SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yukon Quest Schedule



The Yukon Quest week is here!

The Black Team has been waiting all season for their chance to get on the Yukon Quest trail ...


The Schedule
  • Wednesday, February 1st: Start/Drawing Banquet 5 - 10 PM (Fairbanks, AK)
  • Thursday, February 2nd: Handlers Meeting 10 - 11:30 AM, Mushers Meeting 1 - 4 PM, "Meet the Mushers" gathering 6:30 - 10 PM (Fairbanks, AK)
  • Friday, February 3rd: "Prep day" at SP Kennel (Two Rivers, AK)
  • Saturday, February 4th: Race Start in Downtown Fairbanks 11 AM

You will be able to follow the Yukon Quest:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

SP Kennel Teams Return Home After Winning Don Bowers Memorial Race 300

We are so proud of both Aliy and Ryne, and of course, our fabulous dogs! Congratulations on the great race finishes! And Congratulations to our friend and veterinarian Tamara Rose who placed 4th in the Don Bowers Memorial 200 Race.

Both teams are headed home now, to cold and ice foggy Two Rivers, where it is -50 today and warming up to -20 tomorrow (we hope!). The dogs will be petted and pampered as all champion athletes are when they return home from a big win. We'll probably be hearing more about the race itself from the perspective of Aliy and Ryne on the blog spot, as well as getting pictures and video from the race. So continue to watch the blog spot over the next few days to get the "inside" story.

This completes our coverage of the Don Bowers Memorial Race 300. The race is still going on and you can follow it on their website. Thank you for racing along with us! Until next time...

Ryne Crosses The Finish Line in 2nd Place

Ryne and the R&B team crossed the finish line at about 1:39 PM. They looked good-- though Cutter rode across the line in the sled bag--a bit sore from the run. For the "puppy" team these guys are doing GREAT!!!! They have real potential for their next race! Ryne is very happy with their overall run.

We'll post pictures of the finish from both teams as soon as we can--they are currently out of internet range but hopefully will be in later this afternoon.

ALIY MAKES IT TO THE FINISH LINE!!!

Aliy just breezed into the Kershner's Cabin Checkpoint, and the Finish line of the Don BowersMemorial 300 Race! She arrived at 1:24 pm, to the cheering crowd! Okay it wasn't a crowd but they were cheering and excited to see her! The dogs are looking happy and a bit tired, but not wiped out, which is great news for the future long distance races.

We are looking for Ryne any time now! No word on where Dallas Seavey is at on the trail, so it could be a close race between Ryne and Dallas.

Waiting....Waiting....

We are trying to wait patiently for our SP Kennel Teams, but it's really hard!! We expect them to roll into the finish line any time now. Wes says the truck is in position and ready for the dogs, and it's just him and the checker to watch the big moment. I assured him we are all waiting eagerly online to hear and see the finish.

Aliy and Ryne through Morgan's Cabin Checkpoint

We have news that Aliy went through Morgan's Cabin Checkpoint around 10:30 AM this morning. We assume that Ryne is close behind her, as she has been all through the race-though we haven't heard Ryne's time through the checkpoint. We haven't heard Dallas' time either, so we don't know just how close the race is at this point.

This is the last checkpoint before the finish line at Kershner's Cabin. Previously, this leg took just over 2 hours for both Aliy and Ryne. We hope to see our SP Kennel teams reach Kershner's Cabin/Finish line in the next hour and a half or so.

Aliy and Ryne are through Nowhere checkpoint (3)

Aliy and Ryne passed through the Nowhere Checkpoint for the final time. They were followed closely by Dallas Seavey. Since this is the last leg of the race, it's hard to say what the run times will be. We expect to see them arrive at Morgan's Cabin checkpoint around 9:30 AM at the earliest.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Aliy and Ryne first mushers into Eagle Quest Lodge

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.
Wes

Aliy Arrives in Willow

Aliy is just rolling into the Eagle Quest Lodge Checkpoint in Willow. She will have a 6 hour rest layover there. More details once she has taken care of the dogs, and had time to catch her breath.

Aliy and Ryne Through Nowhere Checkpoint

Both Aliy and Ryne passed through the Nowhere Checkpoint early this evening. Aliy breezed through about 4:45pm and Ryne around 5:35pm. They should arrive in Willow around 8:30 pm give or take a few minutes.

We will plan to post a more detailed report on the 200 mile race they have completed so far, when they have rested a bit at the Willow Checkpoint.

On the Trail

Aliy went through the Morgan Checkpoint on her way South to Willow at 9:46 AM. Ryne went through a few minutes later at 10:02 AM. Both are now on the approximate 7 hour trip to the Nowhere Checkpoint. We don't anticipate hearing any updates until around 4:30 pm this evening from our SP Kennel teams. We may be able to post some photos this afternoon. Stay Tuned!

Aliy and Ryne in 1st and 2nd place after first 100 miles

Both SP Kennel Teams continue to hold the 1st and 2nd place spots in the race after the first 100 miles.

Aliy arrived at Kersher's Cabin Checkpoint at 1:12 AM and left at 7:15 AM this morning with 12 dogs. She dropped Rambler, Roy,and Sissy. These were planned drops as the dogs needed the miles in their training routine, but were not up in miles to complete a full 300 mile race.

Ryne arrived in Kersher's Cabin at 1:31, and left at 7:31 AM with 11 dogs. Moonpie, Chemo, and Rose were left behind. Moonpie was having a great run until he stepped in a moose hole (we think), and now has a sore foot. The others were planned drops, as they were getting race miles and/or experience.

Both Ryne and Aliy had a good rest at the checkpoint and re-energized with food. Aliy said she was really happy with the trail since it's a new one for her. Both she and Ryne camped out along the trail for about 2.5 hours. The camping was so useful for the dogs they gave an extra thirty minutes between Nowhere and Hal Morgan's Cabin Checkpoints.

Aliy and Ryne are both headed back South to Willow. Wes is taking the dropped dogs back down to Willow where they will enjoy their breakfast and a nice bed of straw.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Race Update: Aliy and Ryne through Hal Morgan's Cabin Checkpoint

Aliy was the first musher to pass through Hal Morgan's Cabin, a stop/go checkpoint along the trail, at 10:38pm. Ryne wasn't far behind at 10:48pm. We assume they stopped for a short rest somewhere along the trail between Nowhere Checkpoint and Morgan's cabin. Both seem to be doing fine, and are the first mushers to push up the trail to Kershner's cabin. We expect them to arrive at Kershner's around 12:30-1:00 AM, to begin their mandatory 6 hour rest.
We'll update you when they check out of Kershner's and hit the trail again.

Race Update: SP Kennel Teams 1st and 2nd after 1st stage

Aliy and Ryne raced through the Nowhere checkpoint on their first leg of the race. Aliy and Dallas Seavey were the first to show up at the checkpoint, however looking at the standings board, Aliy and Ryne posted the fastest times on that stage of the race--2:48 and 2:57 respectively! Our SP Kennel teams are 1st and 2nd in this race after the first stage!
We are awaiting the next race report from the HAM radio operators. The mushers should reach "Hal Morgan's Cabin" checkpoint around 7:15 local time--about 15 minutes from now. We'll post the run times for our teams as soon as we know them.

Wes is driving the dog truck to the Kershner’s Cabin Checkpoint, where the mushers have a six hour layover.

And They're Off!

Aliy with the Red Team and Ryne with the R&B team have departed Willow Lake, the starting point of the 2012 Don Bowers Memorial 300. It was a crisp -30 degrees during hook up but the sun is persistantly warming things up.

Aliy left with a team of 15 dogs with Beemer and Pud in Lead, Tony and Honda in Swing, and Viper and Bonita in Wheel.
Due to the ongoing debate in another post about the starting line up of Ryne's R&B team, here is the full lineout.
Ranger-Stormy;
Kipper -Lester;
Butterscotch - Spicy;
Skittles - Rose;
Moonpie - Tug;
Mac - Chemo
Boris - Cutter
For the first time this season we won't be the first to provide you with race updates. A couple of the checkpoints have no communication other than ham radio operators and they are going to be keeping everyone updated. We will relay information to you as soon as we get it.

We are going to see a slightly different tactic among mushers this race. There are reports of a very large number of moose in the area. Last night a cow and calf wandered right through the dog trucks in the parking area and made themselves at home infront of the Eagle Quest kitchen. Some mushers are informally agreeing to team up and travel in convoy in order to address any encounters as a group. We could see people checking in and out of checkpoints in groups.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don Bowers starting bibs!

Aliy goes out # 7!
Ryne goes out # 8!

Sounds like a good trail, good people and great dogs.

SP Kennel Teams arrive for the Don Bowers 300 Race


Here are a few pictures of Aliy and Ryne on their way to the Race today. Check out the deep snow in Trapper Creek!

Don Bowers 300 Red & Black Team Roster

Don Bowers 300 Red Team Roster

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Don Bowers Memorial Sled Dog Race


The Don Bowers 200/300 Sled Dog Race is new to the SP Kennel racing schedule. We are excited to race on some different trails and meet some new sled dog enthusiasts.

The race has a well thought out, simple format:
  • It starts noon on Friday, January 27 th at the Willow Community Center
  • There is a 102 mile leg to a private cabin (the Kershner's cabin) where there is 6 hour layover
  • Then the same reverse 102 mile leg brings the route back into Willow and another 6 hour layover at Eagle Quest Lodge
  • The final 100 mile leg travel along the old Iditarod Trail, along several local rivers and back to the finish at Eagle Quest Lodge
There are currently 11 mushers signed up for the event - two of which are Aliy and Ryne. It might not be the most popular race in Alaska, but it's going to be FUN!

Allen, Wendy and the 14 Yukon Quest Dogs will stay in Two Rivers to train and keep the kennel operation running. Aliy, Ryne, Wes and the rest of the SP Kennel racing dogs will head to Willow on Thursday.

Wes has an important handler role during the race. He will be able to meet the teams at the 100 and 200 mile mark. At these layovers, we will be dropping dogs from each team. We have several dogs who, due to previous injuries, are behind in training miles. But, this is a perfect method to add them back into the "racing pool" for Iditarod. These dogs are Rose (sore foot from toenail), Rambler (frost nip), Roy (illness), Moonpie (sore bicep) and JJ (sore tricep). The plan is to certainly race this event, but bring all dogs along while doing it. The fact that there is a maximum dog limit of 16 per team will enable us to race almost the entire kennel in either the Don Bowers or the Yukon Quest.

Information about the Don Bowers Race can be found on:



or


We will post the Don Bowers 300 dog team rosters on Thursday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wes and Wendy's Weather 7

It's a nice and balmy 4 below as I am sitting here writing this. Temperatures dropped to 50 below here while we were away at the Copper Basin 300 and we all came back to frozen pipes. Now, it has warmed up enough that we can take dogs out for training runs in the afternoons. But, at night time, it gets cold all over again. Temperatures are expected to be between 10 - 30 below for the next week or so. Brrrrrr.

Wendy and I had a great time at the Copper Basin 300. I was shadowing Ray Crowe, Allen's handler, trying to watch and learn from him what it takes to be a good handler. Wendy kept the SPK Dog Log and "Facebook" posts as up to date as she could. We certainly hope you guys appreciated it and felt informed throughout the race.

Here are some things I learnt from Ray during this race:
  • Get to the next checkpoint early and choose a truck parking spot that is
    easy to get out of. If someone parks in front of you and you can't get out
    you can be late to the next checkpoint and mess up your musher.
  • First thing is walk the incoming and outgoing trails at the checkpoint.
    Identify where the food drops, straw, hot water (if any) are so you can
    relay this to your musher.
  • If you are able to choose a dog parking space and spaces are not pre-assigned, identify which places are away from other dog teams, close to time checkers, close to food drops or water, close to the exit trail. When the musher comes in you can quickly determine their parking preference and lead them to the right spot.
  • If melting snow for cooking is required, find the best snow
  • Record the official arrival time and help the musher keep track of mandatory
    rest periods. If there is no checker stationed at the checkpoint exit, make
    sure you know where they are plenty of time before the musher wishes to
    checkout. Musher's usually must check out in person but they don't need to
    waste time hunting someone down.
  • Note changes in trail routes and conditions and make sure the musher is
    aware of anything important.
  • Track run times, rest times, and dog count of key competitors and brief
    musher.
  • Don't forget why you are there and don't let yourself get distracted.

The most technically challenging checkpoint on Copper Basin 300 that we encountered was the Sourdough checkpoint. The food drops were easy to identify however there were no trail markers and we could not identify where the outgoing trail was. The timekeepers checkpoint was far up a hill and nowhere near the food drops and just as far from the musher's sleeping cabin. All these factors were key in determining the best parking spaces for our mushers. Parking the dogs near the food drops would be easy for the mushers since they wouldn't have to carry straw and heavy food bags up the hill. However parking the dogs near the checkers would enable the mushers to make a time efficient exit. In the end, it was not an issue since the trailbreakers and dog teams could not make it through from Meier's Lake.

My big bungle of the race was back at Paxson lodge the previous evening. Knowing that Allen and Aliy would soon be checking out, I went to find the timekeepers so that they would be aware that someone was shortly coming to check out. The checkers had moved down to the other end of the runway since Allen and Aliy first came in and that is where I found the checkpoint officials. I let the checkers know that mushers were soon coming to checkout. I then went and informed Allen and Aliy where to officially "sign out". BUT ... apparently once Allen got there, he was sent somewhere else to checkout. Aliy did the exact same thing 30 minutes later! In a race where mandatory rest is recorded in 30 minute increments, there is no rest credit for wandering around for 10 minutes trying to find a checker. Considering that the 2011 Sheep Mountain 150 was won by only 20 seconds, you can see how important it is not to send your musher to the wrong place to check out. Opps!

All in all, it was a great educational experience and I feel pretty well prepared for our next race this weekend.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kusko 300

Congrats Rohn Buser on your win!


When you are named after an Iditarod Checkpoint, perhaps sled dog racing is in your blood??



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures from the CB300

Doug harnesses Moxie at the Start


The brothers, Tatfish and Biscuit, wait at Paxson for snacks


Dingle and Beemer wait patiently at the starting line

We have gotten a lot of comments about the red leggings so here is a quick explanation:

The red leggings are protecting the dog's hind wrist area. There is a strange phenomenon that happens at a specific temperature and when there is a great deal of snow on the trail. What happens is snow will start to accumulate on their wrists and if we don't stop to get it off (often) it balls up in an icicle. If it stays there too long it will freeze onto the hairs of their wrists and when the ice finally falls off the hair does as well. Then you have hairless husky wrists. THEN if you run these hairless dogs in the same conditions it could frost bite the area with no hair.
The temperatures at the Sheep Mountain 150 did not favor this condition, thankfully. But, when we trained on the Denali Highway there was a "perfect storm" for these "chicken legs" to begin. We had brought all of our leggings/wristers, so we were prepared, but we still a few dogs lose some hair. Anyhow, when we got home from this training event, we bought almost 4 yards of fabric and Wendy spent 3 days sewing, lacing and tying enough legging for every dog on the CB 300. We dressed almost everybody up just to err on the side of caution and we were very happy that we did so.
They do look stylish, but they are practical as well.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Copper Basin 300 Recap

I will have to admit we are very bummed that things did not work out at the Copper Basin 300 this season. This is a race that SP Kennel really looks forward to annually.

However, the cancelation of this year's race was the absolute correct decision by the Race Marshal.

The first 75 miles of the race trail were exactly as I expected them - a slow, snow laden race trail. I then left the Meier's Lake Checkpoint and in the first 5 or 6 miles, I noticed many craters in the snow about the size of a snow machine. It was very obvious that the trail crew was struggling in all the deep snow and wind drifts.

I really began to have my doubts about the trail when I came head on with three of the lead trail breaking snow machines headed the wrong direction - one was being towed. After passing them, I came across a sled full of race markers parked along the side of the trail - obviously discarded as too much weight. Then I repeatedly saw areas where machines had struggled for hours in deep snow. I even saw where someone had used snow shoes to break out the trail in front of the machines. (Now, that's what you call "man power".) Then about a dozen miles from Meier's Lake Checkpoint, I came up on dog teams in the trail, stopped.

I knew the answer, before I even asked. "Are you guys moving ahead?" "Nope. All of the teams are stopped in front of us."

So, I parked my team in the line of dog teams and walked ahead. I asked the guys ahead of me what they knew. They knew nothing, except we were stopped. I was a lot more curious than that, so I walked ahead to find out more.

I could not walk on the side of the trail. The trail was only as wide as a snow machine track (about 15 inches). Luckily, my footstep would only sink 6 inches to 8 inches when I walked directly in the center of the trail, but if I stepped off to the side, I would sink up to my hips. So, in order to get in front of all these teams, I had to walk over the backs of resting dogs. Not something I would do normally.

I came up to a team with no musher and recognized John Shandelmeier's outfit. Another musher told me that John was up ahead with the trail breakers helping find the trail. These are John's backyard trails and he knows them better than anyone.

From this vantage, I could now see several people and two snow machines desperately trying to climb a snow ladden hill about 100 yards up the valley. They could not make it, even following a snow shoe trail. The machine would rev up, start the climb and over and over, fail to make it's goal.

I walked over several more dog teams and came upon Biscuit and Tafish with the rest of the Black Team. Allen and Brent Sass were standing there. They immediately asked me how many teams were behind us. I said about 7, but more were coming. They said that they had thought about turning around but it was becoming more of a difficult prospect as teams lined up. Up ahead of them were Gerry Willomitzer and Jake Berkowitz. So, there were at least a dozen dog teams now parked on a tiny trail with no shelter or communication, at 40 degrees below zero, just waiting. And the lead teams had been there almost 4 hours.

From what Brent and Allen knew, there had been a base trail for most of the course. But, on some of the ridges and valleys, there was absolutely no previous sign of it. The machines were bottoming out and had been since they had arrived. We would hear a machine rev up and quickly die ..... over and over and over. It was heart breaking. They said Jake, who was currently the lead musher, had already turned around to head back to Meiers Lake and then turned back around when John thought he might be able to help find the trail.

I stood there for a while, but it was very cold. I have a "survival instinct" that kicks in at these temperatures and so I needed to build a fire. I walked back to my sled sharing the news that the lead teams had been here 4 hours, the snow machines were trying, now with John's help, but from my vantage point, the race was looking grim. I spoke my mind and some mushers listened and to others, it was like talking to a brick wall. These guys were here to race and nothing was going to keep them from it. "Hummm," I thought to myself, "I bet no trail might hinder you a little."

From the outset, I acknowledged the obvious: we were going to have to turn around. The sooner the better. But, it is hard to convince a group of racers to look at the obvious situation. So, a few of us built a fire, I put on my snow shoes and went to get some bigger wood to burn. We might as well be warm! As this unfolded, more teams continued to file in one after another.

At one point I did hear the snow machines accomplish their goal and get over the small ridge. Then I heard no engines for a while - this was either good or bad. Eventually, we learned that it was bad. There was no Copper Basin 300 trail for us. John walked back from the trail breaking attempt to turn his dog team around.

Whether it was the right decision or not, I was going to start turning teams around. That means turning around all 12 dogs and a sled in a trail that is only 15 inches wide. The dogs, of course, can't leave before their musher is ready. But, a musher won't leave before their dogs are ready. Patience is key. Luckily, there were some helpful mushers out there.

I reached the end of the line of teams as the 19th team just pulled in - it was Ryne! I barely let her get off her sled when I told her that we were turning her team around. I asked her to return to Meier's Lake and tell every team that she encountered that they had to turn around as well. (I only thought about this huge responsibility later and I'm glad she knows when to take me seriously. Because as she ran into every musher head on, she relayed this news. None of them wanted to turn around just on her word, but they all did.)

After I turned Ryne around, we started in reverse order... team after team after team. I helped turn around 8 teams before it was my turn. After that, I had to go to.

The nine remaining teams were not too far behind us.

The Race organization somehow got word to our handlers to get our trucks ready. Every Copper Basin team was checked in and then loaded into its respective dog truck or camping spot. We then all amassed inside the lodge to wait of the news from the Race. Then, apparently after a long deliberation, the Copper Basin 300 was canceled.

I do want to say what a shame it is that so much effort went into a trail that Mother Nature demolished quite easily. Allen had run into Bruno, the head trail boss, in December and he was already laying in a base trail. We really would like to thank both Bruno and Darrin who we know did the absolute best that they could, as well, as the National Guard snow machiners. We also know that there were other snow machiners out whose names we do not know but helped all the same. It is sad to see your efforts vanish with the wind. And lastly, thanks to John, who put in a last ditch effort.

Now, I have heard some silly rumors that some folks believe that I should have "toughed it out" and put on my snow shoes for 30 miles at 40 below and put in my own race trail. But, you are simply wrong. I certainly have the ability to do that - and have done so on many camping trips, North Slope adventures or training events but this was a race. In saying that, please remember that I am mentally prepared for a race, my sled is packed for racing conditions, as is my personal gear. I was not carrying the extra 75 pounds of dog food, fuel, camping gear and personal equipment that I would want if I knew that I would be out breaking trail for 30 miles.

So, anyone who cares to take a hard core attempt at trail breaking or thinks that the Copper Basin Trailbreakers are "sissies", I welcome you to try your luck.
Here are some simple directions:
  • Come to Alaska.
  • Drive to Meier's Lake Lodge on the Richardson Highway
  • Take the trail from the lodge off to the Southwest
  • Follow this trail for 12 miles until you come to it's end
  • Start snow shoeing
  • Call us when you are done and we'll have a race!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 Copper Basin 300 Cancelled

A mushers meeting has been held at Meiers Lake Lodge and we were informed by the race marshall that they can see no practical and safe way of resuming this race. All mushers, handlers, dogs and trucks are now headed home. Our team is planning to sleep four hours before driving back home.

Thanks for following the SP Kennel teams in this race and we look forward to bringing you coverage of our next race.

Allen Back in Meier's Lake Checkpoint

Allen and his team arrived back in Meier's Lake checkpoint. The trail started getting bad about 12 miles out from the checkpoint. Allen says even the snow machines were getting stuck. More updates from the mushers after they have rested a bit.

Aliy back in Meier's Lake

Aliy has arrived back at the checkpoint and the dogs are napping in their nice straw boxes.

R&B Start

Copper Basin 300 Start Musher interviews

Update from the Trail!

Just talked to the crew at Sourdough. Ryne met up with Aliy and Allen on the trail. There is a large group of mushers camped out just as the trail becomes impassable. They are feeding and resting the dogs before heading back. Everyone is SAFE!!!!

The race officials are meeting about how to handle the situation right now. Most likely they will send out snow mobiles to talk to the mushers. These snow conditions are very difficult for snow machines though so it may take a bit to get out to the teams. Dogs and sleds tend to deal with the deep snow better than the heavier machines.

We will keep you updated, but know that everyone is SAFE!

Videos from Start

Earlier videos were not coming up. Wendy is working hard to upload them again. The first one is up. More to come.

Enjoy.

Update

We have a handler waiting at Sourdough in case Aliy or Allen push through the deep snow. Ray is waiting and has a Sat Phone. Will keep you updated.

Copper Basin 300 Intro and handlers.m4v

Ryne Back at Meier Lake

Ryne has arrived back at Meier Lake and is fine. Her dogs are being fed and loaded into their straw boxes for a rest.

Copper Basin300 Temporarily suspended

It's never boring in the dog sled racing world! The Copper Basin 300 race marshall has temporarily suspended the race between the Meier Lake and Sourdough checkpoints. The trail between these two points has apparently been blown over with about 5 feet of snow. Though it has been clear for the past few days, and no fresh snow, it is soft snow and the wind just blows it like down fluff. The reports are of course changing by the minute and depending on who you talk to.

The SP Kennel team had all passed the Meier Lake Checkpoint at various times during the early morning hours of Sunday. Allen left Meier Lake around 1:20 AM Aliy around 1:50 AM, and Ryne passed without resting-checking in and moving through.

The trail breakers met the mushers as they entered the hills and advised them to turn around back to Meier Lake. The mushers are on their way back to Meier Lake where the dogs will be fed and put back into the trucks for a rest. There is not enough room at the checkpoint to keep all the dog teams out in the yard. It is unclear how the race will proceed from this point forward.

Ray has headed to Sourdough with a dog food supply just in case any of the SP Kennel teams makes it through to Sourdough checkpoint.

We'll keep you updated as we know it.


Ryne Resting in Paxson Checkpoint

Ryne continues to rest in Paxson Checkpoint. Her dogs and she are resting well after eating snacks. Ryne, of course, enjoyed a hamburger and fries and not frozen salmon.

Aliy Arrives in Meier's Lake Checkpoint

Aliy arrived shortly behind Allen into the Meier's Lake Checkpoint at 23:28 pm. She and the dogs are resting now. The dogs are looking frisky--Moxie and Fang are playing with their straw-- before they settle down to sleep.

CB300 Allen and Aliy Interviews

Listen to Allen and Aliy as they discuss their race preparations before the start, and their hopes for
this race.

video

Saturday, January 14, 2012

CB300 2012 Ryne Starting out from Chistochina

Ryne headed out of the starting line and on to the trail at Chistochina. (video quality is low to speed up uploading and downloading)

video

CB300 Start--Handler Introduction

Here are some video clips of the Copper Basin 300 Start from earlier today. Enjoy! video

Allen Arrives in Meier's Lake

Allen arrived at Meier's Lake Checkpoint at 22:48 pm tonight. Dogs are running well and had a quick run over the lake. They are enjoying their snacks at the moment. They are resting up for the next section of trail which has several steep climbs and sharp descents.

We expect Aliy to be into the checkpoint any time now.

Aliy and Allen leave paxson

Allen and Aliy left paxson to continue their journey to Meier lake.
Allen left at 9:00pm with Quito and scout in lead.
Aliy left at 9:22pm with Beemer and dingle in lead. Ryne is resting her team and will head out later.

Paxson Checkpoint updates


Both the Red and the Black teams are in to the Paxson checkpoint. Allen came in second only a minute or two behind the first musher. Aliy was the 4th musher into the checkpoint. She came in 22 minutes behind Allen. The dogs are running strong and tails were wagging as they came into the checkpoint. Allen says "The run was beautiful, probably one of the most pretty runs I've ever had", though it was a slower run then last year

Aliy's Red team is running well. Though on the river crossing it was nearly -40 she reckons. She said the trail breakers had done a really good job and the trail was clear. The sunset was a fantastic pink over the sky, and it was a great run. Beemer is doing fantastic. Tony and Nutmeg are setting the example for the other dogs to follow. Pud is back to his prime! She's happy with her race so far, and the dogs are currently devouring all their snacks.

Ryne's Red and Black team came in about 1 hour after the other SP Kennel teams. She's happy with her steady pace. They are still barking and ready to go!


CB300 UPDATE --- ALLEN'S IN!!!!!

Allen just rolled into Paxson at 6:29 pm Alaska time. He's the first of the mushers into the Paxson checkpoint. We are eagerly awaiting Aliy who can't be far behind!!
We'll post pictures and musher updates about the trail when they all get in and resting at the lodge.

Copper Basin 300 2012 Start photos






Here are some of the first photos of the race start this afternoon. We are working on some video clips as well, to post throughout the day. We'll try to get these up from Paxson lodge (Fingers crossed!) We'll continue with race coverage throughout the next few days as well. Stay Tuned!