What great overnight updates from Moira! It's amazing that she has been able to report the YQ races continue to go very well for both SPK teams, especially when you consider the logistics that we have both alluded to. Let me explain a little about them.
The YQ1000 and YQ300 are dog races, and dogs can go just about anywhere, over just about any terrain. The same is most definitely not true about vehicles. Since pictures are worth thousands of words, I've put together a pair of graphics for you. On the left is the "Dog" trail and on the right is the "Vehicle" trail:
As Moira mentioned, Allen and the SPK Black Team are just about to leave Circle and make the run to Eagle, then on to Dawson. It's a long run of about 300 miles, but it's a fraction of the 1,000+ mile drive the handlers and crew will have to make between those two checkpoints. (The road to Eagle is closed in winter so they can't drive there!)
I don't want to belabor the point, so I'll let you draw your own sense of it: You've been up for two days straight, driving all over east-central Alaska supporting the teams. You make a 20-hour non-stop drive from Circle to Dawson, and immediately upon arrival work like a demon to set up a long-stay camp for them. If everything goes perfectly, you might just get it done before the team arrives and you spend the next 36-hours straight pampering them.
If the dogs could talk, I'd bet they say they have the easier job! Kudos to the crew!
Meanwhile, Aliy and the SPK Red Team have just arrived first into Circle where they will do their last mandatory rest before sprinting back to the finish line in Central. (The tracker shows that Allen left Circle just minutes ago, so they may have been able to see each other for a moment!)
As usual, Aliy is running an excellent race, executing a well-designed strategy with an outstanding team of dogs. Keep in mind that her team is the "second-string" at SP Kennel!
Sadly, with Allen on the run to Dawson and Aliy resting in Circle for most of the day, we can expect little in the way of news to report. We can look forward, however, to more "catch-up" posts from Moira's visits with the teams yesterday before she hits the road to Dawson as well... Stay tuned!