ID: Saturday Morning Update

It's 8.30am Alaska time.

Aliy and her 11 team-mates left Kaltag and are on their way to Unalakleet! The GPS tracker shows they are currently stopped so it looks like they could be camping for a while before continuing to the next checkpoint.

Since the last update they left Nulato after resting about three hours. The rumours about dropping two dogs there were correct and she left with 12 team mates. She's left another in Kaltag. As much as it will be disappointing to leave her friends behind Aliy will be confident she's doing the right thing by them and she knows they are in good hands with the vets and volunteers at the checkpoint.

In an interview at Galena with the Insider Bruce Lee asks Aliy about Buser's lead and that she had narrowed the gap. She says she handn't really thought about it and she's still sticking to her plan. In other stories it sounds like a bunch of the top mushers are doing the same. It is easy for us to see the information; compare run times and know who's leading who and by how much but the mushers don't have access to the same information, and it appears that in the checkpoints when they can see it, a lot of them don't even look at it. It shows tremendous patience and faith in their strategies that they are confident enough to carry on doing what they planned despite what is going on around them. I guess this will change in the closing stages but at this point there is still about one third of the race to go.

Allen and the Black Team have completed their eight hour layover in Ruby and are currently clipping along to Galena. Allen is running a very different schedule to Aliy and his focus will be to get as many of his 12 team mates to Nome as possible. Allen is great at this - obviously he is a tremendous competitor and has shown that with his Yukon Quest and Copper Basin 300 record but he's also really good at coaching a less experienced team along the trail. It's a different skill set and it's important for the future of the kennel to introduce as many dogs to the trail as possible.

A dropped dog update is coming soon; we're expecting a flight into Anchorage and hopefully some SP dogs are on it!