Oak Creek’s Thurston pushes on in Iditarod | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek’s Thurston pushes on in Iditarod

Kris Hoffman, also of Routt County, had to withdraw Tuesday afternoon

— Oak Creek musher Tom Thurston stayed on course Wednesday toward his second finish in three tries in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Alaska. Fellow Routt County musher Kris Hoffman, meanwhile, had to withdraw Tuesday afternoon.

Alaskan musher John Baker won his first Iditarod, crossing the finish line Tuesday. Four-time defending champ Lance Mackey finished 17th early Wednesday.

Thurston continued to hang near the back of the pack among the 48 racers. He entered the race hoping to train up his team for more competitive shots in the Iditarod in the future, placing more of an emphasis on finishing this season than placing high. He still had 15 of the 16 dogs he started with on Sunday, but he dropped two later that day and another Tuesday. He had 12 when he left Unalakleet a little after noon Wednesday.

Although Thurston was through difficult parts of the trail, such as the frozen Yukon River, tough stretches remained in the nearly 250 miles to the finish line in Nome, including long portions of the trail that stretch across frozen bays.

Hoffman had 11 dogs when he scratched from the race Tuesday, but he reported that he didn’t have any leaders. The team returned to the nearest checkpoint and was flown to Anchorage.

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