Iron Dog puts racers on hold due to extreme weather at Unalakleet

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Iron Dog race officials Monday afternoon posted to their Facebook site saying that all racers -- Pro and Trail class -- would be put on a mandatory eight-hour hold at Unalakleet due to severe weather on the coast.

Trail markers on the Iron Dog trail at McGrath. (KTUU)

The announcement said the hold could last longer, after race officials re-evaluate the weather early Tuesday morning.

A gale warning and winter weather advisory are currently in effect for the Unalakleet and Norton Sound areas, and they're expected to last through 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The race's GPS tracker shows the first of the trail class teams have already arrived in Unalakleet. The pro class leaders have left Galena for Kaltag, the last stop before reaching the Bering Sea at Unalakleet.

Team 8's Tyson Johnson and Tyler Aklestad clocked out of Galena at 2:37 p.m . Monday. Team 10's Mike Morgan and Chris Olds left just minutes later at 2:48 p.m. Team 6's Brad George and Robby Schachle hit the trail out of Galena at 3:07 p.m. As of 3:30 p.m. Monday those were the only three teams to have made it past Galena so far.

RACE MARSHAL UPDATE

Monday, head race marshal Lee Davis said Team 20, Chad Gueco and Scott Faeo, ran into a fueling issue at the Skwentna Checkpoint.
Davis said Team 20 arrived at the checkpoint, and told a volunteer they needed a can of fuel.

“They (the volunteer) grabbed a can, gave it to the racer, and the team put the fuel in, left, and discovered it was diesel,” said Davis over the phone Monday.

Iron Dog didn’t credit Team 20 with time back for the mistake, but instead allowed them to drain the fuel off the clock.

Additionally, Davis said Team 29, Dave Hausbeck and Larry Levine, was credited 10 minutes after Dr. Larry Levine stopped and helped Eric Watson on the trail.

[Two Iron Dog teams scratch, one after crash breaks ribs]

Dr. Levine was able to get to tell a checker that Watson needed a life flight, and Watson was flown to a hospital. Team 18 says Watson is currently recovering from broken ribs and a lung contusion at his home.

SCRATCH UPDATE

Team 7, Tre West and Aaron Bartel scratched after the Ophir checkpoint. KTUU crews in McGrath confirm Bartel sustained an injury, and is unable to keep racing.

Team 13, George Mountain and Kelly Sommer scratched after the Puntilla checkpoint.



 
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