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.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

YQ: Day 1 Wrap-Up

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:

Looking at the tracker, it appears that shortly after taking the lead, Allen stopped on the trail about four miles short of the Two Rivers checkpoint.

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!

Meanwhile, Aliy and the Red Team are cruising along the trail in what looks like fourth position. Since all the top-line dogs at SPK train in a similar run/rest routine, don’t be surprised if she stops short of the checkpoint as well. As we all know, Aliy loves to camp!

Overall on this first day, I am as impressed as always with the performance and professionalism of SPK!

11 comments:

Linda Toth said...

He has stopped for several hours at that location going that way before. I recall it because of the interesting zag right at that juncture.

Corinne Trowbridge said...

Thanks for the late night recap. I believe you are right on with your analysis for this first day out.

Jim Trowbridge said...

Thanks for the late night recap! Look forward to your updates and strategy analysis.

Nessmuk said...

I can understand the camping part of the strategy....fed and well rested dogs in a secluded spot sounds perfect! I read the temps are warmer "in the hills" over there....hope conditions stay cooler for the dogs sake!

Anonymous said...

Oh Yea, the speculation is the fun part. At this moment towards mile 101 checkpoint, Allen is in the lead. Let the specalation begin!

Edwin (The Netherlands)

psuskeet said...

Your race analysis is dead on IMHO good review ;)

Dawn E said...

Thanks Mac...so you get to stare at your screen watchin dog icons like the rest of us?? Appreciate everyone keeping us up to date on this. Those little icons just don't say enough!

MG said...

Thanks for the update. appreciate all you do to keep us informed of the progress.

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to find a normal leaderboard which shows run/rest times. Maybe Mac can help?

stormy said...

Thankyou foe these cool updates! Just having this info really helps made the race exciting ! Allen and Aliy are doing great! Rock on SP Black,Red and dogs!

marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks so much for the update & analysis. Camping out to avoid distractions etc is the best strategy. Appreciate you keeping us informed.