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Iditarod XLII Field Still Sunny to Finish in the Money

Published On: Mar 11 2014 06:52:30 PM AKDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 06:53:31 PM AKDT
Iditarod XLII Field Still Sunny to Finish in the Money
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While the first finishers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are already into Nome, there are still plenty of places available for arriving mushers in 2014’s prize pool.

According to Iditarod XLII rules, the top 30 finishers will split the race’s $650,000 purse. Race standings as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday show only the top six -- 2014 champion Dallas Seavey, Aliy Zirkle, Mitch Seavey, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Sonny Lindner and Martin Buser -- in to Nome and finished. That means more than half of teams still on the trail, 24 of the 44 now en route, stand to pick up some prize funds.

The Last Great Race’s first 10 slots are likely to be filled out Tuesday night, with a quartet of mushers out of Safety and on the way to Nome Tuesday afternoon. GPS tracking shows Jessie Royer, Ray Redington Jr., Hans Gatt and Aaron Burmeister out between 4:35 p.m. and 5:29 p.m., making the final 22-mile approach to the Burled Arch.

Farther back along the trail, the field’s largest concentrations of mushers include nine teams in White Mountain, 11 mushers led by Paul Gebhardt en route from Shaktoolik to Koyuk, and five teams still in Shaktoolik. Seven mushers, with rookies Yvonne Dabakk and Elliot Anderson at their head and tail respectively, are bringing up the rear headed from Kaltag to Unalakleet.

Thus far Tuesday night, no more teams have scratched since the twin high-profile surprises of Jeff King, knocked out of the race just short of Safety by high winds Monday night, and Hugh Neff Tuesday morning. A total of 19 mushers, including 18 scratches and one withdrawal, have abandoned their quest for Nome from an original spread of 69 teams.

Even teams finishing out of the money will get some cash to cover their costs, with race rules providing $1,049 to each musher who arrives in Nome beginning with 31st place.