If you needed proof that anything is possible in the Iditrod, take this morning’s early win by Dallas Seavey into the halfway checkpoint of Cripple. If John Baker had left Ophir after Breakfast, Seavey left the same checkpoint well after lunch; there was a five hour time difference between the two of them and Seavey managed to win the $3,000 in gold nuggets by ten minutes. Martin Buser’s travel time to Cripple was similar to Seavey’s but was several hours later.
What was interesting to see transpire was how many news reports were going out that had Baker into Cripple first, hours before anything happened. This is a good reason to wait for the official standings, as slow as they sometimes may be to write an article you expect to publish on the AP wire. The Cripple checkpoint was moved several years ago and is about 30 miles further than published, apperantly this move was not reflected on the GPS map and so it looked like Baker had gone through the checkpoint already when in reality he was still on his way there.
Two years ago, the last time the Cripple Checkpoint was used (Northern Route) we had the race leader at the time, Paul Gebhardt have some issues with finding the Cripple checkpoint that some think may have cost him the race. He went so far down the trail and second-guessed himself and assumed that he had passed his destination so he turned around and went the wrong way for a while. It’s possible that with losing 5 hours a similar thing happened to Baker. This run is the longest from Ophir to Cripple is the longest in the Iditarod.