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Iron Dog’s Morgan and Olds On Fire, First to Kaltag

Published On: Feb 17 2014 07:04:10 PM AKST   Updated On: Feb 17 2014 07:04:30 PM AKST
Iron Dog’s Morgan and Olds On Fire, First to Kaltag

Three teams in the 2014 Iron Dog snowmachine race have pushed their way to Kaltag Monday night, putting them more than halfway to the midpoint of Nome less than a day and a half after the race began.

Race standings as of 6:45 p.m. Monday show the Iron Dog’s leaders -- Team 10’s Mike Morgan and Chris Olds -- as the first pair of snowmachiners to reach Kaltag, pulling in at 5:45 p.m. Monday. The two have been leading the race, despite Morgan’s sled suffering a Sunday night engine fire as the duo pulled into McGrath.

Team 10 will remain in Kaltag for an eight-hour layover, followed minutes later by Shane Barber and Ryan Sottosanti in Team 2 at 6:05 p.m., and Team 6 riders Andy George and Brad George at 6:07 p.m. Eight teams are listed as taking eight-hour layovers in Galena, with one -- Team 16’s Todd Minick and Nick Olstad -- out of Galena en route to Kaltag as of 5:22 p.m.

A total of five teams have scratched from the Iron Dog, following Team 14’s departure from the race at its start in Big Lake. The most high-profile withdrawal is that of four-time Iron Dog champion Todd Palin and his Team 11 partner Tyler Huntington, one of two teams -- along with Team 37’s Mike Dropik and Marcus Jensen -- to scratch after leaving the Shell Lake checkpoint.

Other competitors leaving the field include Team 13 riders Bryce Benson and Josh Norum, whose quest for Fairbanks ended in McGrath, and Team 32 riders Dick Divelbiss and John Witte, who decided to scratch in Nikolai.