McGrath Checkpoint


Tuesday 8 March (09:00) – Wednesday 9 March (01:30)

Flew from Anchorage to McGrath this morning. McGrath is one of the hubs on the trail, from here the vets and comms guys / other volunteers are flown out on bush planes to the various checkpoints. I will be working here for a few days.

The first teams arrived in McGrath this afternoon at about 17:30 – so that’s when the rush started.

 McGrath Checkpoint – entry area – spectators and volunteers awaiting the arrival of Martin Buser (currently running in first position)

Attached are some photos from the flight (Anchorage to McGrath) from a Caravan at 6 500ft


How to transport a bitch on heat in an aircraft where there are 14 other dogs and no way of separating – place the above said bitch in a food bag prior to loading her on the plane.


Moose stroganoff for lunch cooked by a chef from Iditarod spring cafe was a welcome respite from checking dropped dogs that had been flown into the hub from other checkpoints. They needed to be examined, treated and then flown back to Achorage.



The Constellation of Orion standing upright in the night sky for the first time in a while (or perhaps it is due to the act that I am on the northern side of the equator for the first time in ages. After finishing my shift I attempted to take a photo of the crescent setting in the western sky. A tripod and warmer hands may have yielded a better result. I also saw my first real glimpse of the Northern Lights – it was faint and apparently going to improve later.


News Headlines:

have a look at


(can read the article about Rick Swenson (previous five time champion) who fractured his collar bone yesterday and decided to continue the race. When I saw him and his team passing through the checkpoint this evening – he looked remarkably strong.


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