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Monday, March 8, 2010

Iditarod 2010: Monday Afternoon Update

Earlier this afternoon, Aliy was fourth into Rainy Pass with all 16 dogs:

While that certainly is "good news" and fun to see, I want to remind all of you that it really doesn't mean anything. At this initial stage of the Iditarod, teams are leapfrogging each other like crazy, all depending on who rested when, where and for how long. We want to see Aliy stay up toward the front of the pack, but don't be surprised if you see her -- or any of the teams -- bounce from 4th to 14th and back again... Okay?

It looks like Allen has dropped a dog. I have no information about who that was, but I will tell you anything I learn as soon as I learn it.

Along those lines: Unlike the CB300 where I could drive to checkpoints to meet the Teams and get current info for you, the Iditarod is entirely "out of reach" for me. If you actively watch the Iditarod website, you will know practically everything I know at any given moment. What I will be able to do is give you some interpretation and analysis -- even some semi-educated guesses -- about the information.

We are hopeful that Aliy's mom -- who is "flying the trail" with Sky Trekking Alaska -- will be lucky enough to intersect with the Teams at a checkpoint or two and -- hopeful again! -- that she will be able to call me with updates. I promise to share this info just as soon as I have it.

We also have a "fantasy" that Aliy will be able to send me a chip out of her camera from some checkpoint early on the trail. I think the odds are fairly slim that this will work out, so I don't want to build your hopes up. But, we've done everything we can to put the option in play and can always hope for the best.

Finally, I have seen your many questions as I've approved your comments. I hope to answer as many as I can as fast as I can, both in the "Final Team Roster" posts that I am working on right now and in "reply comments" that I will try to post soon.

In other words, folks, the Iditarod is almost impossible to "cover" but we have put some facilities in place that we hope will give us some quality updates along the way. I will do my best to keep you posted... Stay tuned!


Julie said...

You are great, MacG, very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your work - we really appreciate it!

Linda said...

Quick question....on the GPS page, it states that the races will report their positions every quarter hour. I hope that process is as simple as pushing a button or something. Do you know?

Thanks again, Mac for great coverage! It was so good seeing the dogs that were finally selected! Anxious to hear what dogs were dropped from Allen's team!

Mel Bowman said...

Thanks for all your hard work!

How are the standings calculated? Is it based solely on time in between checkpoints, or does it include any time they mushers rest as well?

Anonymous said...

Please pass along good wishes to ALL from the Treen gang....and thanks for your updates! Great blog :)

Macgellan said...

GPS question: In my experience, once you are on the GPS page it updates automatically... the "standings" page needs to be "reloaded" to show current data.

Standings: Yeah, this is a little hard to wrap your brain around... It has nothing to do with time... I repeat, NOTHING to do with time... Only what order the teams arrive at and/or leave a checkpoint... For example, if Team A arrives at a checkpoint at 5pm and parks, then Team B arrives at 5:15 and goes through, Team B will be "ahead" in the standings... This will remain "true" even though Team A departs an hour later and Team B camps a mile down the trail for five hours... UNTIL, that is, the next checkpoint when one or the other will arrive first... There is NO accounting for rest time, start differential or any other "time" issues... This is why "leapfrogging" makes it so hard to figure out who is where in the order... Those of us who are "experienced" don't even pay attention to "standings" until after the mandatory 24 hour rests -- during which the differentials are made up -- and the teams have spread out enough to have a sense of who is really ahead, fast, rested, etc...

Keep your eye on the teams that are consistently in the "top 10" or so, and develop a "sense" of speed, total rest, etc... It's more art than science at this point... Okay?