Robert Sorlie, "The Norwegian Flash," is now eight hours ahead of his closest competitor, Ramy Brooks.
The big difference: Ramy only has 9 dogs. Sorlie has 12.
As I've said before: More dogs means more speed. A least until they reach the coast and switch to their faster, lighter sleds.
Ramy is about as close to mushing royalty as it comes (if there indeed is such a thing).
Here's an excerpt from his bio.
Ramy’s great-grandfather, Arthur Wright, was an Athabascan interpreter for Hudson Stuck, the Archdeacon of the Yukon, as they traveled around Alaska by dog sled for the Episcopal Church. (Hudson Stuck was the first man to successfully climb Mount McKinley.) Ramy’s grandfather, Gareth Wright, focused on breeding and racing. He became a successful breeder and racer, winning two North American championships and three Fur Rendezvous World Championships. Ramy’s mother, Roxy Wright, followed her father’s path and became one of the most respected sprint mushing champions. She has won numerous Women’s North American Championships and Women’s Fur Rendezvous World Championships. She also carries the title of the only woman to have won both the Open North American Championship and the Open Fur Rendezvous World Championship.
I think one of the reasons I follow the Iditarod is that it reminds me of the life I lead in Florida and of how different it was from the one I lived in Alaska.
It's not like I lived the life of an Iditarod musher, but it felt more adventurous by sheer proximity. I was a lot closer to adventure there than I'll ever be in Florida.
As blessed as I am to be living where I live and working where I work, I miss that difference a great deal some days. I think I always will.