Allen and the Black team pulled out of Carmacks after a little over five hours of rest, with Brent Sass right on his tail. The dogs were ready to get going again and they left out of the checkpoint with sisters Quito and Chica leading the way.
Allen had a great rest himself at Carmacks was refreshed after a good meal and some shut-eye. Just before he left he loaded up on chemical hand and toe warmers, bracing for a chilly night on the trail. He, again, refixed jackets and ticklers, replaced booties and saw to it that the dogs were rugged up ready also.
Once we had the Black Team out we set about sending Aliy and the Red Team on their way. Aliy was really disappointed to leave Wedgy and Lydia with us and was sorry she couldn’t get them all the way but it was certainly in their best interests to ride with us for the rest of the race. They both worked so hard for her for the first half of the race and they are doing just fine now – happily wrapped up in jackets, sleeping in the truck with full bellies after a warm, wet meal.
You may not be able to tell from the tracker yet but Aliy has stopped to rest the team at McCabe Creek Dog Drop. This is a big indication that she is running a much more conservative race plan than most would have expected. Remember, she has a lot of inexperienced youngsters on her team and she wants to make it a positive experience for them by not pushing too hard. By stopping at McCabe they get a few hours on straw and recharge for the run through to Pelly. They've been making great time and keeping a good pace but this race is a big deal for some of her team mates so an “easy does it” approach is warranted. You know Aliy will always run the race that suits her dogs so she will be making these plans very deliberately.
The Black Team arrived into Pelly at 4.10am and is now settled down to rest. The jumble ice Allen was anticipating was a “feature” of the run and he’s pleased to have that section completed. He purposely slowed the team down in over that area as it was very rugged and it would have been easy to break something - a sled runner, ski-pole, a bone... He said the dogs loved it though, picking their way through the big chunks and skipping over the jumble so he needed to restrain them. It was physically hard work for him to manoeuvre the sled so he said he never felt cold!
Allen just polished off some beef stew and spaghetti, is rehydrating himself and taking a nap. He has his clothes strewn out over a drying rack under a heating vent to ensure they are dry for the long leg ahead of them. The next leg to Dawson is over 200 miles which, obviously, cannot be done in one go so expect him to camp along the way. There is still a long way to go in this race - around 750 more miles!