- Wednesday, February 29th: Mushers fly to Anchorage
- Thursday, March 1st: Dogs and SPK Team drives to Anchorage, Mushers Meeting 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mushers Banquet and Bib Draw 5:30 p.m. (Dena'ina Center, Anchorage)
- Friday, March 2nd: Meet and Greet 6-7 p.m. (Clarion Suites, Anchorage)
- Saturday, March 3rd: Iditarod Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage 10 a.m. (4th Ave & D Street)
- Sunday, March 4th: Official Iditarod Re-start 2:00 p.m. (Willow Lake, Willow)
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
As we were rotating dogs into the Official Iditarod Blood Draw and EKG tests, I had to laugh. Most people have never had an EKG in their lives. And if they are anything like me, it's been years since I had a full blood panel. As I looked at Bullet laying on the table, I realized that she has had one EVERY year of her life!! Very cool!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Back in Whitehorse, Wendy and I get to spend the weekend with Allen watching the remaining teams come in and waiting for the Musher's Banquet on Saturday. Wendy and I are proud to say we handle for Allen Moore; he is a highly respected and regarded competitor, though this is only his second time running the race.
This Quest has been an amazing event for Wendy and I, and is one of the reasons we decided to spend this year in Alaska. It is one of the few races where a good crew of handlers can make the difference between running a great race, and winning a race. In Dawson, it was a pleasure to assist Aliy and Ray, ensuring that certain things happened as efficiently as possible. Here are some of the things that handlers have to do to ensure a successful second half to the race.
. Set up a campsite for the dogs well ahead of the mushers' arrival. This should be designed in such a way that the handlers can work on the dogs while minimizing the disturbance to them.
· Ensure the musher gets as much food, sleep, and quiet time as possible in the 36hrs.
· Manage and coordinate any media appointments so that they minimize the disturbance to his recovery (special thanks to the reporters covering this race for their sensitivity in working with us on this)
· Wash and dry musher clothing
. Dry out the sled and do necessary repairs.
· Constantly have food soaking and thawing for regular dog feedings
· Treat dogs' feet, rub down shoulders and legs, medicate any dogs based on vets recommendations. Coordinate with vets on ongoing issues
· Periodically walk dogs to loosen them up and reduce stiffness
· Brief musher on how each dog has responded to the 36hrs of food and rest so he can determine which ones will continue with him
· Make sure the sled is packed with everything needed for the 200+ mile run to Pelly's Crossing
· Get latest weather reports so the musher can plan the trip accordingly
· Determine the route back on to the trail and brief the musher so no time is wasted trying to figure it out
· Keep him informed of everything he needs to do prior to his departure and keep him apprised of the time
· Help him determine a race plan for the second half based on the weather conditions, trail conditions, health of the dogs, and what we think competitors might do
· Ensure he has ALL mandatory equipment packed in order to avoid a possible penalty
· After the musher's departure, break camp and ensure that it is immaculate so that the team is not issued with an unnecessary penalty
Wendy and I have really enjoyed the trip. It has enabled us to feel like we are racers without having to be athletes. Bring on theIditarod!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Over in Alaska, it was Iditaord Food Drop Day. All of the dog food, people food, gear and equipment that Aliy and Ryne will need for their Iditarod runs were due today. Packed in easy to handle bags, mounded onto pallets and shrink wrapped to keep them together, everything will be trucked down to Anchorage where the Iditarod will sort them into checkpoints and send them out onto the trail.
The bags this year where not as heavy as last years. Typical Aliy, there is lots of dog food and gear, a decent amount of people food and hardly anything for Aliy. The dogs are always first in her mind.
So here are the numbers:
Aliy - 1473 lbs
Ryne - 1547 lbs
And who guessed the closest:
"My guess is:1490 for Aliy, 1610 for Ryne" - Edwin Le Doux
Ryne and Bob at AirLand
Kaz and Bob at AirLand
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Allen pulled the hook at 8:01 PST after a 4 hour rest and just minutes behind Hugh Neff. The Black Team still has 11 dogs and Quito and Olivia are still in lead. They are very focused. Allen is in full race mode now. He left his sled's seat and any spare weight he could behind at Carmacks. This run should be 10 to 12 hours to Braeburn and will be over lots of lakes and most likely overflow. There is a mandatory 8 hour rest in Braeburn before the final push into Whitehorse.
On the completely other side of the kennel's current operations, Ryne, Derek, Kaz (me) and Sammy spent the day finishing off Food Drop Bags for Aliy and Ryne's Iditarod runs. They are due tomorrow morning. While you are biting your nails watching Allen, give us a guess at this year's total weights. One for Aliy's bags and one for Ryne's. I'll let you know tomorrow!
Here are some pictures from the kennel today.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
We have some incredible pictures from Dawson City to share with you. These particular photos are taken by Jeanne Schnackenberg who sponsors Scooter. She and Yo-lynn Owsley, Boondocks' sponsor, are following the Yukon Quest race from Dawson to Whitehorse. Also following the Yukon Quest, checkpoint to checkpoint, from Start to the Finish, are Dingle's sponsors Art and Alice Van Dorn. Each of them have given us some great photos and video that document Allen's race this year. A big Thank You to our SP Kennel friends for sharing your talent with us. Hopefully we'll be able to continue putting these up from various checkpoints along the way.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Apparently the warm weather, good food, massages, cuddles from visitors, and sleep did its job. Allen was able to take all 13 dogs! All the dogs were running happily down the campground road, and south on to the Yukon River. The trail out of a comfortable town is always a bit difficult, yet the team took it in stride. There was slight confusion on the edge of town as the Yukon Quest trail takes a "haw" and the local traffictakes a “haw” and the local traffic takes a “gee”, but Allen and the team with the trail groomers sorted it out. Such is the life of a musher and team in first place!
The rest of the crew is taking a well deserved rest at the Downtown hotel, before breaking camp and packing up for the next checkpoint in Pelly Crossing. Though there are dog drops and local cabins along the way, the team will base out of Pelly Crossing until Allen arrives at the checkpoint.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Allen is also on a sleep/eat schedule. He's been napping most of the day in 3 hour increments. After breakfast, he rested for a couple of hours, got up and moved around and chatted. Then went back to sleep for a few more hours. He's now off to a late lunch at one of the local establishments in Dawson, and then to the musher's meeting this evening.
Aliy, Ray and Wes have been working with the dogs all morning. Wes has been on dog tent duty and hanging out in the Arctic Oven tent when he isn't feeding or massaging. Aliy has been busy washing and drying clothing at the hotel, and meeting up with friends and acquaintances who traveled to see the race-in between trips to the dog tent. Ray has been working on drying out the sled and repairs. The local RCMP have opened up their heated garage for the mushers to park their sleds and work on them if repairs are needed. So though it's a "rest" period in the race, it's still a very busy time for everyone involved.
As many of you noticed, Allen's and Lance Mackey's trackers did not update for a few hours during the last leg of the run to Dawson. Those of us waiting in Dawson had no real idea where or how far apart they were. Hugh Neff's tracker was working, and we knew Allen and Lance would be close to him. NO ONE knew who it would be. Nail/glove biting and pacing took place!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Here are some pictures of Allen and the Black Team from the Official Quest Site.
For more photos, go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yukonquest