With a Bering Sea storm brutalizing Northwest Alaska on Thursday, the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmachine race -- the world's longest and toughest -- was temporarily transformed into a 200-mile trail ride down the coast. Two hundred miles is about the distance from Nome southeast to Unlakaleet, where racing will resume.
Hopefully. If everyone makes it there safely.
Near white-out conditions were reported in many areas along the coast. Even at slow speeds, the Iditarod Trail, along which the race is run, can be difficult to follow in those conditions. There were concerns about racers getting lost. There were worries about open water after the winds broke up the sea ice near Nome.
"All racers will ride under a yellow caution flag in teams. Rookies and veterans will be mixed together to work as a team to get to Unalakleet. Once in Unalakleet, times will be set for release on their actual trail times and the race continues from there,'' the Iron Dog website reported.