It’s getting late where I am on the East Coast, so I’m going to take advantage of a lull in the action to offer a brief wrap-up and get a little sleep. It’s going to be a long race, so I encourage you to do the same!
First of all, I want you to know that I specifically asked not to be briefed-in about SPK’s Yukon Quest race strategies. Mostly so that I couldn’t accidentally disclose in public either team’s strategy, but partly so that — like you — I could enjoy all the mystery, drama and suspense that the YQ typically offers. Accordingly, everything I write over the next week or so is pure speculation on my part. Informed by experience, perhaps, but speculation nonetheless… Okay?
That said, here we go:
The most likely reason is that his run/rest strategy simply called for it. There is absolutely nothing to read into the fact that he has stopped outside a checkpoint.
YQ checkpoints are relatively few and far between — compared, for example, to Iditarod — so there is an increased likelihood that run/rest schedules will not match up with checkpoint locations.
Allen and the dogs are very comfortable “camping out” and you can expect to see them spend a lot of time doing it. Frankly, Allen and Aliy prefer to avoid resting in checkpoints where there is always a lot of noise and commotion which interferes with the dogs’ rest. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep under the stars, compared to tossing and turning while dogs bark, fans trudge around and snow machines make their awful noise!
Overall on this first day, I am as impressed as always with the performance and professionalism of SPK!