Though it may not seem like it from looking at the overall standings, Saturday was full of strategy in the Iditarod. At one point, Aliy Zirkle seized the lead heading into camp at Galena. But by the time the day was over, the top of the leaderboard was a virtual dead heat, with five mushers all within about three hours of each other.
From the race blog:
After two days of these parries, the front group finds itself assembled, AGAIN, in Kaltag, more or less even up. With apologies to whom we may have missed, my group of Iditarod insiders believe we have the following contenders: Aliy, Dallas Seavey the Younger, John Baker the 2012 champ, Aaron Burmeister, Jeff King, and Mitch Seavey.
Aliy commands the race, but it appears Dallas and Burmeister are now driving the fastest teams.
The weather is still frigid on the northern portion of the Iditarod course, with temperatures dipping well below zero, nearly 20 degrees below in some places. The leaders are nearing the home stretch as they head towards Unakleet and beyond, with just about 200 miles to go.