The dogs are out of the trucks, having a nice morning stretch and a good hot meal. At 9am, our handler teams will drive them up to the starting area in Willow, about an hour and a half north of Anchorage, where they will drop them again, start laying out gear and doing general "getting ready" stuff.
At 11am, the rest of us -- including Aliy and Allen -- will drive up to meet them. We're doing it this way so that Aliy and Allen can get a little extra sleep this morning, and not have quite so many hours of standing around the starting area due to their fairly late starting positions and times. They will start at 3:40 and 3:48 respectively.
As soon as they are on their way, I will drive back here to Anchorage and post as much as I can as fast as I can. I will probably follow my "routine" of doing a quick post of the actual starts then follow up with pre-start footage, etc.
Many of you have noticed differences between the dog teams that we published in the Howler last week and those who actually ran in the ceremonial start yesterday. There have been a number of adjustments to the rosters, and there will be even more last-minute changes today. The situation is very dynamic -- as always -- and probably won't be resolved until the teams are finally getting ready to go this afternoon. I promise to find out as much as I can about who, which, why, etc. and fill you in.
So, I will be off-line for most of the day, then posting updates most of the night... Stay tuned!
PS -- There's a nice photo of Aliy from yesterday on the ADN website. You can click the image below to link to it and all their other coverage: