MCGRATH, Alaska (KTUU) - UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Thirteen teams have checked in to the turnaround point in Nome. Wednesday will serve as a wrench day, giving time for racers to work on their sleds.
Two teams are on an eight-hour layover in White Mountain, with the final team bringing up the rear out of Unalakleet.
UPDATE, 3 p.m.: The first teams have made it to Nome in this year's edition of the Iron Dog race.
Per the Iron Dog's race tracker, Team 10 - of Chris Olds and Nome's Mike Morgan - arrived in Nome at around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday. The two led the field out of Unalakleet.
Team 14's Casey Boylan and Brian Leslie arrived shortly after Team 10, checking in officially at 2:54.
The top six teams had checked out of White Mountain (North) and the top nine were out of Unalakleet as of press time.
ORIGINAL STORY: Defending Iron Dog champions Team 10, of Mike Morgan and Chris Olds, leads the race out of the Unalakleet checkpoint. The defending champs have had a healthy lead since McGrath, despite being the last team off the start line.
Teams are expected to make it to the Nome checkpoint by Tuesday evening. The fastest team to Nome will receive the Donlin Gold ‘Gold Rush Prize’ worth $10,000, plus $3,000 and $2,000 given to the second- and third-fastest team to the race's halfway point.
This year’s Iron Dog trail is not for the weak, with eight teams already scratching before the halfway point in the race. Team 35 (Oliver/Vaughn), Team 16 (Minnick/Olstad), Team 25 (Nikolai/Reader), Team 31 (Conlon/Menne), and Team 17 (Berg/Chvastasz) all scratched at the McGrath checkpoint. Team 15 (Huss/Selby) scratched at the Ruby checkpoint, Team 26 (Carlson/Masson) scratched at the Galena checkpoint, and Team 45 (Anselment/Baumgartner) at the Unalakleet checkpoint.
For those still in the race, seconds separate second-place Team 14 of Bryan Leslie and Casey Boylan from third-place Team 6, Adam Drinkhouse and Brad George. Both teams trail Team 10 by a few minutes.
It still looks to be anybody’s race with Wednesday’s wrench day on the horizon, giving teams time to plan how they want to attack the southbound portion of the race.