Thomas Waerner left White Mountain at 1:35 p.m. on March 17, and is well on his way down the trail to Nome. He has all but won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race because his nearest challenger, Mitch Seavey, mushed into the White Mountain checkpoint at 10:49 a.m. Seavey has a mandatory eight-hour layover, and will have to wait until 6:49 p.m. before he can head out on the 77 miles of trail leading to the finish line in Nome.
The rest of the chase pack is behind Seavey. Even at a conservative pace, Waerner is likely to be in Nome sometime before first light on Wednesday, March 18.
In the middle of those still racing, Bethel’s Pete Kaiser should make it to the White Mountain checkpoint early tonight. Jessica Klejka arrived in Koyuk at 2:45 p.m., and has much of the coastal run still ahead of her. Eleven teams have scratched, leaving 46 teams still in the race.
The weather in Nome is around 33 degrees with snow showers, but not too windy. Tomorrow should about the same: a little cooler, but with more snow.