The handler crew has arrived in Braeburn – famous for their plate sized burgers and enormous cinnamon buns! The Lodge is packed with officials, volunteers, media, handlers and supporters all checking the trackers on our various mobile devices. At the time of writing Allen is around 10 miles out and I will try to give you a report once we have done helping him park and he's finished his checkpoint arrival chores.
Earlier today, as you have seen, we got both teams safely on the trail and the handler waiting game begins.
This morning we arrived in Shipyard Park with about T-2.5 hours. We unloaded Allen’s sled and he spent a good deal of time packing and rechecking, ensuring he had everything he needed. Once the mushers leave, the only things they can add to their equipment is the gear they sent ahead in their drop bags so it is important they have everything necessary. Ray and Spencer put new plastics on the sled runners then we set about dropping the dogs.
Spencer and Ray change the runner plastics on Allen’s sled
The experience of the Black Team members was evident in their calmness as we dressed them in all their cold weather gear and walked them to the start line. Once the countdown began you could see the spark in their eyes as they were about to head down the trail. I was sitting right next to Quito and Scout in the chute to capture some footage and Scout was singing. He’s normally a pretty laid-back, calm dog but he was excited!
Again this year, as a Quest fundraiser, booties were sponsored by supporters and Clyde was the proud wearer of them this year!
Allen’s “Quest Guest” Nicky all bundled up; Josh from the logistics team fastens the all-important tracker to Allen’s sled
We had time to take a short break before getting the Red Team ready to go on their adventure.
The routine was exactly the same as Aliy packed her sled then we dressed the dogs in jackets, t-shirts, “ticklers” for the boys, and booties.
You could see quite a difference with this young team as they lunged and screamed waiting to head down the trail. The excitement of the people, the noise and adrenaline added to their mood.
It was a good feeling to have gotten both teams safely on their way.
Aliy looking frosted; the red team lines out ready to leave