Todd just called from Nome, Alaska – the halfway point in the world’s longest, toughest snowmachine race! Todd says he and his partner, Scott Davis, are feeling great and loving the very cold, very FAST conditions. Scott’s wife Regina took the photo below of our Team #11 coming off the frozen Norton Sound and into the Nome checkpoint. Todd and Scott hit the halfway checkpoint in 4th place, and these top teams are all within about a half an hour of each other. The teams in 1st & 2nd are only 23 seconds apart! The guys have to fulfill a long mandatory layover now; they get some sleep and good food, then hit the trail again heading to the finish in Fairbanks, about 1,000 miles away.
Todd always says anything can happen in this race – especially during that second half. Guys have won or lost the race more than a few times by just mere minutes. Crashes, engine blow ups, avalanches, open water, animal and iceberg encounters, frostbite, broken bones, wrenching under pitch-black skies in unfathomable winds and frigid temperatures, etc. have been part of the racers’ and pre-race trail breakers’ challenges for the two decades Todd has raced the Iron Dog. (And this is his idea of fun!) These racers are tough competitors who love the great outdoors, and the volunteers who make the Iron Dog happen are also very tough individuals who thrive in these extreme conditions under the great North Star.
It’s an amazing race that takes great skill, mechanical ability, physical prowess and dogged determination necessitating a level of mental toughness that is so valuable and rare.
Thanks for following the race… only 1,000 more miles!
– Sarah Palin