortlist from the entry list. Watch this space.

• Andre Jute is the author of the most beloved, prize-winning novel of this iconic race, IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth, available as an ebook for only $2.99 through the race, and also in paperback.
• Every year at the race Andre issues an open invitation to go racing with him from the comfort and safety of your armchair, with commentary provided by experts and discussion you can join in.
• This year the race starts on Saturday 2 March. Go to the nerve centre of Andre’s virtual Iditarod experience and bookmark it.