Iditarod Live: The Sled Blog

Polar bear patrol with Sebastian Schnuelle - 11/15/2012 6:09 pm

Seavey on why he sued: 'I feel like I'm doing the right thing' - 5/22/2012 5:14 pm

Jonrowe wins dog care award; Mackey honored for sportsmanship - 3/18/2012 9:44 pm

Happy trails - 3/16/2012 2:47 pm

Third-place Ramey Smyth: 'I almost didn't get to the start line' - 3/16/2012 7:15 am

Meet the Sled Dogs: Colleen & Penny - 3/15/2012 7:09 pm

WATCH: Rapping dog musher finishes Iditarod, raps about the race - 3/15/2012 3:37 pm

Mackey: 'It wasn't the stellar performance I was expecting' - 3/15/2012 12:47 pm

Day 11: Your top 10 Iditarod finishers

Beth Bragg in Anchorage --

WEDNESDAY, 9:30 a.m. update -- Even though five of the mushers in the top 10 of this year's race were also in the top 10 of last year's race, it feels like a new guard has emerged.

"It's pretty cool to look up here and see a bunch of new names," Iditarod veteran Jessie Royer, who didn't race this year, said Tuesday in White Mountain as she and Aaron Burmeister checked out the standings.

The top 10 includes three mushers under 30, including champion Dallas Seavey of Willow, who turned 25 the day of the restart in Willow and finished as the youngest winner in Iditarod history on Tuesday night.

Pete Kaiser of Bethel, 23, placed fifth and Mike Williams Jr. of Akiak, 26, placed eighth.

Kaiser and Williams are among three rural mushers in the top 10. The other is ninth-place John Baker of Kotzebue, 49. Baker's Iditarod record is remarkable -- last year's champion has 13th top-10 finishes in 17 races.

Two women made the top 10 -- Zirkle, 41, and DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow, 58, whose 10th-place effort marked the 15th time in 30 races she's been in the top 10. Another woman, Norway's Sigrid Ekran, 32, placed 11th.

Zirkle's showing was the best by a woman since Jonrowe placed second in 1998.

Like Baker and Jonrowe, Ramey Smyth of Willow is a repeat contender -- his third-place finish put him in the top 10 for the fifth straight year and the ninth time in 18 races. Lots to be impressed by there, and we haven't even mentioned that at age 36, Smyth has already been in 18 Iditarods.

Six of the top 10 enjoyed career-best finishes -- Seavey, Zirkle, Burmeister (4th), Kaiser, Ray Redington Jr. (6th) and Williams. For Wasilla's Redington, 36, it was his second straight year in the top 10. For Nenana's Burmeister, 36, it was his first race since placing seventh in 2009.

Sterling's Mitch Seavey, the 2004 champion and the dad of this year's champion, edged Williams by two minutes to claim seventh place. He's 52.

Forty-four mushers remain on the trail, with Ken Anderson about to reach Nome to grab 12th place. A field of 66 started the 975-mile race on March 3 in Anchorage.

At the back of the pack are Jan Steves and Bob Chlupach, who are resting in Kaltag as they duel for Red Lantern honors. Seventy-four-year-old Dan Seavey, father to Mitch and grandpa to Dallas, is just ahead of them on the trail to Unalakleet. That group faces more than 300 miles of trail before they reach Nome.

* * *

WEDNESDAY, 7:30 a.m. update --

Sigrid Ekran finished 11th at 6:50 a.m. Ken Anderson left Safety about an hour ago and should arrive in 12th place in about two hours.

In 13th place, on his way to Safety, is the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors -- Brent Sass of Eureka.

* * *

WEDNESDAY, 6:30 a.m. update --

The top 10 has been decided. Seven more mushers finished overnight, a group that included defending champion John Baker, who finished ninth.

Their order and the time of their finishes:

Dallas Seavey, 7:29 p.m. Tuesday

Aliy Zirkle, 8:29 p.m.

Ramey Smyth, 9:04 p.m.

Aaron Burmeister, 1:04 a.m.

Pete Kaiser, 2:06 a.m.

Ray Redington Jr., 3:19 a.m.

Mitch Seavey, 4:10 a.m.

Michael Williams Jr., 4:12 a.m.

John Baker, 4:24 a.m.

DeeDee Jonrowe, 5:43 a.m.

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