We have heard from Iditarod HQ that it was Chica that Allen left in Rohn on Monday night. Chica developed a sore shoulder and leaving her in Rohn would have been the best thing for her and the team. We say "it would have been a difficult decision" but that's not really true - it would have been an easy decision because it was best for her but it would have been a tough reality for Allen. She is one of the best dogs ever and he will miss having her calming influence, vast experience and extraordinary work ethic on the trail with the youngsters.
Chica is back in Anchorage already and our Returned Dog Coordinator Linda is about to pick her up. We'll update you later today.
BLACK TEAM UPDATE
Allen still has 15 team mates with him on the trail towards Ophir! They left Takotna at 7.26am this morning after completing their mandatory 24 hours plus time differential. We're super pleased to see both teams still have 15 athletes!
RED TEAM UPDATE
Aliy and the Red Team, as expected, went right through Ophir and are on the trail towards Cripple. The GPS tracker shows them resting at mile 400 so it has either updated right when she has stopped to snack the dogs, or they are going to camp there for a few hours. We suspect the latter as it would fit her run/rest schedule perfectly to be resting here rather than the checkpoint at Cripple. Historically she has stopped the team and camped on this run so that seems to fit.
Cripple is a ghost town now, having once been a booming gold town back in gold rush times. It is the official 'half way' point in the race although not technically half way in terms of mileage. The first musher there wins the Dorothy G Page Halfway Award sponsored by GCI. Dorothy G Page is known as the "Mother of the Iditarod" (check out the wikipedia link for more information). Dallas Seavey took that prize yesterday evening.