Seven days down and about seven to go in the Alaskan Iditarod race, Frankfort native Billy Hanes ranked 37 out of 87 late Friday afternoon. Not too bad for a rookie who started in 85th position with a goal just to make it across the finish line.
"His goal is just to finish," his mother Diana Hanes said Friday. "As a rookie that's what your goal is. He's there for the experience and to meet other mushers. So far he's hanging in there, he's doing good and we're proud of him."
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has become one of the world's best-known and treacherous sporting events, leading mushers and their team of 12 dogs over 1,150 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain. The race takes 10 to 17 days to complete, beginning in Anchorage and ending in Nome.
This year there are 35 rookies participating. Rookies typically finish in the bottom half if they finish at all, Iditarod Director Joanne Potts, has told The State Journal.
Diana Hanes and her husband William Hanes, of Frankfort, haven't heard from their 30-year-old son since his trek began last Sunday and said they don't expect to hear from him until a day or so after he's crossed the finish line and has time to rest.