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Nicolas Petit first to Yukon – By Joe Runyan
In an impressive display of raw power, Nicolas Petit took command at the lead into Tanana. Insiders viewing the GPS tracker saw Nicolas work his team to the front, edge past Martin Buser and arrive first at the Yukon with fifteen dogs.
The sun in the horizon turned the sky pastel pink as Petit settled his team for a rest at the Tanana community center. First he took an extra snowhook (a pronged lightweight anchor with curved hooks) and tied the six foot line to a loop on the main towline and stretched out the towline. That kept the team orderly.
Next, he distributed thinly sliced frozen meat to his team, fast walked to retrieve water which he distributed to the team in plastic breadpan size dishes, reached for another bag of fatty snacks. While the dogs ate that ration, Nicolas unbundled a bale of hay and started laying out a flake for each dog, careful to put it just in front of each dog. Satisfied, he released the tug lines, and just as he had planned each dog was now able to curl up on the straw without sending it in ten directions. Nicolas, well orchestrated! The main chores now complete and the dogs resting comfortably, Nicolas could take off booties from his huskies. At this moment, his is the fastest team on the trail.
Buser and team followed thirty-six minutes later, to be followed by a compact pack led by Aliy Zirkle—-who we haven’t seen for a while making a move to the front.
Very little separation at the front. Anybody’s guess. All the contenders are here in Tanana. (read more)