The CB300 is behind us, and our coverage of it here on the Dog Log is complete. It's time to start focusing on the Denali Doubles race, coming up on February 11th.
A number of you have asked for some explanation of the Denali Doubles. The truth is, we're really just starting to get our heads around it and develop our strategies. It's a new race, and there are some interesting quirks to it. We promise to explain it as best we can, as fast as we can.
One thing is for sure, a Denali Doubles team includes twenty dogs! We thought it might be good to start you off with some idea of what that looks like, so Aliy recorded this video. She does a great job as always of narrating it, but it's a little hard to hear over the dogs barking. Here are two main points to watch for:
1) The front 12 dogs are all racing veterans. They have lots of experience and what we call "manners." Once they are hooked up, they mostly sit patiently in line and wait for the signal to get going. The rear 8 dogs are mostly young, inexperienced dogs. They definitely do not have "manners." It's a great contrast to see so clearly.
2) A twenty dog team is, as Aliy puts it, "a little bit to handle." Even in the still photo above, you can barely see all the dogs, let alone be able to see any detail about what's going on with your leaders. Keep in mind that they are about 80 feet in front of you, farther than the length of the longest semi-truck on the road. This is where all the time that Aliy spends with her dogs really shows up. She has to be able to tell what's going on with each of them just by glimpsing how they are running. She cannot rely on being able to clearly see details.