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.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

CB300 - Meiers Lake Update

All three teams are back on the trail now for the 72 mile run from Chistochina to Meiers Lake. The temperature has dropped to around -10F which is great news for the teams as it will hopefully “set” the trail which up to now has had a soft snow covering.

I caught video of all three teams as (or just after) they arrived in Chisto, again, as I have a little more time I will upload and share with you. The handler crew is all at Meiers Lake Lodge now waiting our respective teams. As the run is a long one we expect to be able to get a few ours rest ourselves!

Allen’s BLACK team arrived at 4.22pm with a run time of 5 hours 34 minutes. Allen said the trail was “punchy” (soft) which was expected with the amount of fresh snow the area had in the few days leading up to the race. Because the team arrived in 11th position they had some passing manouvers to complete and he said they varied in quality but were mostly good, they just took time (which is exactly what Macgellan described in the previous post). He is running a brand new sled which he built earlier in the season and he said it was fantastic!

After the team arrived Allen snacked them and set about melting some snow (left) to make a kibble meal which he fed about an hour before they left. He carried on his normal routine of setting straw out, removing booties and putting jackets on or blankets over those who wanted it. The temperature was still hovering around 0F at that point, with light snow, which is not cold for these guys but keeping them a little warmer when they sleep helps them to stretch out and also expend less energy as they rest.

I asked him specifically about Felix as he is the most inexperienced dog on his team and he said he was doing really well. He is running next to his Dad and learning the ropes of mid and long distance racing from one of the best! We had a very graphic display of the difference between experience and youth as the team camped. Towards the end of their stay as Allen set about booty-ing and removing jackets Biscuit remained lying down, getting every last moment of rest he could whereas Felix was up and jumping about. As Allen said: there’s a lot of wisdom in those eight year old bones and hopefully Felix will pick up on that during the race.

Aliy and the RED team arrived 7 minutes behind the BLACK team with a run time of 5 hours 41 minutes. I didn’t get to spend as much time with her but she said that her team was looking great and she had no concerns about anyone at this point. She also rested for 5 hours so will need to take another 13 hours rest at checkpoints. The mushers have one mandatory 6 hour lay-over at any checkpoint and they also must make up their start-time differential there so everyone gets on even footing.

Allen had built Aliy her a new sled this season also and she was excited about running it - so far so good. Her team rested and ate really well (right) and she left swiftly with Rambler and Beemer still in lead.

Meghan and the RnB team had a runtime of 6 hours 28 minutes which she was pleased with and put her about on schedule. She was really proud of her team and said they all did so well. Ranger (right) was barking and barking and as they pulled in Lydia was still slamming into her harness to keep going! When I spoke with her everyone in her team was resting, including her inexperienced crew. All three of our teams had great, out-of-the-way parking places and that helps younger dogs rest better if they are not distracted by the comings and goings of other teams. Her brand new sled performed brilliantly!

At the time we left Chisto Meghan was still resting so I am uncertain of how long she stayed but I can see from the tracker she is on here way here. She will have started on the run to Meiers Lake checkpoint expecting to stop and camp for a few hours along the way so please don't be alarmed if you see her tracker paused.

Thanks to the crew at the Red Eagle Lodge for their hospitality and great cinnamon buns. We're going to get some sleep!


Nessmuk said...

Interesting to learn the older dogs learn to tune all the commotion out, knowing they are better served resting rather than getting all worked up when their neighbor gets some attention in one fashion or another! Those seasoned pups sure are smart! Thanks for the update and lesson! Go SPK Teams!

Lisa B said...

Great to get this detailed update and also the videos in the next couple of postings. Thanks Moira and the SPK doglog support crew for all your hard work.

marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks for a great detailed update , and the coming videos. The dogs & mushers seem to be going great. It is such a learning experience for the younger dogs(future stars).