The Yukon Quest is almost here with the teams leaving Fairbanks in just a few short days!
There are a few events this week including the annual "Meet the Mushers" tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at 7pm at the La Quinta Hotel (previously known as the Alpine Lodge). If you are in Fairbanks tonight do come by and see us! Thursday evening is the starting banquet and bib draw where we will learn when Allen and the Black Team will leave the starting chute on Saturday.
Friday is taken up with Yukon Quest 300 vet checks and meetings for Aliy and the Red Team, including bib draw; and final preparations for the YQ1000 for Allen and his team.
On Saturday they all pull the hook! At 11am the first teams in the YQ1000 will leave the starting chute on the Chena River then at 3pm the YQ300 teams follow them. The YQ300 teams go all the way to Circle checkpoint, turn around and head back to Central.
2015 Black Team start (photo Mary-Beth Schreck)
The handler crew on the Alaska side for Allen will be Chris, Mark and Moira while Wes and Wendy will be handling for Aliy in the YQ300. The 36 hour layover in Dawson City is different to all other checkpoints in that the handler crew can do everything: we can provide hands-on care for the dogs, the sled and Allen so we have Aliy, Bridgett (Allen's daughter), Mark and Moira there to do that. Bridgett, Mark and Moira will then be handling for the remaining checkpoints and the finish line while Aliy heads back to Two Rives to complete the Iditarod Drop Bags. Chris will keep the home fires burning while the team is in Canada and will keep the Iditarod tagged dogs training!
As usual, we will be covering the race on the DogLog. We are unashamedly SP Kennel focussed so if you want to learn about what's going on with other teams you will need to keep an eye on the Yukon Quest website and Facebook page for a "wider view" of the race as a whole, as well as a leaderboard and official checkpoint In and Out times.
GPS trackers will be in use again this year so head to the Yukon Quest website to access them. Have you been training your "refresh finger"?
There will also be several news agencies covering the race, with race sponsors Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and Whitehorse Daily Star providing day to day coverage.
Moira will be at most checkpoints to capture photos, video and stories, and will post when and what she can. Remember we are travelling in sometimes remote Alaskan and Yukon areas so internet and cell coverage is uncertain at this stage but she will do "catch-up" posts when possible.
Magellan will be back on board working with Moira to provide you with stories and information from his perspective and with his usual humour!
Also keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages as we may post directly to them now and again.
We appreciate your patience as we bring you any dropped dog information. We sometimes don't have this information right away but rest assured we will be trying our best to get this information to you quickly. There are veterinarians at every checkpoint and dog-drop stop so they will be in great hands while they wait for us to bring them home.