Aliy caught everyone off guard with an early arrival at Eagle Quest Lodge in first place. She completed the 30 mile run in 2:40 and caused race officials and me to dart out of the lodge without gloves and mitts in -25 degree weather. Her official arrival time is 19:25 so will have an earliest departure time of 1:25am. She said it felt like 40 below out on the river and is looking forward to warming up.
She is delighted with the performance of Pud who has been in lead with Beemer for 197 miles now. Considering he missed all of last season, this is a very special comeback for Aliy. Also standing out in the team is Scooter who has the enthusiasm of Biscuit and Tatfish and is frustrated when they are not moving. This two year old is already fighting to justify a place in the first team.
Between Morgan Cabin and Nowhere Checkpoint Aliy and Ryne took 2hr breaks. Blowing right past them was Justin Savidis, winner of the Don Bowers Memorial 200. Aliy did not realize he was running the 200 and thought he had blown by her too. Her competitive spirit surfaced, and she focused on chasing him down and arrived at the Eagle Quest Lodge checkpoint 4 minutes behind him.
Ryne took a slightly longer break and arrived at the checkpoint at 20:19 with a team that looked like it wasn't ready for a break. She is pleased with her run and looking forward to a strong performance in the last leg of the race. She is out working on the feet and shoulders of her dogs so I don't have much more to tell you right now. She did say that Ranger and Mac are the most enthusiastic members of the team. She will be departing at 02:18 for her final run back to Kershner's checkpoint. Stormy and Ranger are still in lead and we will see if they finish this race in those positions. Ryne has some young dogs on her team like Boris and Mac, and others like Lester and Skittles, which have not had as many miles on them as other dogs. We will see if Ryne leaves with her full team or decides some of the dogs need a break.
Our next update will come to you tomorrow morning once Aliy and Ryne have moved through Nowhere Checkpoint.