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.