March 8,2012 9:30 pm AST
Day 5 on the Iditarod trail started early for SP Kennel. Aliy and the Red Team headed out of their 24 hour mandatory rest at 1:16 am (my calculation was off by 2 minutes last night). Aliy left Takotna with 15 dogs in harness, leaving Meg with the wonderful vet crew and volunteers. She stayed between Mitch Seavey and Dallas Seavey until they began to take breaks. Aliy stopped about 70 miles into her run to Cripple, having blown through Ophir. A great sign that she didn't drop Rambler there.
After what looked like a 4 hour rest on the trail, Aliy and the dogs continued down the trail at a steady pace. She passed through Cripple about 6:30 this evening, all dogs still on the line, and returned to the front of the pack. Mitch Seavey, who had been resting in Cripple, quickly headed out after her. It is a 60 miles trip to Ruby and the start of the trail on the mighty Yukon River. Aliy is once again running her own race and staying out of checkpoints.
Ryne finished her 24 hour mandatory rest almost 12 hours after Aliy finished her rest. Ryne left Takotna with 14 dogs at 1:30 pm AST. We were not able to talk to Ryne directly, so all information we have is through Aliy and others out on the trail. Rumor has it that she forgot her calling card!
Ryne is pleased with her dogs and her runs. Although tired, she is reported to be happy and very upbeat. She arrived at Takotna within 5 minutes of her plan, an amazing feat! She is planning to run conservatively along the Yukon. It is my belief that if she continues to manage her runs and dog team as she has, she will begin to pick off teams in front of her once she hits the coast.
The Zirkle / Moore family is beginning to reposition for the final half of the race. Allen arrived in Nome this morning. Bridgett kicked him out of the house and away from the computer this evening, an excellent call! Doug is awaiting Meg in Anchorage before heading to Unalakleet on Sunday. Allen, Bridgett and Scotty will meet him there (as I assume will Timber). By Tuesday, most of the clan will be out in Nome waiting for Aliy and Ryne's arrival.