Those of you who have followed the CB300 before probably know what I'm going to say, but here it is for any newcomers and those of you who could use a reminder:
In the CB300, the only race stat you need to watch is run times between checkpoints.
Because all mushers are required to take 18 hours of rest -- and top teams will only take that amount of rest -- the winner will be whichever musher has the lowest cumulative run time between checkpoints from start to finish.
Don't get confused about who takes how much rest where. That all goes according to individual musher strategies. Before the race is over, all their rest times will be the same 18 hours. Don't drive yourself crazy about "start differentials" either, they will all be worked out during one of their checkpoint rests.
The fastest team with the lowest overall run time will win the CB300... Period.
With that said, here are the top dozen Start-Chistochina run times in order. This is not the order they arrived in Chistochina, but the amount of time it took them to run there.
Allen had the fastest time, arriving well ahead of the second fastest team. As I wrote before, he has set a blistering pace, even more impressive considering the number of teams he had to pass along the way. Passing slows you down -- like trying to get around a slow moving vehicle on a two lane road -- but Allen zipped right along anyway.
Aliy's time was sixth fastest, a credit to the quality of both her SPK "B-Team" and her own mushing mastery. Although she isn't likely to catch Allen's "A-Team" you can be sure that she is in full competitor mode and will do the best she can in the field.
It is far too soon to start making any predictions, because there are so many things that can happen on a trail. Nevertheless, both teams have made a very strong showing on the first 50-mile stint of the race... Go SPK!