SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Macgellan's Iditarod Musings

Moira emailed me and asked for my thoughts on the race. I've been trying to think of what to write all day. It pretty much boils down to three words: What a race!

Crazy weather, mixing tropical temps and rain with snow and wind. Revolutionary break-out strategies that almost worked (and might still). Too many leader changes to keep track of. Lost dogs, sick dogs, scratches, withdrawals and true grit perseverance. All building to what may be a neck-and-neck sprint to the finish. What a fantastic Iditarod!

Aliy has been running the SP Kennel Red Team on a very impressive and highly competitive strategy. She has managed her team brilliantly, balancing run and rest times in a challenging context of high temperatures, rough trail conditions and crazy-making goings-on all around her. It's true that the Iditarod is mostly about the dogs and what they can do, but the experience, savvy and stamina of the mushers is playing as big a part as ever. Aliy is a true professional and it is thrilling to watch her race.

At this writing, Aliy and the Red Team are in third position, ten miles behind the leader, with about 150 miles to go. That is by no means an insurmountable deficit, and I won't be surprised to see it tighten up considerably… Maybe even victoriously for her. You've all seen that look in her eye when she's got her game on, and I guarantee you that nobody is working harder than she is to help the dogs. I have to believe that is weighing heavily on the minds of the "old guy" mushers ahead of her. I know I wouldn't want her breathing down my neck!

There's a mandatory 8-hour rest in White Mountain, and we'll know exactly how close this race is when they get there. After that, it's a 77 mile sprint to Nome! Put on another pot of coffee and hang on folks... What a race!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mac, It's about time you shared your thoughts I have missed your insight and you have been silent to long. Question: I can recognize most of the dogs in the current team but I am not postive, from the pictures can you identify them for me (your best guess).

Thanks Steve

Anonymous said...

I sure wish I wasa flea sitting on the tip of a Red Team dog ear. Then, I would likely know the next move on the old guys...! This is getting real exciting. Dig deep dogs! Go Aliy!

Tonia and Herb (watching...in 73 degree F., Fairfield, Calif.)

Mrs. Edwards said...

My fingers and toes are crossed for Aily! Godspeed!

Mrs. Edwards said...

Fingers and toes crossed for Aily! Such a classy gal. Godspeed

Paula Nations Medlin said...

Great posting! Go, Aliy Go!

Jennie B. said...

Make 'em nervous, Aliy. Then you guys fly past 'em!

tmcaleer said...

You said it! I have been watching the log jam wondering, switching back and forth between screens. Up at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 watching the very interesting moves.

I am wondering if everyone has the capability of looking at their IPhones to see where the others are and their stats.

Yiikes, this has been a very interesting race. I can not wait to see what Aliy has to say about what she saw along the way with the heat and variable elements. One would never think to bring rain gear!

Go Aliy Gooooooooo! Go Dogs Gooooooo! You CAN DO THIS!!

Best, Trish

Skokie said...

Go Aliy!! Currently she is in second, with King about 500 feet behind her. Her strategies defiantly keep everyone guessing. =) I love watching this!

Skokie said...

Go Aliy!!! Shes currently in second, with King 500 feet behind her!! I love watching what she is doing next! I am having a blast watching this year's Iditarod! What a race!

Anonymous said...

Everyone I know wants Aliy to win. Go, girl! Go, Red Team!!!

Blessings, Jane

Heidi Phillips said...

Go Aily Go!!! Go Pups Go!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you, Mac! BTW, I thought Mac's nickname was Big Mac, but then I listened to the video...
What a race! Wish it was in the bag, but my goodness, we will all remember this race for a long time.
I am confident that Aliy is doing her absolute best for herself and her dogs. If there is a way that she can get to Nome first, I believe she will.
I only wish we weren't going to have to wait so long for her trail notes on this race.
Go Aliy!

Anonymous said...

Great post, MacG, yes, have seen that great spirit in Aliy! There is no quit in Quito or in Aliy!

Cameron MacKail said...

What a spectacular effort and result by the Red Team!!! I had no Idea a person needed such stamina just to follow the race on a laptop. WOW this is very special. Thanks for the blogs. John

Cameron MacKail said...

Go Red Team and go Aliy !!! This is amazing. Thank you for your posts SPKenneldoglog. The race and the excitement is far more than I had anticipated. I'm tired just watching it all unfold. Also, planning my own rest stops...:-)