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Saturday, February 8, 2014

YQ: Doing Some Math…

Let’s start with my premise that after 36 hours of resting and refueling, leaving Dawson was basically a “re-start” for the rest of the race.

With that in mind, consider that Allen left Dawson 2.5 hours after Brent but arrived in Carmacks 1.5 hours before Brent. That’s an overall “gain” of 4 hours, but to calculate relative running speeds we need to adjust for any differences in total rest time (both in checkpoints and on the trail).

After detailed analysis of the tracker replays, the closest I can calculate is that Allen took 2.5 hours less total rest time between Dawson and Carmacks than Brent did. If I deduct that from the 4 hour overall “gain” then it looks like Allen was 1.5 hours faster in total run time. Even if I’m off by a bit here or there, I think it’s safe to say that Allen’s team is a little faster than Brent’s… That’s good news!

After a 4 hour rest in Carmacks, Allen left 2 hours behind Brent (who blew right through the checkpoint). Although Brent’s team is very strong, I would have been shocked if he tried to run straight through to Braeburn. (His last rest was early this morning.)

So, I’m not surprised to see on the tracker that Brent has gone about 15 miles down the trail and camped.

Meanwhile, Allen is coming off a good rest and charging down the trail, now only about 5 miles back.

Brent has been running an excellent “match race” strategy, so he is almost certainly keeping his eye out for Allen’s team, with plans to pull up stakes in time to race Allen to Braeburn.

This is evidenced by the fact that Brent has chosen a camping spot with a direct line-of-sight up the river to watch for Allen. If he'd gone farther, he'd be around a blind corner.

Just when you think you're getting the hang of sled dog racing strategy, a wily competitor like Brent shows you yet another trick of the trade... Good on ya, young man!

10 comments:

AK Michele RN said...

Good to see Brent & team doing so well and keeping Allen on his toes :)

Anonymous said...

Right on the money. Brett Sass just hit the start button.

Anonymous said...

Padee,
hope its snowing and Allen keeps his light off so he can sneak by!

Michelle K. said...

Go Allen and go Brent! This is just great dog sledding stuff!!!

Nessmuk said...

Mac, you nailed the cat and mouse game on the Yukon....Sass is resting but can see Allen coming.....it's going to be fun to watch this all unfold through the night! Then we get to do it all over again on the home stretch! No lack of excitement in this race, that's for sure! Come on Black Team!

Anonymous said...

Ah Mac, that's the analysis we were waiting for! Gotta hand it to both guys, great competitors and sportsmen.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is the strategy Mitch used against Aliy last year in the Iditarod in the last part of that race. IIRC.

--Margaret

marilyn cozzens said...

I wonder how much Brent was really able to rest having to keep constant watch for Allen. Go Black team. Be first into Braeburn.

Paula Nations Medlin said...

Great math lesson!!

Anonymous said...

Marilyn I was thinking the same! Brent's dogs were resting but Brent had to keep an eye out for Allen without nodding off. And if Allen was running without a headlamp, oh boy!