As you read on the Team rosters in a previous post, the Black Team has a very aggressive race plan and is running to win. One look at the talent on the team and you know they've got a great race ahead of them!
The Red Team certainly isn't short on talent and should also do very, very well. Aliy has made it clear, though, that this race is a developmental one for her team. She intends to adjust her race plan along the way, to suit her younger dogs so that they can gain the maximum race experience going into Iditarod.
For all the familiar reasons, that's all I can tell you about the Teams' race plans right now.
A number of you have asked what my "race plan" is, and I'm happy to share it with you since I can pretty much guarantee I won't have any competitors. As you will read, I'm probably the only guy crazy enough to even give it a go!
As you can see on this map, it may only be 130 miles by dog sled from Cantwell to Paxson, but it's over 330 miles by truck going through Fairbanks:
With that in mind, here is my plan:
Phase One -- I will drive with the teams early this (Thursday) morning from the Kennel -- near Fairbanks -- to Cantwell where we must arrive by noon. I will cover the pre-race activities, then try to find internet service and post a brief update. I will then cover the starts at about 5pm and again, if possible, try to post another quick update.
Phase Two -- I will leave Cantwell at about 6pm and drive 4 hours to Fairbanks. I will work through the night to process the media from the day and upload as much as I can before leaving Fairbanks at 9am.
Phase Three -- Friday morning I will drive 5 hours to Paxson and be there in time for the teams to arrive at the checkpoint. While in Paxson, I will download trail video from the Teams' onboard cameras and shoot additional media. I will spend as much time as I can with the teams and should have enough internet to at least post some photo updates. Videos will probably have to wait.
Phase Four -- I will leave Paxson at about 10pm and drive 5 hours to Fairbanks. I will again work through what is left of the night to process and post as much as I can before leaving Fairbanks again at 9am.
Phase Five -- Saturday morning I will drive 4 hours to Cantwell to be there in time for the Teams' arrivals. I will finish my coverage and upload/post whatever I can Saturday night.
Once the race is over, we will all have to stay in Cantwell until Sunday afternoon for the post-race meeting. While there I will try to find enough internet to catch up a bit, but some of it may have to wait until the first of next week. Then, of course, we will also shoot and post follow-ups with the mushers.
So, if everything goes according to plan -- stop laughing, I can hear you! -- you should get some reasonably timely updates along the way, some videos on about a 4-8 hour delay, and all the rest… well… at some point.
Like I said, I don't think I'll have much competition on my race! Who else is crazy enough to even try this?