It's 10.00pm Alaska time.
Aliy and her 15 Red Team-mates left Takotna after their mandatory 24 hour rest plus the two hours for time differential. They left right on time at 9.06pm this evening. The Insider video shows that she's had a bit of a shuffle around on the line. Quito is still in single lead and it looks like Chica and Nacho in swing, Willie with Waylon, Scruggs and Clyde, Pud and Chemo, Olivia and Boondocks, Mac and Sissy with Biscuit and Schmoe still in wheel (I think). Quito will be revelling in this role, she loves to be the one in control and she doesn't seem to feel the pressure that some others do when in the same position for so long.
The video shows a fabulous SP howl as they are lined up ready! That means they are all feeling great and are ready to get on the trial. Another thing we noted was a number of them are wearing wind jackets which means the temperatures have dropped a little out there - good news.
Their next checkpoint is Ophir about 23 miles away then 73 miles after that is Cripple. Don Bowers' trail notes on the Iditarod website describes Ophir as "your last vestige of civilization for a very long while. The trip from here to Cripple and on to Ruby is arguably the longest, emptiest, loneliest stretch of trail on the race, and the checkpoint at Cripple is basically nothing but tent camps in otherwise uninhabited locations."
Allen and his Black Team are still resting. Their time differential is 102 minutes so we can expect them to leave at 9.01am tomorrow morning (if my calculations are correct). I spied one picture on one of Sebastian's blogs of Tug resting peacefully.
If you are looking for something to watch or read this evening check out the following articles:
Late last year we had a visit from Tara Young from the Alaska Dispatch who came to the kennel, shot some video and interviewed Aliy and Allen. She has turned that in to part of the fantastic "Voices from the last great race" musher profile series.
Click the pic below to link you through to the first of these video interviews where Aliy talks about being a top female musher.
Click here for another story featuring Aliy talking about the dedication and enthusiasm of the dogs.
Also, espnw.com recently did an interview with Aliy and in case you missed it, here is the link to that story (click the photo below).
As just so you know, Aliy and Allen don't get all the press! Here's part of the Anchorage Daily News' "Meet the Sled Dogs" series. Beemer is a rock star!
And for those interested, here is Lieutenant from Paul Gebhardt's kennel - he is the Papa to Clyde on the Red Team and Outlaw on the Black Team. Their Momma is the legendary ChaCha, the lead dog at the centre of the picture above. Lieutenant is also the Papa of Puppet on the Black Team.