Okay, things are changing out on the trail for Aliy. She had to drop another dog in Kaltag. She dropped Butterscotch for a triceps injury. So far, only Skittles has been dropped for something other than that. The rough trail has caught up with her and all plans have changed.
Aliy is no longer racing. She only has 8 dogs and her entire goal now is to get to Nome. She is going to be switching over to a 6 hour run, 6 hour rest schedule until she makes White Mountain and then she will see from there. She is seriously worried about several dogs still in the team and has to go into conservative mode. By the time I talked to her in Kaltag, she had accepted that fact and was doing okay. So much is now going to depend on her staying positive for the dogs and just making her way down the coast. She should be in Unalakleet and on the coast by 5pm this afternoon.
I expect she will be running up every hill and be kicking and poling the entire way to Nome. She said that when she isn’t poling, she can walk faster than the team is going at this point. The last time this happened to her team, she lost 25 pounds by the time she made it to Nome.
The dogs, other than the triceps, are doing very well out there. They all have good weight on them. (I got Pepper back last night. I can’t believe how big she is! It’s great.) They are just going very slow. Aliy can’t push them without an injury coming up and forcing her to drop another dog. She is not the type of musher or person who will push her team to the breaking point. She has always been very good at knowing the line and NOT crossing it. This is not how we imagined this year’s race going, but she is playing the hand she has been dealt.
Our father Doug has flown out to Unalakleet this morning to meet her and try to give some moral support. Hopefully we will here from him this evening.
Allen on the other hand is still cruising along with 15 dogs. He may very well start catching up with Aliy on the trail if she holds to that 6 hour schedule. The computer has him in Eagle Island, but we know he probably left at 5 or 6 this morning. It seems to be a black hole for communications out there.
We are trying to keep good thought going out to Aliy, and Allen, on the trail. Hope you’ll join us.