Aliy, with all 13 team mates, has left White Mountain on the final run to Nome. They are currently in third position.
Run, run, run like the wind, we can't wait to see you!
We might expect them to cover the 75 miles to Nome in around 9-10 hours so we could be looking at a daybreak finish for the team - but this all depends on the trail, the weather, the dogs and that random "anything can happen" factor.
Who's sleeping tonight?
The Trail Notes say: "The trail leaves White Mountain on the Fish River for about three miles, and then leaves the river to cut overland to the southwest, crossing low, rolling tundra and several streams before reaching the Klokerblok River. It runs up the river and across some low ridges, and then crosses into the drainage of the Topkok River.
The trail then turns west and climbs over a series of barren ridges to a 400-foot saddle just northwest of Topkok Head, overlooking the coast. It then descends sharply to the beach, reaching the Nome Kennel Club shelter cabin at the foot of the hill, 30 miles from White Mountain.
For the next 12 miles the trail runs along or just behind the dune line and the “driftwood line” on the shore. This stretch is wide open and is subject to winds of more than 80 miles an hour from the north, as well as blinding whiteouts. The trail will join the Nome-to-Council road (not plowed in the winter) at the Bonanza Ferry bridge and then follow it for the last 12 miles to Safety.
The trail usually follows the Nome-to-Council road from Safety to just past Cape Nome, then cuts down to the beach and generally parallels the road (crossing it a couple of times enroute). The trail finally climbs up the seawall at the east end of Front Street for the last ten blocks to the burled arch.
Trail conditions on this leg can range from excellent to abysmal, and usually include glare ice, overflow, drifted snow, bare tundra, sand, and exposed gravel on the road."
Mushing into the sunset. This photo was take less than 20 miles from the Finish Line in (I think) 2013. The frozen ocean is on the left. The bluff on the right is Cape Nome - which is the final climb before the finish. Aliy said at the time "This is often a very emotional time on the race… especially with a sunset like this one!". This year she will have the sunrise behind her and the emotions will, no doubt, be very mixed.
Allen still has 14 team mates and they just pulled into Koyuk after the 50 mile run from Shaktoolik and will likely stay a few hours. Although a six hour rest is about what he's been giving the team at each stop, don't be too surprised if he stays 9-10 hours here. We're getting pretty excited to see them soon.
Thanks to Kim for pointing out this fantastic video from KTUU about Quito! Check it out - it's a really nice story and made us all tear up a little.
Screen shots from KTUU story