Thursday, January 31, 2013

Start Banquet and Bib Draw

Musher number 11 out of the start chute on Saturday will be Allen Moore and the SPK BLACK team! Woohoo!

The whole team arrived in Whitehorse this afternoon in time for the start banquet and bib draw. It was a full house at the Convention Centre packed with fans, supporters, volunteers, officials, vets, handlers and, of course, mushers.


Allen draws bib number 11

(above left) Becky Alexander of Pleasant Valley Store - super sponsor of SP Kennel

(above right) Ryne with bib #66 for the Yukon Quest 300

Here's a few snippets from the banquet - first up is the Minister of Tourism and Culture Mike Nixon followed by City of Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meeting the Mushers

Here's a few pictures from tonight's Meet The Mushers evening in Whitehorse. All the YQ1000 mushers were present and a huge crowd turned up at the Mount McIntyre Centre to meet them and get some prized signatures and photos.



A Few Get Left Behind

With three teams heading over to Whitehorse and all the excitement of the Quest we thought we would pay tribute to those that get left back at the kennel. They are just as important to the kennel for their own different reasons...

Puppies are the future, retirees pass on the knowledge and the unlucky few who don't make the teams this time are still in the frame for the rest of the season. They will stay home and enjoy some quiet time and get special attention from Wendy.

Here's a video we took last Friday of two of the "secrets" Lydia and Dutch enjoying some quality time inside with Grandma ChaCha.



Take a look back at the start of winter and see how tiny Lydia was back then... what a difference a few months make! Winter In Here!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yukon Quest 300

SP Kennel is a racing sled dog kennel. The dogs love to race. The mushers love to race. This season, we have regrettably had a few canceled races. But this coming weekend, we are going to make up for all that that! We plan to race 38 dogs and 3 mushers! As many as we can.

Not only will Allen and the 14 dogs of the Black Team be starting the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, but also 24 additional SP Kennel dogs and 2 mushers will be on their own starting line.

It is very exciting to give so many dogs a race opportunity. Each dog has worked so hard for the entire season that it will be hard to leave even just a few dogs behind. Our goal has always been to give every dog a chance to "show their stuff". So, here we go...

The Yukon Quest 300 starts 4 hours after the 1,000 mile race. It follows the same route, uses identical checkpoints and follows YQ rules and regulations. There are 18 teams racing in the YQ300 - two are from SP Kennel. Aliy will be racing the Red Team and Ryne will be racing the Red and Black Team. You can check out the team rosters on Saturday.

Handlers are crucial before, during and after the race. Meghan will handle for the Red Team and Kristy (SP Kennel Invitational competitor) will handle for the R and B Team. Each team has its own strategy and goal. After the finish of the YQ300, Aliy and Meghan will take their truck and head north - directly to Dawson to help set up Dawson Dog Camp prior to Allen's arrival. They will then switch hats and work for the Black Team during their 36 hour layover. After the YQ300 finish, Ryne and Kristy will head directly back to Alaska. They will return all of the 300 mile race dogs back to the kennel so they can stretch out at their own houses and begin to prepare for the Iditarod.

All in all, it's a "good plan"... stay tuned and we'll see what really happens.


Meghan works on her never ending "to do" list, while Rambler relaxes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

An Interview With Allen



Thanks for all your great questions! Hope you enjoy these few minutes with Allen before he embarks on his Quest.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Yukon Quest - One Week Out


The Yukon Quest has been the central focus for SP Kennel these last few weeks. We have exactly ONE WEEK until the Race Start. As the time nears, we'd like to share our "front row hype".

As you might imagine there is an infinite amount of preparation that goes on behind the scenes. The race start is next Saturday, February 2nd at 11:00 AM. Here is a very simple calendar so you can follow the SP Kennel Crew as we inch closer to the starting line.

Sunday, January 27th
- Final packing

Monday, January 28th
- Allen and the Black Team go on a stretch out training run

Tuesday, January 29th
- Allen and Moira drive to Whitehorse (10 to 12 hours)

Wednesday, January 30th
- Yukon Quest Mushers Meeting
- Public Event "Mushers Meet & Greet"

Thursday, January 31st
- Ray, Meghan, Aliy, Ryne, Kristy and the Dogs drive to Whitehorse
- Yukon Quest Handlers Meeting
- Yukon Quest Mushers Meeting
- Yukon Quest Start Banquet

Friday, February 1st
- Calm before the storm

Saturday, February 2nd
- Race START

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eat Like an SP Kennel Musher

Ever wondered what the SP Kennel mushers eat out on the trail?

Most commercial high-energy snacks can freeze completely solid at 40 below so this, combined with the sugar rush and consequent sugar low many commercial products cause, prompted the SP Kennel mushers to look at other alternatives.

This is what we have found...

In an interview with KUAC at the Yukon Quest Food Drop in Fairbanks Allen mentioned “some oatmeal cluster things that have some white chocolate and all that good stuff. Those are the first things I’m going for.” Click here for KUAC YQ Food Drops article

We thought you might like to try them. They are fantastic for the trail - they don't freeze solid, they are super tasty and nutritious and aren't loaded with too much sugar. Why not try them while you follow along with the Yukon Quest?

1.5 cups old-fashioned oats
0.5 cup white chocolate chips
1 banana (squished)
0.5 cup sugar-free peanut butter
0.5 cup sugar-free shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla
0.25 cup Agave syrup

Combine all ingredients, flatten into a baking dish then freeze.

Voila! Enjoy!

Media Coverage of the Yukon Quest

There has been some great media coverage of the Yukon Quest and a couple of articles about Allen in particular (click on red links to take you to the articles)

"In Cold Pursuit" by Amy Nordrum from "Fairbanksalaska.com"

"Seconds Matter" by Jeff Richardson from the Fairbanks Newsminer

We're going to do our own "interview" with Allen during the weekend and we're wondering if there are any particular questions you would like us to ask him? We'll keep it short and ask just 5 or 6 questions so put your question in the comments and we'll do our best to get it answered for you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Yukon Quest Vet Checks

Dr Tamara Rose DVM from Fairbanks came out to the kennel to do official veterinary checks on all the potential Yukon Quest 1000 team members.

The checks are very thorough and start with formal identification of each dog - age, sex and colour along with microchip number. All of our dogs are identified by micro-chips and the medical history of each dog is associated with their chip number. Vaccination records including 5-way, kennel cough and rabies need to be evidenced also.

The dogs were then weighed, an overall body condition rating was given (on a scale of 1-5), temperatures, heart rates and oral respiration rates taken. A vital part of sled dog health care is hydration so each dog's mucous membranes are checked for capillary refill rate followed by a general body check (eyes, ears, musculo-skeletal etc). She performed a thorough hands-on physical exam on them all.

As you know, in the sport of dog sled racing the dogs are the athletes so it is important that they are in the best physical condition possible. At SP Kennel we do monthly medical checks on the dogs but we don't have the skills to pick up on everything so it is critical that we get vet support prior to, during and after races.



Here you can see Nacho and Beemer getting the once-over with Chemo waiting his turn. Thanks TRose for the great care and attention you give to each one of our SP Kennel dogs!

The YQ300 checks are done by the vet team over in Whitehorse prior to the race.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quest Teams' Training Run



Allen and Meghan took 26 dogs out today for an 80 mile training run from the Two Rivers Yukon Quest checkpoint right into downtown Fairbanks following the Quest trail down the Chena River.

At this point Allen's BLACK team is not finalised so any one of the 26 could make the team. This run will narrow it down for him with the absolute final decision made the day before the race.

We caught up with them just a few miles into their run then again at the finish. (Try to figure out which team Ranger is on...!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catching Up With Boris



Boris is a sweetheart!

Boris is as steady of a sled dog as we could ever hope to have. He is a powerful one as well. His overall strength will certainly be to our benefit this year as we hope to include him in many of our racing teams. We have just seen the beginning of his racing talents

"Bobo" is always sporting a big smile and just wants to get out there and work as a team dog.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Training In The Hills

Aliy and Meghan took a couple of teams up into the hills around Two Rivers recently and Aliy captured some great video...



Aliy's team is Lead: Quito and Beemer, Swing: Schmoe and Chemo, Team: Kipper and Lester, Scout and Willie, Spoog and Mac, Wheel: Biscuit and Tatfish.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yukon Quest Food Drops

Food drop bags for the Yukon Quest and Yukon Quest 300 were due this weekend and we dropped off 56 bags to the depot to cover the BLACK team's 1000 miles and the RED team's 300.

You might wonder what goes into the drop bag - we pack snacks for the dogs (meat, fish etc) and kibble for meals, human food and snacks, booties and leggings, extra dog coats, blankets and harnesses, gloves and socks for the musher, sled plastics and a "vet pack" that includes extra ointments, wraps and algyval and other essential bits and pieces to keep dogs and mushers happy and healthy.

It takes a lot of planning, preparation and checking to get them right and each race teaches us something else about what we should and shouldn't pack in the bags by way of snacks and equipment.



Next week we start all over again for the Iditarod drop bags!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Copper Basin 300 Recap



We've put together the best bits from the Copper Basin 300 pics and videos, we hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Yearlings' First Race

Congrats to the yearlings on a successful first race!

Howdy, folks, Meghan here. As the excitement from the Copper Basin begins to settle, I thought I’d take a moment to recap what a fantastic job the yearlings did on their first race, the Solstice 50, last week. After training alongside the adult dogs all season, the seven yearlings - Clyde, Nelson, Felix, Pepe, Izzy, Outlaw and Mismo - had the opportunity to show off their hard work. The youngsters were led by a stellar quartet of adults - Scout, Kipper, Waylon and Spicy. One additional adult, Tug, ran in wheel to “keep the peace,” and round out the team. Tug ran alongside Mismo (who is, incidentally, approximately twice her size). Thanks, Tug!

Getting the team hooked up at the starting line was, as expected, a bit hectic. The yearlings were beside themselves with excitement. Other teams taking off, folks walking around taking photos... what’s a young sled dog to do?! In their enthusiasm, Nelson broke his harness (not chewed, but actually broke, from pulling), Clyde broke the metal snap holding him at the truck, and the five yearlings on the other side of the truck actually bent the metal bar that held their picket line! These guys were amped, to say the least. I love their energy, and I love it even more when their energies are all pointed in the same direction.

Once we took off from the starting line, we had a pretty smooth run. The team was presented with obstacles that the yearlings haven’t had much experience with yet - going through river overflow, passing snow machines, and passing lots of teams (as well as occasionally being passed). They all did outstandingly well. I was particularly impressed with Pepe and Nelson, who were so focused and kept a smooth lope the entire run. Izzy, who is traditionally one of the more playful yearlings, really stepped up as well. On training runs, she likes to pick up anything she can find on the trail - sticks, ice chunks, lost booties... But she was all business on race day. Way to go, Izzy!


Photo by Julien Schroder

We completed the race in 5 hours, 22 minutes. This included two snack/love breaks, and several “mini-stops” to sort out minor tangles, remove frozen booties, etc. Everyone finished the race happy and healthy. What an honor it was to accompany such a fine group of youngsters on their first race. Undoubtedly, they all have long, distinguished race careers ahead of them! Go pups!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

News Coverage of the Copper Basin

John Thain, a reporter from KTVA Alaska, was following the Copper Basin 300 this year - check out this great story he posted!

He was able to get out to places on the trail most of us couldn't so you can see some great shots of the teams and the conditions they were facing. Isn't it awesome to get coverage like this for our sport!

Click on the image to link to the story.

Copper Basin Champs Arrive Home

Our champion team arrived home to the kennel safely in the wee small hours of Wednesday morning. They've rested well overnight and will go on a short "stretch out" run with Allen later today.

Here you can see I.V., Scruggs, Willie and Allen relaxing in their respective houses...




We're working on a wrap-up video of the race, we'll get that to you as soon as possible so watch for that, but now the focus shifts to the Yukon Quest with food drops due this weekend the training schedule stepping up another notch. Not long to go now - it's getting exciting!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Team is ready for the Kusko 300, but...

We can not safely get to Anchorage today for our flight out to Bethel. Aliy, Meghan and the 14 Kusko 300 dogs are stuck in Two Rivers due to unsafe driving conditions. The cargo has been deemed "too precious" to risk.

We are VERY bummed.

Meghan put an awful lot of extra work into preparing dog airline kennels, Bethel dog camp gear and overall truck and travel equipment. Wendy has been loads of help with last minute items. I'd like to thank them for going out of their way to make the Kusko even possible. Our hectic race schedule has had us all working non stop.

I made this decision late yesterday (1/15). I am not happy about it, but I think it is the correct one considering the freezing rain did not stop until well after midnight. Currently it is 10 degrees and sheets of ice.

I'm sorry to disappoint our race fans, but most of all, our dogs.

Kusko 300 Team Line Up:
  1. Beemer
  2. Dingle
  3. Scout
  4. Waylon
  5. Viper
  6. Ranger
  7. Pud
  8. Lester
  9. Kipper
  10. Mac
  11. Spoog
  12. Moxie
  13. Fang
  14. Bonita

Here is just a portion of this morning's Alaska DOT Official Parks Highway Road Conditions:

Monday, January 14, 2013

CB300 Finish

There is more to come, but here is what you all have been waiting for!



Superstar leaders Olivia and Quito lead the team across the finish line at the 2013 Copper Basin 300.

Coverage of Sourdough, Lake Louise and Tolsona checkpoints will be posted asap.

2013 Copper Basin 300 Champions



WOOOHOOOOO!

Videos and more pics as soon as we can.

Allen and the Black Team Win the 2013 Copper Basin 300

Allen and the Black Team pulled into the finish line at about 11:22AM this morning. SP Kennel crew are excited with the great finish! We think this race time might set the record for the race, but must wait for the official times to be posted. It was sure lucky bib #5 for both Aliy and Allen this weekend in both their race wins. It's wonderful to see our race newbies Chemo and IV coming across the line in their first mid distance race! There are some great photos of Allen and his leaders, Quito and Olivia, on the Copper Basin 300 website http://www.cb300.com We'll have more photos and video from the finish line as soon as the dogs and Allen are made comfortable after their big finish. CONGRATULATIONS BLACK TEAM!

Waiting for a finish!

Whether you are at the Copper Basin 300 finish line, in Two Rivers, Afghanistan, or all over the globe ... we are waiting for the Black Team to finish!

Fingers and paws crossed!


Allen through Tolsona Checkpoint

Allen and the Black Team through the last Copper Basin Checkpoint - Tolsona - at 7:57AM!

CB300 Analysis #4

It looks like the SPK Black Team was slightly off the pace between Sourdough and Lake Louise, taking seven minutes longer to make the run than the fastest team for that leg.

Overall, the Black Team remains almost an hour faster for total run time in the CB300:



Allen and the dogs have already left Lake Louise, after taking their final 30 minute rest. They will push straight through the final checkpoint at Tolsana with nothing to stop them until the finish line.

This "long final run" tactic is a hallmark of Allen's CB300 racing strategy. In essence, the dogs have been on a "run six, rest six" schedule for the bulk of the race so far. Stopping for a snack at Lake Louise, the veteran dogs know that the finish line is just one more run ahead of them. You can bet they are motivated to get there as fast as they can!

It's also a bit demoralizing for competitors to watch the SPK Black Team leave for the finish line with no rest time left to give, while they must still wait an hour -- or more -- to continue. Veteran fans know there's a lot more to racing than just running dogs!

This has been an excellent CB300. We're all cheering for Allen and the dogs to continue their fine, consistent performance, and hope to see them cross the finish line first!

Allen in and out of Lake Louise Checkpoint

Unofficially the Black Team checked in at 4:22AM and out at 4:52AM.

Lake Louise Crew Check-in

The handler crew arrived at the Lake Louise checkpoint with a couple of hours to spare and are now eagerly awaiting Allen and the team's arrival. We have a good view over the lake of incoming headlights so will have plenty of time to prepare for their arriving.

Here are a few pictures of the team from Paxson and Sourdough checkpoints. Left: the team getting ready to leave Paxson, the team check in to Sourdough then Allen bootie-ing the team readying to leave Sourdough.



Will update you with Lake Louise times asap.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Allen departs Sourdough

Allen and the Black Team left Sourdough Checkpoint unofficially at 22:08.

CB300 Analysis #3

Allen Moore's SP Kennel Black Team has turned in a third straight fastest run time for the leg from Paxson to Sourdough!

Despite arriving at Sourdough in fourth position due to longer accumulated rests, the Black Team is showing very consistent and very strong performance throughout the race so far. Overall, the Team is 50 minutes faster than the next fastest team.



The top contenders have all completed their mandatory 6 hour rests plus their starting differentials. The only differences now are in their accumulated rests and run times.

This is a very exciting race, and the SPK Black Team is doing very well. We wish all competitors -- human and canine -- a healthy, happy run to the finish!

Sourdough Checkpoint

 
Allen and the Black Team are in route or at the Sourdough Checkpoint now. There is no communication at this remote point so we have no current information.

A heavy, wet blanket of snow fell on the area since last night. The mushers will be breaking trail which could slow them down. The snow has caused power outages in Glennallen as well so the official website is not updated either.

The Black Team left out of Paxson in very good spirits and Allen was ready for the challenge. We will update you when we get information. 

CB300 Paxson Update

Allen and the BLACK TEAM have departed Paxson checkpoint and are on the trail towards Sourdough. Seven teams left the checkpoint before them.

They arrived in the early hours of this morning and made the call to take their mandatory 6 hour layover PLUS an extra 64 minutes (to allow for the starting time differential) here.

Allen's daughters Bridgett and Jennifer are here also and Bridgett caught the team's arrival on film. You can hear her asking Allen some really good questions as she herself has run this race so knows the trail intimately.



At 10.15am the team left and those of you will eagle eyes will notice the team was down to 11 dogs. With one eye firmly on the rest of the racing season Allen decided to drop Tatfish as a precautionary measure. He was showing some minor signs of soreness so the difficult decision was made to leave him with us for the rest of the race. He will enjoy plenty of massages, fish snacks and loving!



We are on our way to Sourdough checkpoint shortly and there is no internet access there so we will try to get messages through to those back at the kennel.

It's beginning to snow again, the temperatures are very warm and there is minimal wind.

Go team!

CB300 Analysis #2

Good morning!

Using the most recent stats available from the CB300 website, here are the total run times for the first two legs of the race: Start - Chisto - Paxson



Although Allen's SPK Black Team was the seventh to arrive in Paxson, his run time from Chisto was again the fastest in the field. The team has now run almost 30 minutes faster than the next fastest team over the combined two legs.

Already you can see a great example of how the "leader board" doesn't necessarily reflect who is running fastest. The additional time that Allen rested the team in Chisto makes it look like he's "behind" when he is in fact "ahead" and running very, very well!

I'll try to keep up with these stats during the day, all relying on the CB300 folks being able to post updates (and trying not to be too distracted by the Seattle-Atlanta football game... Go Seahawks!)

CB300 Start Video

Catch up with the BLACK TEAM leaving Glennallen at 10.08am on Saturday, January 12th.



CB300 Paxson - Quick Update

The BLACK TEAM rolled into Paxson at (unofficially) 3.11am making the run through from Chisto 6 hours, 44 minutes - this time is still to be confirmed but currently is one of the fastest run times so far.

The team looked good as Quito and I.V. led them into the checkpoint. They ate all their snacks upon arrival, settled into their straw beds quickly and are right now enjoying a rest.



It was an advantageous decision to wait a little longer in Chisto, although Allen still had some difficulty finding the trail due to the fresh snow, despite the other mushers going over the trail before him, and he had to run from marker to marker. He did say the trail was very well marked and the Gulkana River crossing was well placed for a dry crossing.

Allen is going to eat and rest himself here also and we'll let you know what time they head out later this morning.

CB300 Chistochina Update

The BLACK team handler crew have landed in Paxson! We've just pulled in to the Lodge awaiting the arrival of the mushers and will try to catch a little sleep so we are on the ball when the team arrives.



By now you might know the stats for the first leg from Glennallen to Chistochina - Allen and team ran it in 4 hours 49 minutes and rested for five and a half hours. The dogs looked fantastic coming in, with Scruggs and Quito in lead. They took some time to settle down, at one point we were standing on the front and back snow hooks (see below left) as they were pretty keen to keep going but once they figured out they were stopping for a while they got a great rest and ate well.



Allen said the trail was hard and fast with lots of tussocky sections to make it challenging but he was happy with how the team looked at this early stage.

They pulled out of the Red Eagle Lodge with Quito and I.V. in lead at 8.27pm ready for the 58 mile run to Paxson checkpoint. Everyone looked fantastic! The warm, wet conditions will start to come into play for everyone during this leg.

Like you, we are trying to do the maths and figure when we can expect Allen into Paxson. As tiredness sets in later in the race I'm sure you will see us counting on our fingers and checking our calculations three or four times, especially as the time differential kicks in to equalise the start times.

Next post as soon as possible! And what great news about the RED and RED AND BLACK teams!!

Two Rivers Solstice First Place Finish

Congratulations to Aliy and the Red Team on their first place finish of the Two Rivers Solstice race today! Aliy came in after approximately a 3 hour and 22 minute run on the second loop of the race course. The official race run times have not yet been posted, but that is a quick calculation.  The run was about 10 miles an hour which is a good pace in the current weather conditions. Aliy's comment coming into the finish line was "It's really warm now (30 degrees). The trail is a little mushy and the dogs are a little hot right now."
After trading out some dogs and adding a few from Meghan's team, Aliy continued on her way for another 25 mile run.  She will mush her way home around 2:30AM. This will give the dogs a solid 100 mile run for the day. A musher's work is never done!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

CB300 Analysis #1

Howdy!... Macgellan here!

Like many of you, I've been following the CB300 with great interest all day. The CB300 crew is doing a great job of updating the race stats, especially considering all the challenges they face with communications and internet access in remote Alaska.

From a fan's perspective, all that data on all those tables can get pretty confusing.
Besides all the in/out times to compare and calculate, the staggered starts cause a "time differential" for each musher that must be made up during their mandatory 8-hour rest. Plus, mushers take their total 18 hours of required rest at all different places. As a result, it doesn't always matter where the teams are, or when they're there.

I suggest that if you're trying to figure out how the race is shaping up -- or even just to get a grip on a simple "leader board" -- simplicity is the key. By the time the race is over, all the start-time differentials and accumulated rests will work themselves out. In the end, they're the same for everybody.

The only data that really matters are the run-times between checkpoints, and their overall, accumulated total for a team. Bottom line: Whichever team covers the distances between checkpoints the fastest will win the race. All that other stuff is just, well, stuff.

To analyze races, I build a simple spreadsheet that calculates run times between checkpoints and accumulates those times for the overall race. I then sort the table from shortest to longest time. Whoever is going the fastest is doing the best. So simple, right?

Here is my spreadsheet so far, for the top 20 teams. So far it's pretty simple and straightforward: Allen's SPK Black Team was fastest over the first run from the start to Chisto. There's not much else to say at this point, besides "Go SPK!"



You all know that Allen loves the CB300 and is always a dominant competitor. The first run this year -- from Glenallen to Chisto -- is pretty straightforward, so it's not surprising that he's really cruising. The next leg over the mountains to Paxson is typically much more challenging, an opportunity for him and the Black Team to really power down!

I hope this little "analysis" is helpful to you, and I'll try to post a couple of updates as the race progresses!

Solstice Race Update

Aliy is leading the race, arriving back at Pleasant Valley Store at 4:00pm.  Jodie Bailey is in second and keeping pace. Aliy will leave after her four hour mandatory rest at about 8:00pm.  She has a 32 mile loop to finish out the race.  Aliy's comment on coming in,  "The trail is really nice out there. With the fresh snow, it's really good mushing right now".  She will probably finish the race around midnight, and we'll post the results as soon as we can. 
Meghan preparing the puppies

 Meghan also arrived back at the store in good time , with a group of tired yearlings. Unofficially, she finished in second place. Her time was still being calculated when I left the Store to bring her dogs back to the kennel. We'll post her final times in the next posting. 

Two Rivers Solstice Start

Meghan getting the sled ready
Aliy #5
The kennel crew, joined by veteran race handler Bob Hauer and his dog truck, loaded dogs at 8:00AM and headed off for the long 2 mile drive to Pleasant Valley store where the Two River Solstice Race started at 11:00AM.  Twenty-four excited dogs burst out of their boxes ready to go.  At about 15 degrees, it's a perfect race day. In a quirky twist, Aliy drew bib #5 (the same as Allen for the CB300) for the start of the 100 mile race, and Meghan drew #1 position for the 50 mile race.  Race officials described the trail as two loops. The first loop is 46 miles, followed by a 4 hour mandatory rest at the Pleasant Valley Store. This is the end of the first race for Meghan and the Yearlings. The second loop is almost the same, but only 32 miles.  For those of you math geniuses, this adds up to a total of 78 miles and not 100 miles. Regardless, it's a fun race to be a part of, and takes mushers through some of the best trails that Two Rivers has to offer.

Aliy left on her race at about 11:08 AM in 5th position and is expected back at the Store at around 2:30-3:00pm. Meghan will be coming in within 30 minutes after her for the 50 mile finish.  Hopefully, I'll be able to post the standings shortly after that.  Here are a few photos and video from the start this morning.

Aliy's Red Team Ready to Run
video