Eagle River riders among race leaders as Iron Dog reaches midway point in Nome

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 13:19
  • Defending Iron Dog champion Chris Olds prepares to leave the Pro Class start at Deshka Landing in Willow during a snowstorm on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

Chris Olds is halfway home while Tyson Johnson has some catching up to do.

The Eagle River snowmachine riders were both among the top five teams into Nome in the 2019 Iron Dog snowmachine race Tuesday, with Olds arriving in first place and Johnson less than an hour back in fifth.

Olds and partner Mike Morgan of Anchorage arrived in Nome at 2:49 p.m. Tuesday, almost five minutes ahead of Anchorage’s Casy Boylan and Bryan Leslie in second.

Olds and Morgan are the defending champions in the 2,000-mile race from Willow to Nome to Fairbanks that started Sunday at Deska Landing. The duo is currently taking a layover in Nome, where the Iron Dog will present its halfway awards Wednesday evening. For reaching Nome in first place, Olds and Morgan will receive a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Donlin Gold.

The race resumes Thursday morning en route to Fairbanks, where the first team is expected to cross the finish line at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge on Feb. 23.

[[PHOTOS: Iron Dog starts at Deshka Landing in Willow (Via ADN)]]

Last year, Olds and Morgan used their Polaris Indy XC 600s to complete the trail in 36 hours, 54 minutes and 49 seconds and win by less than five minutes. The championship was the third for Olds and the first for Morgan, who have ridden together for eight years.

If Olds and Morgan are going to defend their title, they’ll have to hold off a pack of teams that includes Johnson and Palmer’s Tyler Aklestad. The 2016 champs arrived in Nome in fifth place at 3:11 p.m. Tuesday aboard their Ski-Doo Mxz X-RS 600s.

For more info and up-to-date standings, visit irondog.org.

2019 Iron Dog Snowmachine Race

Tuesday’s arrival times in Nome – Morgan-Olds 2:29 p.m., 2) Boylan-Leslie 2:54 p.m.; 3) Drinkhouse-George 2:59 p.m.; 4) Faeo-Schachle 3:05 p.m.; 5) Akelstad-Johnson 3:11 p.m.; 6) Lapham-Weisz 3:31 p.m.; 7) Cruise-Miller 4:33 p.m.; 8) Kleewein-Kleewein 4:45 p.m.; 9) Gumley-VanWingerden 5:48 p.m.; 10) Conner-Elder 6:06 p.m; 11) Barber-Barber 6:15 p.m.; 12) Miebs-Thibault 6:50 p.m.; 13) Boney-Unruh, 8:19 p.m.;

Arrived Wednesday – 14) Levine-Levine, 1:55 a.m.; 15) Mountain-Sommer, 2:12; 16) Krause-Lilley, 5:14 a.m.

Scratched – Anselment-Baumgartner, Carlson-Masson, Huss-Selby, Oliver-Vaughn, Minnick-Olstad, Nikolai-Reader, Conlon-Menne, Berg-Chvastasz.

correction: Story has been updated to correct Johnson’s first name.

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