Who’s Racing Who? – The Mid Race Breakdown
Stage 4 in Pinedale is in the books and after unrelenting snow and wind over the 42 mile course that started and ended on the banks of the Green River, it was Lina Streeper, the last musher to leave the starting line who was the first to cross the finish line, passing all 13 teams on the trail. Although Streeper has claimed 3 Yellow Bibs to this point, the race is just starting to heat up for many Mushers.
What excitement will we see in the final 3 stages and what races within the race should we look forward to?
1st Place – Although Streeper has separated herself from most, she does have Dave Torgerson (driving Streeper’s B Team) hot on her heels with only 10 minutes separating the top 2 teams. We can only imagine that if Torgerson starts closing the gap he might get a friendly reminder that the B Team does not beat the A Team!
3rd Place – Bruce Magnusson has run a great race up to this point. Aside from the Alpine Stage where Magnusson had to carry a dog for half of the stage, he has been consistent and steady and has shown that he might just have a little more speed than anyone behind him. Jerry Bath is 16 minutes behind Magnusson, but since Bath’s impressive Yellow Bib performance in Alpine he has been slowing slightly. JR Anderson who is currently sitting in 5th place and 21 minutes behind Magnusson might be Magnusson’s biggest threat for that 3rd position. Anderson has slowly been taking off the training wheels and is consistently getting faster throughout the race, but he has yet to post a single time faster than Magnusson. With only 3 stages left and time running out it is up to Magnusson to stay consistent and 3rd place should be his.
6th Place – Jeff Conn is currently sitting in 6th place and has also been very steady throughout this race. Conn is trailed by Dennis Laboda who is 12 minutes back and then Alex Crittenden who is 22 minutes behind Conn. Keep a look out for this pack of 3, there could be some fun shuffling in the last 3 stages.
9th Place – Jerry Scodoris and Frank Moe are less than 2 minutes apart and if the friendly banter between these two at the Musher Banquets every night is any indicator, these 2 are clearly having a great time on the trail together.
11th Place – Austin Forney always has a smile on his face and his love of Dog Mushing and the Pedigree Stage Stop is always evident. Forney has a pretty comfortable gap behind him and a 43 minute gap in front of him, Forney should be able to relax a little and enjoy some scenery.
12th Place – Former long distance Musher turned Stage Stop Racer, Laura Daugereau, trails Forney by nearly an hour and has a comfortable lead over the first of 2 Adkins behind her. Daugereau is one of two rookies in this year race and looks to have Rookie of the Year solidly locked up.
13th Place – The Adkins Father Son Duo is pulling up the rear and racing for family pride. For those that thought a father would let the son win, think again. Chris Adkins is currently sitting 40 minutes ahead of his son, Jeff Adkins. Jeff lost most of his time to his father on today’s stage in Pinedale. Will this slowing be a trend for Jeff or just a daily fluke? Hopefully Jeff can put in some good runs in the final 3 stages to give his dad a run for his money.
Author: Jake Berkowitz was a long distance musher and one time Fur Rondy competitor. He has run both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod sled dog races. He won the Iditarod Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian award in 2013, and after finishing fourth in the 2012 Yukon Quest he was named Rookie of The Year.