After a short 1.5 hour rest in Elim, Aliy and her 13 mates are on the way to White Mountain and are currently sitting in fourth. She has Scout and Mismo in lead with Scruggs in single swing.
Dutch and Waylon snuggle (Pic Sebastian Schnuelle)
Leaving Elim (Pic Sebastian Schnuelle)
The lead three are battling it out five or six hours ahead of her and are almost to WM. Wade Marrs is around 10 miles outside Elim and moving nicely. Once in White Mountain every team takes a mandatory eight hour stop before the final race to Nome.
This one is going to be a doozy and I can't wait to watch it unfold! All have fantastic dog teams and to be so close together after so many miles, and all running quite different strategies is great for the race. It shows there is not just one way to get this thing done: not one training method markedly better than the other, season race schedule, size of dog team, longer runs vs shorter runs etc. It shows these mushers know what is best for THEIR dogs and have been able to do right by them. Of course, we have our favourites here, as do you all, so this is going to be fun to watch.
The Race Map lists Golovin along the way between Elim and White Mountain but it is not an official checkpoint. Supplies/drop bags are not sent ahead there but the teams do pass through the village before getting back onto the sea ice. Aliy often stops for a few minutes to greet the villagers sign a few autographs.
What I loved to read this morning in Sebastian's column was that he and the vet team in Elim say the dogs are looking great. That Aliy has kept this team together, happy and healthy is incredible although not surprising. They have been her sole focus since the start of the race and they are her best friends!
Evidently Aliy wanted a short 30 minute sleep at the checkpoint. She is a master at getting comfortable anywhere to rest - I once saw her asleep on a wood pile by the stove in a checkpoint during the Copper Basin 300 one year! She will have slept well and fast in Elim and got back on the trail efficiently.
Allen rested the team just over six hours in Unalakleet and they are right now working their way up the windy coast to Shaktoolik. They are moving nicely and if it is not too windy to enjoy it, they will be experiencing a gorgeous sunrise over the coast this morning!
When the team leaves Shaktoolik there is a Dog Fan Club draw for a signed Shak drop bag! Be in to win!