Good morning! It's 10am Saturday
RED TEAM UPDATE
Aliy and 13 team mates went through Huslia around four this morning. They are currently placed 9th on the leaderboard but there are still teams to complete their eight hour mandatory stops and only once all teams have both green ticks next to their name will we really know what's what.
Aliy spent just 16 minutes in the checkpoint where she has left one more team mate with the vet and volunteer team. At this stage we don't know who that is and, as ever, we appreciate your patience as we find out.
The team is camped 30 miles outside of Huslia, about 55 miles since their last camp. This then gives Aliy a few options of where to stop next. The most likely stop, if she continues this current run/rest schedule, is the village of Koyukuk - another approx 55 miles away. Nulato checkpoint is another 22 miles from there.
I don't need to tell you that this next stretch of river will be emotional for Aliy, as it is for us watching her. She will be determined to continue to focus on the dogs and the job to be done, and we are focussed on sending positive energy to her.
BLACK TEAM UPDATE
Allen stopped his 16-strong team almost exactly half-way to Huslia for around three hours, which leads us to believe he is perhaps planning to stop in the checkpoint. They are back on the trail now.
The Black Team's schedule is very different to that of the Red Team as Allen has different goals for the team. He's not alone in his goal of wanting to get as many healthy and happy dogs to the finish line as possible but he and his older dogs are also teaching the youngsters how to be 1000 mile racers. That is a different kettle of fish than for those racing seasoned, experienced dogs.
By the end of the race the rookies and the other younger dogs will hopefully have the checkpoint routine down pat - settle in to sleep quickly and eat all that is in front of them. Allen's three rookies: Five, Scooby and Hotshot, have already run further than they ever have in a race and Nomex has also just passed that milestone. He developed a sore shoulder in Cripple last year and had to go home early. Chena and Tinder, his other less experienced team mates, will be consolidating their knowledge from last year.
Chipper posed an interesting selection decision for Aliy and Allen. Although she is talented, fit and healthy and could have made the Red Team she would have been a "team dog" on that team. By running with the Black Team she is a big fish, will get to lead and boss others about, and is one of the more experienced crew. He will have fun with her on his squad.
RETURNED DOG UPDATE
Linda has Woody and Violet with her in Anchorage. Woody was dropped as he had a sore shoulder and Violet a sore wrist. They are both eating and enjoying cuddles and love from Linda. Linda did say that she might not ever return Violet and that she might have to stay at her house forever!