Day 16

The weather forecast for Shaktoolik:

Today

A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly after 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Northeast wind around 10 mph.

Tonight
Snow likely. Areas of freezing fog. Cloudy, with a low around 12. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Wednesday
A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 18. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Race leader Jay Petervary is on his way to Golovin coming off LIttle McKinley which can be a very windy spot on the trail.The three Alaskans traveling together Kevin, Jay C and Phil are departing Shaktoolik after spending the night there and are getting ready to cross the sea ice to Koyuk. 

The next 5 cyclist, Kyle, Adam who was having rear hub issues, Craig, Toni and Troy are currently still in Kaltag. 

Great write up by Craig Bullen:

"Craig Anthony Bullen

10 hrs

Iditarod trail invitational Knik to Nome, Day 14, mile 643

So I made it to Kaltag this morning. After probably the best ride of my life. 75 miles up the Yukon River. The first 15 miles were really slow I could not get going! The previous day I was on the move for 21 hours and motivated to take advantage of rare good conditions and made 87 miles of good progress. Exhausted and drenched in sweat I did not sleep warm. Even though my bag is rated for -48.
I stopped at the Iditarod dog race check point for a while, chatted to the racers, took pictures and had some coffee. It was 6 pm when I got back on my bike and I was starting to feel quite good. After a while I started to really push and the ambition to reach Kaltag in one shot was beginning to form. I decided to push to within 30 miles before I would stop to make myself a hot drink and snack, I melted more snow for hot drinks later on.

It was -15 and I was sweating hard and feeling stronger still, I should not be feeling this way after 8 hours of riding a 75lb fat bike. The feeling of just being able to push harder and harder was exhilarating , it was awesome. I attacked the trail like it was a time trial for the last 25 miles. I blew past the other racers as they were asleep in their bags on the snow. It was 4 am and there were no more tire tracks in front of me. Tearing down the wide Yukon in the dark, my headlamp not powerful enough to reach the banks either side of me. The surroundings were surreal and I was euphoric, this was amazing. At Six am I ride up off the river and into the ramshackle streets of Kaltag. In the check point I sat and breathed hard for about 20 mins. I went up stairs to see the on shift vets ready to check in the Next Dog team. I insisted that one of the bewildered Vets give me a high 5 before I pounded down a big handful of cookies they offered me. Best ride of my life.

Kath Merchant
co race director

craig bullen kaltag.jpg
Kathi MerchantComment