The First Full Day Racing
It is hard to decipher exactly what is going on at this point in the race. Every musher has a different strategy that he or she is working. Some mushers like to rest at the checkpoints, while others, like Aliy, prefer to camp out away from the crowds. When you look at the times and see some having run a section in 4 hours and others having run the same trail in 10 hours, you can safely assume that the 10 hour run included about a 6 hour rest at a camp. Add to that, some mushers will start off running 6 to 8 hour runs, while others, like Aliy and Allen, start off running shorter runs, no more than 4 or 5 hours. This is why Aliy’s position changes so drastically every few hours. The teams are playing hop scotch out there! It is difficult to tell where anyone really is until after they all take their 24 hour mandatory rest later on in the race.
The best I can say is that at this stage, Aliy is right on target with her run rest schedule and is looking good on her times. She still has all 16 dogs and is right in the mix. As I am writing this, Aliy is sitting at Rainy Pass, where she wanted to rest for the afternoon. She will probably pull out of there around 7:30 or 8pm this evening. The temperature is still showing in the upper 20s, lower 30s in this area. The night should cool things down a bit for her summit of the actual pass at Rainy Pass.
Allen, who started almost 2 hours after Aliy, is right on his schedule as well. It looks like he may have needed to carry a dog in the sled on his run into Finger Lake. His times were a LITTLE slower than the others with similar dog teams and he did drop a dog there. We don’t know who it is yet, but we know it is a female and that she was a bit dehydrated due to the high temperatures on the trail. (Nothing like going from -40 degrees below zero to 30 plus degrees above zero in a two week time frame! ) She was flown out of Finger Lake this afternoon and is presently with the Iditarod Veterinarians in Anchorage. She is in good shape, just drinking a lot. They will probably keep her until tomorrow morning. As soon as we find out which dog it is, we will let you know.
If you haven’t already checked out the IonEarth’s GPS tracker that shows where Aliy is during the race, it is very interesting. It give location, temperature and altitude of several mushers. It checks each musher every 15 minutes. Remember that the speeds are not average, just what they are doing at that moment. If they are going up hill, it could show them going 5 or 6 mph and then going 16 mph 5 minutes later as they go down the hill. The link is on the Iditarod homepage. (http://www.iditarod.com/)
We will keep you updated as soon as we get further information.