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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!


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, Mac!!! I was just trying to do the math myself, given the staggered starts. You made it simple to understand.

Anonymous said...

Thanks MacGellan and Happy,

Thanks for whipping that up. One other thing I will point out is that for that run Jake, Gerry and Brent had a lot of traffic to work through. As I am typing this I can see from Jake's tracker that he has left Chistochina after 4hrs rest. I don't know what others are doing but it is likely that he will have a mostly empty track ahead of him. I think the sheep from the goats are about to get separated over the next leg.

There is not going to be water available at Sourdough so I suspect most mushers will take their mandatory 6 plus start difference at Paxson. This race should take good shape over the next 12hrs.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful thanks. From race rules I got one mandatory 6 hr rest plus additional 12 hrs but they didn't seem to specify where the mandatory rest is - or could that be up to musher's discretion? In which case time adjustments could be made at different stops for each musher?

Macgellan said...

Thanks, Wes... Indeed!... There's also traffic to consider... Still part of run times... Like overflow, snack breaks, tangles, etc...

I agree that the next leg will be informative... Trailbreaking vs. traffic... the strategy options are many!

Ananymous: Mandatory 6 hours (plus differential) can be taken at any checkpoint... so, yes indeed, time adjustments can be made at many different points... Part of the confusion for fans!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Good luck to SPK teams - off to a great start.

Anonymous said...

So it looks like a bunch of teams have left already and Allen is still resting. That means he will have traffic to deal with.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very warm. Does anyone want to give a suggestion on where he should take his mandatory 6hrs?


Tundralady said...

thank you - I was trying to figure out the formula


Tundralady said...

Thank you --- I was trying to post positions and was having a heck of a time.

Theresa : ) web lady with no math skills


Macgellan said...

Pure speculation: It's supposed to get warm tomorrow, so Allen wants to maximize night running... Getting out of Chisto at 8:30pm puts him into Paxson too early for a long break... Would then mean running during the day to Sourdough... So, I'd be looking for him to take a short (2hr) feed/rest break in Paxson then continue to Sourdough... Take his mandatory 6+ hours there during the day... run to the Lake for his remaining 4.5 hour rest then sprint to the finish... Anybody else got a plan?

Anonymous said...

I think I agree with you Macgellan. He rested 5 1/2 hours in Chistochina which was actually longer than his run there. I don't think he will spend 7hrs in Paxson (mandatory plus start diff.)and then run through the day to Sourdough. If he did that he would have only 6 1/2hrs rest to split between 200 miles.

Honestly he threw my mind a curve ball by staying 5 1/2 hrs at the first stop.


Anonymous said...

Very helpful! Thanks so much. Go Allen!