Iditarod 2024

March 6 Morning Update: Erin Altemus & Anna Hennessy Depart Nikolai

The Iditarod excitement continues!

Erin Altemus arrived in Nikolai (mile 263) at 6:39 p.m. AKST last night, March 5. After resting for for a nearly six hours, she departed Nikolai at 2:55 a.m. and took off for McGrath, the next checkpoint 48 miles ahead.

After McGrath, the next checkpoint is Takotna (mile 329). Takotna is situated on the banks of the Takotna River and is one of the smallest towns with one of the biggest welcomes. As of the morning of March 6 – Erin Altemus remains in 27th place.

Anna Hennessy arrived in Nikolai shortly after Erin Altemus at 11:15 p.m. AKST. After taking some time to rest, Anna Hennessy departed Nikolai at 5:01 a.m. AKST. Anna Hennessy remains in 29th place.

Iditarod Inside officials said that most mushers will begin preparing to take their mandatory 24 hour rest in the next 3-4 checkpoints. Some mushers might take their 24 hour rest in McGrath, while others will continue on and stop in Takotna, Ophir, or Cripple.

In an interview at Nikolai with Iditarod officials, five-time Iditarod winner Dallas Seavey said that the first third of the race – up until Nikolai is about putting the team together and progressing safely.

Then, the next third of the race is about focusing on positioning. During this phase, he said he can get a better idea of who the competition is.

He said his goals are to: #1 –  maximize his teams strengths & simultaneously avoid their weaknesses. And #2 – make people play the game that draws them away from what they should be doing.

He said, “I’ve got enough tools in the tool box. Now I just have to wait and see who I’m racing.”

Dallas Seavey is in second place, following close behind leader Jessie Holmes.