JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It was a disastrous day for the race leader and defending champion of the Pedigree Stage Stop Race. A wrong turn lead Lina Streeper and three other teams off-course on a wayward journey that all but sinks their chances of recovering with just one stage left.
Tommy Bird was the first one to take the wrong turn. He attempted to warn mushers behind him of the error but by then Streeper, Erick LaForce, and Anny Malo had all made the same fateful mistake.
For race leaders Streeper, Malo, and LaForce—who were running 1st, 2nd, and 3rd heading into the day—it was a major slip-up. Only Malo figured out she was off-track quick enough to salvage her run.
As for Streeper, she finished the leg in 3:34:41 while Stage 6 winner Emilie Entrikin cruised through the course in just 2 hours and 10 minutes. LaForce finally pulled into the finish nearly four hours later. Bird never did finish.
The shakeup means Malo is now the race leader with an overall cumulative time of 12:24:59, and a 42-minute edge over 2nd place musher Entrikin, who gained three spots.
Alix Crittenden, Jeff Conn, Rachel Courtney, and Dave Torgerson round out the top 6 teams—all separated by less than eight minutes so it’s anyone’s race for second and third place.
Malo is uncatchable. She just needs to put it on cruise control and hope nothing goes wrong tomorrow for the final stage of the 2019 Pedigree Stage Stop Race that has been full of surprises this year.
The teams mush in the Gros Ventre tomorrow at the Lower Slide Lake trailhead.