Thursday, 26 March 2009


Sorry for the total lack of posts. To be perfectly honest I'm really struggling to sum up my feelings about the whole thing. It was a lot to take in.

If you are at the Outdoors Show at the NEC this weekend my bike is on the Alpkit stand. I'll be there on Saturday so head over for a chat!

Hopefully some pictures will keepthe rest of you amused for a while though...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

This just in: me

I'm in. Weather turned out nice and I pushed super hard. Finished 4th. Happy.

James and Chris turned up in a plane. Long story, but an almost very good short cut fell through...

I'm of to drink some more Alaskan Amber. I'll write some more when my head clears.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Email from Nikolai

Just got an email from John. He's in Nikolai alive and well and feeling strong.
He says he's just going to eat lots and dry out his clothes before he heads off for the last stint to McGraph. Apparently its -30 out, which even the locals say is cold! He says it's a minimum of a 12 hour push to the finish.

He's been riding with Alec Petro - and trying to keep safe.

He thinks that James might have got lost along with Chris Wrobel as they were both ahead, but John and Alec didn't pass them on the trail. They have probably just taken a wrong turn somewhere on the way. I'm sure Kathi will post some news soon.

Friday, 6 March 2009


So what news to tell. No doubt you have all been following the race by looking at the latest news page. What a hardcore race it is turning out to be. If you haven't already, have a look at a news article in the Anchorage news, to help to get some sort of perspective of the conditions the racers are having to deal with.

The winner of the 350 mile race has never taken more than 5 days. In fact Pete Basinger did it a couple of years ago in just over 3 days. We have already passed the 5 day mark and none of the racers have yet made it to McGraph, the finish point of the 350 mile race.

From the leaderboard and the latest news from Kathi it looks like John has finally made it to Rohn. After, I should think, a good rest there he has the long barren route to Nikolai which is a painstaking 90 miles from Rohn.

I wonder how many of the 8 1100mile racers will continue on to Nome this year. They have already had the race of of their lives and the shorter race is not yet over.

A big hello to two of John's siblings Kirsty and Ali who have been following his progress from somewhere in the galapagos (is that right Kirsty?) and Australia.
Can't wait to see you guys at the wedding in May.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Pushing on

John arrived at Puntilla at 7.26pm Tuesday. Closely followed by Cory Smith, Billy Koitzsch, Robert May and Aidan Harding. They all left Rainy Pass Lodge at around 5am Wednesday. Who knows how long it will take them to get to Rohn over Rainy Pass. As Kathi has quoted, the conditions can be so varied that it could take up to 24 hrs in partularly difficult conditions.
Billy Koitzsch has a SPOT so if you look at where he is, John is likely to be close by.

We may not hear when all the riders get to Rohn, so I think we are all going to have a long wait until we get some news. It gives us all time to move the mouse away from the refresh button and live our own lives for a few hours. Me, I'm going to go spinning and then have a nice long bath.


John got into Fingerlake in the early hours of Tuesday morning (3.50am). He left at 11.17am for Puntilla and the Rainy Pass Lodge. See the latest news page for more info.

Jeff Oatley is seriously powering along 11 hours ahead of the next group of riders which include James Leavesley and Jay and Tracey Petervary. They are all now heading along Rainy Pass on their way to Rohn.

James took seven hours to get to Puntilla from Fingerlake so I would be expecting John to get into Puntilla late evening on Tuesday, depending on weather conditions.

It's also fantastic news that Jill's frostbite shouldn't require surgery. Rest up and get well soon Jill.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Keep on truckin'

John arrived at Skwentna Roadhouse at 11.50am yesterday and after a good break set off at 5.16pm for Fingerlake. I expect him to arrive there in the early hours of Tuesday morning. (I'm finding it difficult to write in Alaskan time seeing as we are 9 hours ahead here in the UK!).

James is flying along behind the leader Jeff Oatley who has already made it to Fingerlake.

A few riders have scratched including Geoff Roes and Jill Homer I hope they sort out their respective knee injury and frost bite and get well soon.

Monday, 2 March 2009

First checkpoint - Yentna Station

It's just been posted on the Iditarod latest news page that 28 riders have now checked in and most out of Yentna Station.
John arrived with James Leavesley 1.15am Alaska time, the two of them then left at 5.05am.
They are now on their way (and may have even got to) the next checkpoint, Skwentna Roadhouse, which is the 90 mile point.
I can't describe how excited I was when I saw that he had passed the first all important checkpoint, I did a little dance!
Check where the rest of the racers are on the leaderboard.

And they're off...

Got a call yesterday an hour before the racers were due to leave to get a bus to Knik lake from the hotel. John was excited but very nervous. They are now on their way to the first check point at Yentna River 57 miles in. Apparently due to fresh snow fall they are running a few miles behind the normal pace at this time, as they have to push the bikes. (Information and photos from Carl Hutchings...thanks Carl).

John with James Leavesley

Don't forget to check out the podcasts and the other racers blogs for more info. Jill Homer's should be interesting as she is carrying a SPOT.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Race day

Got a call yesterday morning to say that John had arrived safely and he had just spent his birthday at the pre race party. He had met up with quite a lot of the racers, had a nice chat with Roger Leavesley, and James Leavesley had just arrived.

Despite the weather in the run up to the race being mild, it was snowing heavily during the race meeting, held at the Golden Lion Best Weston Hotel yesterday afternoon, which should make the going interesting.

The race starts today at 2pm from Knik, Alaskan time, so join me at 11pm tonight UK time to raise a glass of your favourite tipple wishing John and all the other racers the best of luck.

I'll post updates on here when I get the chance, but check out the latest news part of the official website for more up to date info.

Good luck John we're all thinking of you. Allez Allez!