It's 10.30am Alaska Time.
Aliy and the Red Team are still resting in Takotna, they've been there more than 15 hours so I think it is safe to assume they will see out their entire mandatory stop there. But then again, you just never know!
Allen and the Black Team pulled in to Taktona at 7.19am and it sounds like he has "declared his 24" there also. Allen spoke with Joe Runyan this morning when he came in to the checkpoint - here's what Joe said:
In the early morning night I notice a musher wearing white wind pants distributing straw to beds. It’s Allen Moore, 2013 Yukon Quest champ and the husband and kennel partner with front running Aliy Zirkle. I kind of caught him at one of those times in early light when humans are just becoming alert and talk quietly so they don’t wake up the rest of the world. He has spent all night traveling and just putting his dogs on a 24 hour rest. He must be, has to be, finally ready for a good nap.
“Yeah, I spent a lot of time repairing.” He told me his run across the Alaska Range was a repair mission. His sled has only two main stanchions and he replaced three, which meant he replaced both the originals and then replaced one of the replacements. After having run the Yukon Quest in February for a thousand miles and now finding himself on the Iditarod, this is a very trail hardened musher.
In this picture below from the meet-and-greet last Friday evening you can see the difference between a more traditional sled with two stanchions (the uprights) in the front sled and the sled Allen has built with just one. One stanchion makes the sled very flexible and manoeuvrable but I guess, not quite as robust? Although, in saying that, many different types of sleds are suffering breakages so it is difficult to say what would be the ideal type for that kind of trail.
The 24 hour layover will be busy for Aliy and Allen. They will have a well planned routine of feeding, massaging, walking and stretching out the dogs. They will pay particular attention to feet, shoulders and wrists and try to get plenty of calories into the team. They will also ensure they themselves are well rested and nourished so they will fit in a few naps and meals around the routine.
It will be nice for Aliy and Allen to have some time to catch up with each other there too to discuss how things have been so far and what happens next.
We're aware Allen has dropped a dog in McGrath so we are awaiting news of who it is and why. We will let you know as soon as we have the information. As I mentioned last evening, with so many teams scratching around Rohn and Rainy Pass there will be a huge load of dogs waiting to be returned to Anchorage so it could be some time before we get to see them. They will be in the great hands of veterinarian and volunteer staff while they wait so don't worry.