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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

YQ: Day 3 Morning Update & Logistics

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!

13 comments:

Badas Musher said...

Thank you for posting the map comparisons! Sounds like it would almost be beneficial to have two handlers for the long drive and all the other stuff!!! Love it!

Mom in PA said...

Amazing crew support! And to think that in four weeks it will be "Play it again, Sam" for the Iditarod... They are probably cold and exhausted while we are warm and exhausted. thanks to all covering the kennel!

Margaret said...

Thanks so much for the dueling maps, Macgellan!!!

HOLY TRACKER!

Fascinating that mushers and 4 legged team members are "out of contact" with handlers for so long a period. Is this time period @a couple of days???

Anonymous said...

Glad Wes is in the crew - he must have picked up some excellent military maneuvers whilst on assignment recently.

Macgellan said...

Hi Margaret -- Basically, yes... It'll probably be some time on Wednesday before the teams/crews meet up in Dawson... That's a rough approximation, but consider that it is longer from Circle to Dawson than it's been from Fairbanks to Circle... Maybe look at it like a 300-mile race that typically takes 2 days?... Just part of the YQ drama!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Macgellan!!!

Reviewing the topo map, with no American Summit this year, the trail might appear to be more like a mini-Copper Basin-type race-within-the-largerYQ-race??? Perhaps?

--Margaret


Paula Nations Medlin said...

Thanks for mentioning the two races, I have been a bit confused...I'm just now getting into thing Yukon Quest, been learning about the Iditarod for 20+ years. Decided to follow the Yukon Quest!!

marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks so much for the map comparison Mac. The handlers and support crew do a fantastic job. I am glad that SP Kennel is such a great dog first kennel. They are the ones the mushers depend upon. Go SP Kennel. Since we are waiting, for the 2 teams to travel/rest, would this be a good time for the mandatory 36 hours in Dawson explanation? Thanks.

Nessmuk said...

Lol....maybe we need to put GPS trackers on the SPK Handler Rigs! Your hard work is appreciated for sure! Looks like quite a race is shaping up between Sass, Neff and Allen! Go Black Team...thank goodness for GPS tracking...makes the communication blackout much more bearable!

Anonymous said...

Question - I know they call it the Yukon Quest 300 but with the GPS systems...could you tell us the exact mile that is the finish line or close to? I am sitting here waiting for Aliy to reach 300 but I bet the finish is prior to 300 showing up on the GPS.

Anonymous said...

Question
- at what mile does the YQ 300 REALLY finish? I was caught by surprise when Allen won the Copper Basin at less than mile 300. Now that the GPS systems are in place...I was hoping to know which mile it is that will be the true finish for both the 300 and 1000 mile races.

Anonymous said...

HOLY MICHAEL JACKSON!!!

YQ300 a dog race now...

And awesome that on the tracker the doggies are running backwards to the finish!!!

Let's go Red Team!!!


Anonymous said...

Maybe next year, we all chip in and hire a helicopter to ferry the handlers around!