Sunday, March 01, 2009

30 down, 300+ to go

Jill at the start -- Photo courtesy Evan Hone

The sun is down on day one and Jill is some 30 miles into the race. So far so good -- temps are in the teens and the trails appear to be rideable. Her average speed so far has been above 6mph, which means riding. I had read on another racer's blog that there was 6-7" of new snow in Anchorage recently, so I was wondering if even the first few miles might be slow. I'm sure we will learn more about conditions as racers begin filtering into the first checkpoint, Yentna Station, sometime tonight.

I've been working on a better SPOT monitoring page. Something that shows both Jill's current position and the route with checkpoints. Here's what I have so far:

Hopefully I will be able refine it in the near future. Right now the checkpoints show up as the same symbol as Jill's current position. You'll have to click around to see which one she is (as of right now, of course, she's between the start and the first checkpoint, so it's pretty easy).

Also, I can add any other racer carrying a SPOT to that page. If you know of any other ITI folks with a SPOT shared page, please post a comment. I know Geoff posted a link to his, but it's not working. If anyone knows of a different share page for Geoff, drop me an email at smorris AT or post a comment.

Special thanks to Kevin Montgomery of Tour Divide for his help setting up the page, and the use of some of his code.

For now, Jill will soon merge onto the Yentna River, which the Iditarod trail follows for many miles. It can be a bit of a monotonous stretch, especially in the dark.


  1. Hi. Billy Koitzsch is also in the race using a Spot satellite tracker. His Spot page is at:

    As of 10pm on Sunday he has crossed the Big Su and is on the north shore about to head up the Yentna River.

    Good luck to all of the racers!!!


  2. WOW! It's great to be out there.I never went to Alaska but I think from what I saw in documentary about Alaska, that is a place where human and nature are standing in the front line.
    Visit my blog

  3. Mike in WI says...

    See Spot go,
    See Jill ride.
    Ride Jill, Ride!!!

    You are probably way to young to remember Jack, Jill and Spot...

    You made it to CP1 !!!

    We are proud of you!!!

  4. Jill is rockin da AK! Kb peace out

  5. Geoff and Jill went up the hill
    To catch a pail of water
    Jill fell down and broke her crown
    And Geoff went on without her.

  6. Hey Scott,
    Thanks so much for keeping us all updated, this is all too cool!
    Now, if someone could convince Jill to put on a helmetcam with satellite uplink capability next year, you'd be cooking with gas!

  7. Jill and Geoff have both scratched according to the Leader Board . Does anyone know what happened???? I hope that they are ok!

  8. Michelle, based on the "latest news" on that page:

    "Geoff Roes also had knee issues. Jill Homer stepped into some overflow last night and as some frostbite on her toes. As far as I know it is minor, but not continuing on is a good decision to prevent further damage to the toes. Three of them flew out to Willow and Geoff and Jill are staying with friends in Palmer. Riccardo is taking the bus to Anchorage from Wasilla.Isabel Vicente Lopez is also scratching with some issues with her eyes, possibly from the wind last night. She is flying out this afternoon as well and Geoff is taking care of her as well to make sure she will get back to Anchorage. Thank you very much Geoff!"

    Sucks for them both, I can't imagine how disappointed they are.


Feedback is always appreciated!