Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finnmarkslopet 2009: Part 13 - Latest Updates

What a drama between the frontrunners! Inger-Marie and Kjell left Karasjok checkpoint just 7 minutes apart! But Inger-Marie´s team runs like the wind, and while passing Jotka, she already had a 50 minute lead on Kjell. Now they are both sprinting toward the finish in Alta and I assume they will arrive very early this evening!

Follow the race on NRK - http://www.nrk.no/ and on Finnmarkslopet´s official website! NRK has a great coverage this year, so does Finnmarks Dag Blad (Alta´s daily newspaper).

In the meatime, Mikael reached Levajok, did not leave any dogs behind and did not rest even for a single minute, and headed straight for Karasjok. He is currently running between 18 and 19th position, still with 10 dogs in team! He should reach Karasjok this evening, and will take his 8 hour mandatory layover there, before the final stretch to Alta, through Jotka.

Paula wrote me she is already dreaming of her own bed :)
Distance races are not tough just for the mushers and dogs, but very much so for the handlers, that drive cars from checkpoint to checkpoint, cook food, take care of dropped dogs, make sure drop bags are on place, pack and clean up remaining equipment and dog food, left behind, cheer their mushers on, and wait in the cold. And not to mention the hard, devoted work of the volunteers, race officials, people that run the checkpoints and provide acomodation and food. I spoke with a few folks that run restarurants in the checkpoints and they worked in 24 hour shifts, trying to please all the mushers and race followers, to the fullest. That all is not to be forgotten.

I will try to call Paula tonight and see if I get more detailed info about the team.

Katerina (so much wishing to be there :))

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