Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ID: Wednesday Morning Update

It's 10.30am Alaska Time.

Aliy and the Red Team are still resting in Takotna, they've been there more than 15 hours so I think it is safe to assume they will see out their entire mandatory stop there. But then again, you just never know!

Allen and the Black Team pulled in to Taktona at 7.19am and it sounds like he has "declared his 24" there also. Allen spoke with Joe Runyan this morning when he came in to the checkpoint - here's what Joe said:

In the early morning night I notice a musher wearing white wind pants distributing straw to beds. It’s Allen Moore, 2013 Yukon Quest champ and the husband and kennel partner with front running Aliy Zirkle. I kind of caught him at one of those times in early light when humans are just becoming alert and talk quietly so they don’t wake up the rest of the world. He has spent all night traveling and just putting his dogs on a 24 hour rest. He must be, has to be, finally ready for a good nap.

“Yeah, I spent a lot of time repairing.” He told me his run across the Alaska Range was a repair mission. His sled has only two main stanchions and he replaced three, which meant he replaced both the originals and then replaced one of the replacements. After having run the Yukon Quest in February for a thousand miles and now finding himself on the Iditarod, this is a very trail hardened musher.

In this picture below from the meet-and-greet last Friday evening you can see the difference between a more traditional sled with two stanchions (the uprights) in the front sled and the sled Allen has built with just one. One stanchion makes the sled very flexible and manoeuvrable but I guess, not quite as robust? Although, in saying that, many different types of sleds are suffering breakages so it is difficult to say what would be the ideal type for that kind of trail.

The 24 hour layover will be busy for Aliy and Allen. They will have a well planned routine of feeding, massaging, walking and stretching out the dogs. They will pay particular attention to feet, shoulders and wrists and try to get plenty of calories into the team. They will also ensure they themselves are well rested and nourished so they will fit in a few naps and meals around the routine.

It will be nice for Aliy and Allen to have some time to catch up with each other there too to discuss how things have been so far and what happens next.

We're aware Allen has dropped a dog in McGrath so we are awaiting news of who it is and why. We will let you know as soon as we have the information. As I mentioned last evening, with so many teams scratching around Rohn and Rainy Pass there will be a huge load of dogs waiting to be returned to Anchorage so it could be some time before we get to see them. They will be in the great hands of veterinarian and volunteer staff while they wait so don't worry.


Mike Frerichs said...

Thanks for this great update! The trail must be very tough with lack of snow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all your updates.Go teams SPK red & black.

Barb, CO said...

(At some point, I hope we can learn about you, the one who is keeping us connected so very well, and filling in so many gaps in our knowledge. How do you know just exactly what we are starving for? Thank you).

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation on Martin's team: (From Schneulle):

"...there is a little chink in the armour though, as they are having some" diarrhea.

And perhaps one reason for this in dogs?

"Causes of diarrhea are wide ranging and can include... even stress" (from Wikipedia).


ashley davidson said...

from Jeff King's video the trail is the worst i've ever seen, well don to Aliy & Allen both making it through, good luck to all who follow. God speed to both Red & Black, good luck to all mushing

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is more than one member of the Yukon Quest team thinking you might show up and give them that amazing spa treatment they got in Dawson.

Nessmuk said...

I can't believe the tales from the trail.....thank goodness Aliy and Allen made out with no severe injuries. And yes, he certainly knows how to build a sled to survive such a trail! Well done Allen. The dog drop post made me feel SO much better about dogs leaving the trail. I'm sure whoever is looking after the 2 Black Team Members are getting all sorts of love and attention!

marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks so much for keeping us updated.

It is great that Aliy & Allen are past the worst of the trail. Enjoy the 24 hour "rest". Safe travels.

Lourdes, VT said...

Thank you much for this very interesting update Moira!!! I'm glad Aliy and Allen are in the same check point, so they can trade stories and support each other amist the many chores they have to do.
The best to all of you! Lots of love to all, human and dogs alike 😍

Jen Zundel said...

You got this, red team! You're magnificent to watch from a distance.

Anonymous said...

Hi aliy I'm a fifth grader at ptarmigan ridge and my teacher is having us follow the Iditarod and are mushers. My musher is you and I just wanted to say you are doing a.amazing!!!!!!!