The handler team is at the Red Eagle Lodge in Chistochina awaiting our teams. We do have some internet so I will quickly update you on the start in Glennallen. I have video but will upload when I have more time.
An early start in Glennallen saw the teams fed and watered and put back in the truck for a final nap. The temperature was about 10F - pretty comfortable for both mushers and dogs (oh, and handlers!) with some light snow falling.
The start was executed beautifully with everyone getting out on time and with minimal fuss. We got Allen and his BLACK team mates out safely and happily. At the truck most of the team was cool and calm; they are seasoned professionals. The only ones to get a little hyped were Felix and I.V. who have less experience with the bedlam of a start line but Felix’s hype manifested in singing “hooowwwwwllll” and I.V. was shaking with excitement. I asked Allen how he felt, his reply: “fantastic!” in his Arkansas accent. The team was more than ready to go and looked fantastic as they left.
L-R: Allen booties Willie while Scout watches on; Aliy unloads Beemer
Aliy and her RED team mates took of just two minutes behind and Beemer and Rambler were lunging ready to go. Aliy was “ready to do this” and she and her team left the starting chute quickly and looking smart. Izzy is the least experienced of her team and you’d never know it! Mac yodelled a little and Beemer looked relaxed yet alert.
Meghan left a little later and her team of varying experience looked to be coping with all the other teams around them brilliantly. I saw Lydia lunging and yelling as they were led to the start and Ranger was barking, as usual! Meghan had packed her parka in her sled so that gives you an idea that the temperatures were comfortable for the first leg.
L-R: Meghan readies herself; the handler team waits at the Red Eagle Lodge in Chistochina
As I write this the first couple teams are into Chistochina checkpoint with Allen and Aliy around 10 miles out. Keep an eye on the Copper Basin 300 website and facebook for updates and watch their live tracker to keep up with the teams.