SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Off to ANWR!

One week, almost to the hour, after Aliy and Allen returned home from Nome, they headed north to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for their annual adventure tours. Thirty dogs, five sleds, arctic tents, stoves, dog food and people food were loaded into two trucks for the 14 hour drive on the Dalton Highway or ‘Haul Road’, which parallels the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Aliy and Allen leave their trucks near Galbraith Lake, a summer camp area currently buried in snow, north of the Brooks Mountain Range. They then transport all the gear into ANWR by dogsled since motorized vehicles are not permitted in the refuge. They will spend several days developing a trail system and dropping supply caches to be used during the tours.

On Saturday, a group of 3 adventure tourists will be transported to Galbraith Lake, from the airstrip at Coldfoot, an outpost north of the Arctic Circle. Aliy and Allen will lead them into ANWR for a week of arctic camping, wildlife viewing and instruction in dog sledding. Each participant will have his/her own sled and dog team. The arctic landscape and wildlife here is truly spectacular and unique. It is not uncommon to see caribou, fox, snowshoe hare and Northern Lights in the space of several hours.



Ken drives his team in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2007.

The following week two groups of 4 people will meet Aliy and Allen. They will travel by dog sled to base camps just inside ANWR. This week of adventure, called Motion in the Arctic White Silence, will combine arctic sightseeing and camping, dog sledding and a self-discovery workshop led by a nationally known psychologist. The pristine environment of arctic Alaska can provide for truly life changing experiences.

The dogs used for these tours are a combination of older, seasoned athletes and younger dogs in their first full season of training. The older dogs enjoy teaching the youngsters, individual attention from the tourists and a slower mushing pace. The youngsters learn about camping, unfamiliar trails and day long drives in a dog truck, lessons needed for racing success later in their lives.

Right now the arctic climate is perfect for these trips. There are 13 to 14 hours of daylight and the temperatures will likely hover between 25 above and 10 below zero F.



Setting up camp in ANWR under a bright arctic sun.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Iditarod 2008 Postscript - 03/23/08

HOME!

Aliy, Allen and their teams flew to Anchorage, from Nome, late last Monday. After a few hours of collecting the dog truck and a trailer, our mushers loaded the dogs and began an 8-hour, early morning trek north to SP Kennel. All were ecstatic to be back home on Tuesday. This past week both humans and dogs ate well and slept hard.

As follow up to his severe bout of intestinal ‘flu’ and fever on the Iditarod Trail, Allen visited his doc in Fairbanks. Final results were diagnosis of a virulent intestinal parasite. He is being treated with the appropriate drugs and is responding quickly. We want to sincerely thank all who took part in Allen’s treatment and diagnosis – the Iditarod staff, the Iditarod volunteers in Shaktoolik, the village Health Aide in Shaktoolik, Dr. Logan and the hospital staff in Nome and Bridgett who ministered to her father at her home in Nome.

Aliy is pleased with her Iditarod 2008 race. She points to the fact that she remained strong and happy during the race and finished with a very healthy dog team. She, and other perennially competitive mushers, commented on the number of high performance teams this year. The overall trends of selective breeding, superior dog care and better fitness levels of the mushers have combined to increase the quality and competitiveness of the sport in general, and this race in specific. SP Kennel is pleased to be a leader in those trends.




Aliy and her team shortly after the start of Iditarod 2008.

Skittles and Bullet in lead. Courtesy of Donna Dewhurst.



We realized this week that we had not acknowledged the dogs who raced in Iditarod 2008 with Aliy. Finishers are Bullet, ChaCha, Oddball, Venus, Skittles, Snickers, Rose, Meg, JJ, Heidi and Teddy!!! Biscuit was dropped in Ophir, Tony and Butterscotch in Cripple, Reeses in Ruby and Petunia in Unalakleet. All are well and happy. Each of these canine athletes is a unique character with strong and varying skills he/she brought to the team. Kudos to all.



Oddball and Bullet pose at the finish line in Nome. Pretty pleased with themselves!


As always, to our sponsors and fans, thanks for all your support!
Aliy, Allen and the gang at SP Kennel

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Post Iditarod 2008 - 03/15/08, 10:30 PM ADST

Home in Nome

The SP Kennel members, human and canine, are comfortably housed with our 2 host families in Nome. Allen recovered enough in the past 24 hours to eat soup and toast....his fever is gone. He and Aliy are trying to catch up on sleep. Both Aliy's and Allen's teams are resting in kennels in Bridgett's and Scotty's back yard. The dogs are in great condition.

Kaz and Sammy returned to Fairbanks yesterday. The rest of us will leave Nome on Monday.

Today (Saturday) was full of activities for mushers and their supporters. The Iditarod Finishers Association meeting and the 'Meet the Mushers' community event kept Aliy hopping. The remaining crew played 6 holes of ice golf on the Bering Sea, cared for dogs and did a musk ox sightseeing trip.

Sunday is the Iditarod Finish Banquet. This is usually a huge buffet featuring prime rib and fresh strawberries!! Each finisher is acknowledged for his/her accomplishments and encouraged to 'say a few words' about the race. There will likely be a few teams on the trail until late Monday. These later finishers will be honored at the Red Lantern (last place finisher) Banquet early next week.

This will be the last Post Iditarod Update from Nome.

Many thanks to all of you, our loyal supporters, who have contributed to our success physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. You are the best!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

POST IDITAROD 2008 - 03/13/08, 4:20PM ADST

Some Pictures from the Finishline


Aliy Coming Across Finish Line with ChaCha in lead.


Aliy signing in at Finishline


Aliy, ChaCha, Sammy and Kaz at Finishline

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/13/08

Iditarod 2008 came to an end yesterday as Aliy crossed under the burled arch at 10:10 pm. She finished in 21st position. We are very happy to have her here in Nome.

Little ROSEmary, Rosie for short, was so happy to see all the people. She was barking at everyone who came out to see the team come in. She even greeted the wooden Nomes just out of the city with "hello" barks.

Aliy was not very talkative about the race after she learned Allen was already here, so stories will come later. Allen is doing much better now that he is out of the cold and getting some fluids.

I hope to have pictures and stories up later today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/12/08, 5:20PM ADST

As we await Aliy's arrival in Nome, we are also awaiting Allen's premature arrival. He is in route via air as I write this. The flu he has been battling has caused him to withdraw from the race. After seeing medical personnel in Shaktoolik, he was ordered to withdraw and travel to Nome. Although it is a shame he can't finish the race, we are happy to know that he will not be on the trail with a fever. I believe his immune system was not fully recovered from his bout with bronchitis during the Yukon Quest 300. The dogs will be taken care of by Iditarod volunteers and will be shipped to Nome as soon as possible.

Bridgett was out with Aliy in White Mountain this morning. She reported that Aliy looked great and was ready to go after Jim Lanier. He was over an hour ahead of her, BUT go girl!!

We expect Aliy to reach Nome between 10 and 11pm.

Iditarod Update - - 03/12/08, 10:30 AM ADST

News from White Mountain, Shaktoolik and Nome

Aliy arrived at White Mountain early this morning, in 21st position, after a very good run from Elim. She will depart there at 12:34 PM, after her 8 hour mandatory rest. If all goes well, she will arrive in Nome 10 hours, more or less, after her departure from White Mountain. The whole family will be there to greet her at the finish line between 10:30 and 11:00 tonight.

Bridgett and Allen's brother, Kenny, drove a snowmobile from Nome to White Mountain this morning to catch up with Aliy before she starts that final push to Nome. We will post any communication from them as we receive it.

We also heard from Allen in Shaktoolik this morning. He is still feeling a bit under the weather so will take a long rest there before heading out on his next leg.

Congratulations to Lance Mackey, from the SP Kennel crew, for winning both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod for the second year in a row. He crossed the finish line of the 2008 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in first place, at about 2:30 AM today to the sounds of sirens and cheering crowds.

Final Podcast

The final Podcast is now available. Listen to Aliy describe the trail from White Mountain to Nome. Click on the link below or to the right.
http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/11/08, 4:30PM ADST

A Call from Bridgett

We just got a call from Bridgett in Unalakleet. Allen got into the checkpoint at 12:40pm. The dogs look great BUT Allen picked up food poisoning in Galena. He had to stop for an extended stay at Old Woman Cabin half way from Kaltag to Unalakleet. He just couldn't go on. He will stay at Unalakleet until he feels a bit better. He just wishes both he and the dogs could feel well at the same time.

Aliy is on the move from Koyuk to Elim. We expect her to only take a short break in Elim before heading off to White Mountain. She still has 11 dogs.

Lance Mackey got into White Mountain an hour before Jeff King. There is a mandatory 8 hour stop there. It will be very difficult for Jeff to catch up to Lance now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/10/08, 10:40PM ASDT

A correction for Aliy. She dropped Petunia in Unalakleet and is now down to 11 dogs. She is moving well along the coast.

Episode 8 of the Audio Podcast is now up. Aliy discussed the trail from Shaktoolik to White Mountain.

Go to: http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html to listen or download it.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/10/08, 2:30PM ADST

On The Move

The whole kennel is on the move today. Aliy is out of Unalakleet after a 5 1/2 hour rest and is on her way down the coast to Shaktoolik. She left with all 12 dogs. Weather is reportedly hovering at 20 degrees above zero with a forecast of 0 to 10 degrees this evening.

Allen arrived at Kaltag at noon with one of the fastest times from Nulato. His team must be getting over their flu bug. He thought they would be VERY fast when they finally did. Bridgett is on her way out to Unalakleet right now to see her dad arrive there in the morning.

Doug and Marla picked up the six dropped dogs that had made it back to Anchorage. The Millers drove the dogs half way, to Cantwell, so both parties only had to drive half way, yeah!!!! The dogs were excited to see the dog truck and know they were on their way home.

Sammy had his first flight today. His mom, grandma and he arrived at Nome at 9am after a uneventful 2 hour flight from Fairbanks (much to the joy of his mom!). We are expecting the first mushers in by late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Iditarod Update - 03/09/08, 1:45 PM ADST

A Call from Allen

Allen just called us from the Galena checkpoint. He sounded very upbeat and not at all tired. He says he and the dogs have been getting a lot of rest…too much rest for his competitive nature!

Allen said that his dogs have been dealing with a combination of the heat and a contagious intestinal flu for the past few days. Therefore, he has had to baby them, holding back on speed and taking long rests at the checkpoints. By this time most of the dogs have gotten over the '48 hour bug', but both Heeler and Dill are still in the recovery stages.

He plans on taking a 6 hour rest in Galena and heading back on the trail to Nulato in the early evening. He feels that the dogs who have recovered from the flu are super energetic and ready to run. He is waiting for a full team recovery before allowing them to pick up speed and race again.

The dog he dropped in Cripple was Roy, who simply got too hot and couldn’t pull. The reason he stayed 13 hours at that checkpoint was to cool down the entire team.

Allen says that his ‘star’ is Stormy, a two year old female. Interestingly enough, her brother, JJ, is becoming a main leader on Aliy’s team during this race. They are from AJ’s last litter, a wonderful testimony to their father, who was Aliy’s main leader for several years.

Aliy and Family News

After a short early morning rest, Aliy is now en route from Nulato to Kaltag. Our guess is that she will rest in Kaltag this afternoon and then make the trip through Old Woman Pass to the Bering Sea during the cool of the night. That trip normally takes 10 to12 hours.

Doug has returned from Ruby safely. He drives south tomorrow to pick up the dropped dogs (who have been staying near Anchorage) and transport them back to their own houses at SP Kennel. Bridgett is flying to Unalakleet tomorrow to meet with Aliy as she reaches the Bering Sea coast. Kaz, Sammy and Mickey head to Nome tomorrow from Fairbanks. Also on Monday, Allen’s mom and brother travel from Arkansas to Nome to greet the racers a the end of the trail. This is a family event!!

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/09/08, 1:30PM AST

The 7th Audio Podcast is out. Listen to Aliy describe the trail from Kaltag to Shaktoolik.

http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Iditarod Update - 03/08/08, 1:30 PM AST

A Report from Doug

Aliy's dad, Doug, just called to report from the Ruby checkpoint. He saw Aliy during her 6 hour layover between midnight and 6 AM today. He reported that Aliy looked good and was not allowing the weather to get her down. Her dogs ate well and departed the checkpoint with no problem. She dropped Reeses at Ruby primarily because she had lost her enthusiasm and was not pulling well. Aliy ate a big meal and got about 2 hours of sleep before she headed for Galena.

Doug said that Aliy's strategy will change depending on temperatures. He felt that she would probably stop and rest in Galena if the trip there took over 7 hours.

Doug has had the opportunity to talk with and listen to many racers on the trail. The pervasive theme is the very slow run times on the trail. This warmth is frustrating for both mushers and dogs.

More later.

Iditarod Update - 03/08/08, 10:45 AM AST

Doug in Ruby

Yesterday morning Aliy's Dad, Doug, flew to the Ruby checkpoint, on the Yukon River. His plan was to meet with both Aliy and Allen before flying back to Fairbanks this evening.

We received a call from him yesterday saying that the checkpoint was very busy, very warm (about 32 degrees F), and lacking easy phone communications. A generous Ruby resident let him use their home phone.

Doug saw Lance leave Ruby...both he and his dogs looked well. He also saw Jeff King arrive at Ruby. His dogs looked fantastic... alert, happy and eager.

Doug was assisting at the checkpoint, keeping a lookout for incoming teams , raking straw and directing teams to their resting spots. He had reserved a 'bed' in the local school for the night. That means he gets a cot in the library in exchange for a small donation. That's much more comfortable than sleeping on the floor of a tent at the checkpoint.

We suspect that Doug did not sleep much. Aliy and her team of 13 arrived at Ruby just after midnight. She rested there for 6 hours and departed around 6 AM with a team of 12 Therefore, she dropped another dog there.

We hope to hear from Doug this morning with a report on her mental and physical condition.

Meanwhile, Allen departed the Cripple checkpoint at 3 AM AST today. He rested there for over 13 hours. He dropped another dog, so he continues with a team of 12. We can only speculate that the run to Cripple was challenging enough that he felt a long rest was necessary. It will probably be 12 to 17 hours before we see him in Ruby.

Dropped Dog Newsflash: All SP Kennel dropped dogs (with the exception of the 2 dropped in the past few hours) are safely back in Anchorage, under the diligent care of Margie, our dropped dog volunteer. Thanks so much, Margie!

Friday, March 7, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/07/08, 11:50PM AST

Podcast 6 is up. Listen to Aliy describe the trail from Cripple to Kaltag.

http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/07/08, 3:45PM AST

Aliy is on the move again. After completing her mandatory 24 hour layover, she took a team of 13 dogs on the trail to Ruby. She dropped Butterscotch and Tony. Butters is already in Anchorage, beating even Bisquit back and he was dropped in Ophir. Aliy left the checkpoint in the midst of a large group of front runners coming through. Temperatures are reportedly right around freezing. If Aliy has to stop along the trail before reaching Ruby due to weather, she may well just pick up gear and continue on towards Galena.

Allen went through Ophir a little before midnight yesterday. He didn’t drop and dogs, still running with the 13 he left his 24 hour with. He will certainly stop on his way to Cripple, probably splitting the run into two parts. He will most likely reach there by 6pm to 8pm, depending on trial conditions.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/06/08, 11:40PM

A Note from Aliy

We just got a call from Ken Privratsky of Horizon Lines of Alaska who is flying the trail this year. He meet up with Aliy in Cripple where she is doing her 24 hour mandatory layover. She sent a note back with him to let us know what was going on in her race. There are no phones out in Cripple, which is a mobile checkpoint made up of tents that the Iditarod Air Force flies in.

As we thought, Aliy is doing her mandatory rest in Cripple. Her team is looking good and so is she. Venus and little JJ (her supperstar leader AJ’s son) have been in lead for much of the race. Butterscotch hurt his shoulder right when they got to Cripple and Tony has a “hitch in his git-a-long.” Hopefully the layover will be enough for these two dogs to be able to continue down the trail, but Aliy may have to leave them behind. All of the other dogs are doing very well.

The snow is very “gritty” with the heat and it is causing problems with the dog booties. They are not staying on well and holes are eating them away. Ken said it was 30 degrees there.

The dog she dropped back in Ophir was the two year old Bisquit. He seemed to have picked up a virus. Unfortunately, he didn’t really start showing the signs until after Aliy left Ophir. She had to return to the checkpoint to drop him.

Aliy broke the handlebar of her sled while traversing the Rainy Pass area. She drove it broken through some of the toughest trail on the Iditarod. She said the area was “very challenging” - which from the reports we have heard, is putting it mildly! She finally fixed the bar when she reached Rohn. She will surely have some stories to tell about that!

Aliy will be leaving Cripple tomorrow morning.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/06/08, 11:20PM

Allen Out of his 24

Allen left Takotna with all 13 dogs at a little past 9 pm. A perfect time to be running - the coolest part of the day. He and his dogs got some much needed rest. They eat lots of food and got dehydrated. I am told he really enjoyed the pies!

Hopefully they can get on a night schedule that will keep them running during the cooler temperatures. Now that he has completed his mandatory 24 hour rest, Allen must decide where to take his mandatory 8 hour rest. It must be completed on the Yukon River, somewhere between Ruby and Kaltag.

Iditarod 2008 - 03/06/08, 3:10PM AST

Links


Byron and Sherry Hay recorded the presentation Aliy and Allen made at Hawthorn Suites on Friday night before the start of the Iditarod. They are now available to view on YouTube. The links to these clips are on the right side of the blog. Enjoy.


The Anchorage Daily News has a fun photo of Allen, his Iditarider Lynn and Bridgett during Ceremonial Start. To see it, go to:


http://www.adn.com/photos/readersubmitted/v-gallery/story/328543.html?/1522/gallery/328544-a331890-t3.html

Iditarod 2008 - 03/06/08, 11 AM AST

Phone Call from Allen

We talked to Allen last night, Wednesday, at about 10:30 PM AST. He had settled into Takotna for his 24 hour rest. The warmer than normal temps are definitely effecting mushers' strategies in this race. Allen reported a tough run from Nikolai to McGrath due to temperatures in the 30's and very soft and rutted trails. He tried to push through McGrath at about noon yesterday (Wed) but decided that the temps were too high for the safety of his team. He returned to McGrath for a 6 hour rest, before heading to Takotna in cooler evening weather. He dropped Spicy in McGrath. The heat was effecting her performance.

Now Allen will sit and rest in Takotna during the hottest part of the day. There he will minister to his dogs and get some well deserved rest. When he departs tonight at about 8:30 PM AST, the temps should be cooler and the trails should be hardening up.

Doug (Aliy's dad) will be heading out to the checkpoint at Ruby on Friday. His hopes are to catch up with Aliy there on Friday night and Allen on Saturday.

News flash: The National Weather Service continues to forecast warmer than usual temperatures along the Iditarod trail for the remainder of the race. These conditions will continue to color the character of this race.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/06/08, 10:00AM AST

Aliy in Cripple

Aliy’s GPS tracker is back on. For a short time yesterday, it was not functioning. It had her at Takotna when she had already checked out of Ophir. Although the Iditarod Website is still showing her on the trail, right now the GPS is showing her sitting with Ed Iten in Cripple doing 0 mph. We expect that she will be staying in Cripple to do her 24 hour mandatory rest. Iten’s GPS is showing 19 degrees, but Aliy’s is showing 35. Hopefully, Iten’s is correct. These high temperatures are just not what our dogs are used to.

Aliy dropped one dog in Ophir. We don’t have any information yet about who it was. All the dogs from that checkpoint will need to go to McGrath before heading into Anchorage. There is no phone in Cripple so we will not be hearing from Aliy during her 24 hour. The next possibility to hear from her will be if she stops in Ruby.

We are very excited about the race she is having so far. With doing her 24 hour stop this far along the trail and her still having 15 dogs, she must be pleased at how her team is looking.

As for how the race is shaping up, the leaders who stopped earlier on to do their mandatory 24 are beginning to move again. Over the next 24 hours, we will start to get a picture of where everyone really is.

The 24 hour stop is where the time differential from the start is equalized. Aliy’s 24 hour layover will be close to 26 hours and 40 minutes due to her great starting position.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/04/08, 09:20PM AST

Aliy went in and out of Nikolai at 7:27pm. She dropped no dogs.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/04/08, 09:20PM AST

Aliy has passed through Nikolai. By using the GPS tracker, we could tell that she stopped about 10 miles out of Nikolai and rested before heading through the checkpoint. They do not have her through on the update, but the tracker has her 30 miles out of McGrath. She looks like she is still travelling with Ed Iten and Ken Anderson. Until they show her into and out of Nikolai, we won't know if she needed to drop any dogs. Hopefully not!!!

There is no further news on Allen since he left Rohn at 10:30am this morning.

Episode 5 of the Audio Podcast is up. Aliy talks a bit about the trail from Nikolai to Cripple. To listen or download, go to: http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html

Enjoy.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/04/08, 11:10AM AST

Temperatures Hard on Northern Dogs

As of 9:30am this morning, the temperature on the trail for Aliy was 38 degrees above zero. That is VERY warm for our Interior Alaskan Huskies. She will have to stop more often to hydrate them. Snacks like fish and chicken are mostly water and will be one of the main sources of fluids for the dogs on the trail. Huskies don’t tend to drink plain water, but when she stops, she will make them a soupy broth - excellent for these higher temperatures. It does look like it will at least drop to below freezing as she approaches Nikolai.

Aliy is right in the patch of front mushers and still has all 16 dogs. She is between Rohn and Nikolai. Her speed should pick up a bit when the temperatures lower.

Allen is into Rohn at a bit before 5am this morning. He should be getting ready to leave as I write this or possible out already. He dropped another dog yesterday at Rainy Pass and is now running with 14. The first dog dropped at Finger Lake was Mouse. Due to the temperatures, she was a bit dehydrated. She is fine now, back in Anchorage. The youngster Spot was dropped last night with a sore triceps. He is also back in Anchorage and eating like a mad man - like normal.

Allen’s times are still right on target. Fourteen dogs is a powerful “engine”.

Hopefully the temperatures will begin to drop this afternoon. I don’t want to wish to hard. All we need is for it to drop to -40 degrees below zero!!

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/04/08, 1:12AM AST

There is a new Podcast about the trail through Nikolai.

Monday, March 3, 2008

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/03/08, 07:25 PM AST

The First Full Day Racing

It is hard to decipher exactly what is going on at this point in the race. Every musher has a different strategy that he or she is working. Some mushers like to rest at the checkpoints, while others, like Aliy, prefer to camp out away from the crowds. When you look at the times and see some having run a section in 4 hours and others having run the same trail in 10 hours, you can safely assume that the 10 hour run included about a 6 hour rest at a camp. Add to that, some mushers will start off running 6 to 8 hour runs, while others, like Aliy and Allen, start off running shorter runs, no more than 4 or 5 hours. This is why Aliy’s position changes so drastically every few hours. The teams are playing hop scotch out there! It is difficult to tell where anyone really is until after they all take their 24 hour mandatory rest later on in the race.


The best I can say is that at this stage, Aliy is right on target with her run rest schedule and is looking good on her times. She still has all 16 dogs and is right in the mix. As I am writing this, Aliy is sitting at Rainy Pass, where she wanted to rest for the afternoon. She will probably pull out of there around 7:30 or 8pm this evening. The temperature is still showing in the upper 20s, lower 30s in this area. The night should cool things down a bit for her summit of the actual pass at Rainy Pass.


Allen, who started almost 2 hours after Aliy, is right on his schedule as well. It looks like he may have needed to carry a dog in the sled on his run into Finger Lake. His times were a LITTLE slower than the others with similar dog teams and he did drop a dog there. We don’t know who it is yet, but we know it is a female and that she was a bit dehydrated due to the high temperatures on the trail. (Nothing like going from -40 degrees below zero to 30 plus degrees above zero in a two week time frame! ) She was flown out of Finger Lake this afternoon and is presently with the Iditarod Veterinarians in Anchorage. She is in good shape, just drinking a lot. They will probably keep her until tomorrow morning. As soon as we find out which dog it is, we will let you know.


If you haven’t already checked out the IonEarth’s GPS tracker that shows where Aliy is during the race, it is very interesting. It give location, temperature and altitude of several mushers. It checks each musher every 15 minutes. Remember that the speeds are not average, just what they are doing at that moment. If they are going up hill, it could show them going 5 or 6 mph and then going 16 mph 5 minutes later as they go down the hill. The link is on the Iditarod homepage. (http://www.iditarod.com/)


We will keep you updated as soon as we get further information.

IDITAROD 2008 - 03/03/08, 11:45 AM AST

The Willow Restart

The weather was perfect for spectators, 30 degrees F and sunny! The restart was mobbed with many thousands of well wishers, at least a thousand race volunteers, hundreds of vehicles (dog trucks, snow mobiles, single engine planes, helicopters, ultra lights…). Add to that the 95 Iditarod racers, their teams of handlers and over 1500 dogs. It was organized bedlam.
The SP Kennel handlers gracefully led our teams to the starting chute. Both Aliy and Allen started at their assigned times, amid cheering crowds , blaring loudspeakers and clicking cameras. Their dogs were so eager to run and they were immensely relieved to be on the trail, after 4 days of pre-race hoopla.

Of course, we had the best team of handlers at the start. Bridgett was in charge of dog logistics and she excelled at telling us all what to do (that is a compliment!). Ray and Doug drove the dog trucks, safely transporting the dogs and equipment from Two Rivers to Anchorage, then around Anchorage and to the Willow restart. Thanks for the professional attitude and performance of the entire gang…Judy, Janet, Marla, Leslie and Dave (a special thanks for the muscle).

Just before the restart, Aliy’s sled was equipped with a GPS tracking device. She and 19 other mushers are testing new technology that could be used to track every racer next year. To follow her progress in real time, go to Iditarod.com and link to the Ionearth website.

Episode 3 of the audio podcast is now available. Click on the link to the right. Aliy discusses the trail from the start to Rainy Pass.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Willow Restart

The dogs and Aliy and Allen have completed the ceremonial start and are heading off to Willow for tomorrow's restart.

The latest podcast has been published with Aliy talking about dog care. Hope you enjoy them!

To listen or download them go to:
http://www.switchpod.com/p15961.html