Just talked to Aliy. She was laughing and very pleased with the race, especially her core 8 and the candy litter. She arrived in Pelly Crossing thinking she was in 7th or 8th place. She was shocked to realize she was actually in 4th. As soon as they got her some breakfast, they hopped in the truck and headed to Dawson to set up for Allen's arrival. Aliy slept the whole way and is now helping Ray and Dave set up the camp site.
Aliy said the most amazing part of the race was the people. She felt like she had just come off of her 2000 Championship run. When she broke her sled going into Stepping Stone, the owners were so nice and had her sign a poster for them. It took her about a half hour to set the foot pad on to the sled runner. She had to fix it several more times before the end of the race.
When I asked her about the tangle out of McCabe, she laughed, "How did you hear about that?" The trail crosses the Klondike Highway at one point and there were volunteers holding stop signs controlling traffic on the Highway. The dogs decided that they were ready to head to Dawson instead of Pelly and tried to turn North on the Highway. The volunteers ran over to help get them across the road. Unfortunately, they were still holding the stop signs. Butterscotch, who was in lead with Skittles, saw people running at him with sticks and panicked. A mass tangle ensued, but in the end, no one was hurt and they all got across the road safely. But it took over 20 minutes!
Butterscotch was the King Pin of the 2nd part of the race. Aliy said if it weren't for Girlfriend, she wouldn't have had a team. Retired for 2 years and still the queen of the kennel! (I'm sorry I confused everyone with this statement. Girlfriend is retired on a couch in Nome. All of Aliy's main dogs were Girlfriend pups. :))
Update on Ryne:
Newt was the second dog she dropped. Newt and Pepper are not in the full training schedule this year, but had been run in Ryne's yearling team. Newt just didn't have the training miles to finish the race.