STORY UPDATED AT 8:38 p.m. 2/18/13:
On day two of the Iron Dog race, five teams scratched, leaving 34 teams on the trail, as of early Tuesday evening.
Iron Dog officials said mechanical issues hit three teams and injuries took two others, and said it has “not yet received any word of any life threatening injuries.”
Details of the injuries have yet to be released, but a couple of rookie teams scratched at the McGrath checkpoint due to injuries, including Team 4 of Chad Dow and Chris Kruse after declaring their 14-hour layover and took out Team 5 of Ray Chvastasz and Jens Hopson.
According to race standings, the teams that scratched due to mechanical issues were Team 16 of veterans Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad before Ophir checkpoint, Team 32 of rookies Brad Dietrich and Tim Jauhola before Rohn checkpoint, and Team 26 of rookies Harold Egan Jr. and Brian Jurenka before Rohn checkpoint.
Out of McGrath, teams had to deal with temperatures below 20 degrees Tuesday morning. The top 10 teams have declared an 8-hour layover at their destinations, with the exception of Team 40 of veterans Aaron Marks and Arnold Marks Jr. who reached Galena just before 4 p.m. and declared a 14-hour layover.
The top three teams made their way to Kaltag arriving after 5 p.m. with roughly 20 minutes separating their check-in times, covering nearly 500 miles on day two.
Team 8 of Aklestand and Johnson lead the pack, followed by Team 23 of Dick and Quam, and Team 25 of George and Bartel rounding at the top three.
Next stop for the leaders is Unalakleet, about 95 miles away from Kaltag.
STORY UPDATED AT 9:37 p.m. 2/18/13:
The field in the 2013 Iron Dog snowmachine race began to gather at McGrath for a scheduled layover Monday, with more than 300 miles of track already behind the front-runners since the race’s Sunday start.
A “hold time” system meant to sort out the field as it left McGrath had the first team out of Big Lake, Team 7’s Bret Brown and Cody Kubitz, waiting out a layover of one hour and 23 minutes there and not scheduled to depart until 2 p.m. The second team, Team 12’s Robert Strick and Steffen Strick Jr. were set for a 1:21 McGrath layover and a 12:31 p.m. departure, with the third team -- Team 33's Joseph Brantley and Travis Ticket -- slated for a 1:19 layover and unscheduled for departure as of 10 a.m.
The first team to leave McGrath, Team 40's Aaron Marks and Arnold Marks Jr., was released at 9:25 a.m. As the 29th out of the gate at Big Lake Sunday, it had been given a 22-minute hold time.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, the Iron Dog's standings were led by Team 10's Mike Morgan and Chris Olds -- fourth to leave Big Lake, with a 1:17 hold time in McGrath. They were out of the checkpoint at 10:22 a.m. at the head of nine teams that had left, followed at 10:32 a.m. by Team 8's Tyler Aklestad and Tyson Johnson in second place, and Team 23's Brian Dick and Eric Quam in third at 10:46 a.m.
A note on the Iron Dog web page listing the hold times emphasizes the importance of clocking in early for hold-time layovers.
“The Iron Dog strategy for surviving the first day is to make it to McGrath in one piece,” race officials wrote. “Teams that make it to McGrath for a long layover in the first day have a much greater chance of survival than those that get stuck farther back at the beginning of the second day.”
Hold times gradually diminish for lower teams on the roster, with the last racers to leave Big Lake -- Team 34’s Jean Aucoin and Race Price -- set to leave McGrath without any hold-time delay.
Team 6 did not start the race and was listed as scratched on the Iron Dog website.
Contact Chris Klint