We're off to the races! The Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog race starts this Saturday, January 9th in Glennallen, Alaska. We're excited to have two young, strong teams competing against a full field of 48 other teams this weekend.
SP Kennel has had considerable success at the CB300 with Allen and the Black Team being a six time, and defending, champs along with many top 10 finishes. Aliy also enjoys success running the Red Team in what we consider to be a good benchmark for our teams at this mid-point in the season.
The race this year follows the same route as last year, starting at Glennallen with checkpoints at the Red Eagle Lodge in Chistochina, Meiers Lake Roadhouse, Sourdough Campground and Mendeltna Creek Lodge, finishing back at Glenallen. The course traverses several rather large hills and over several rivers and lakes, and is very a good test of dogs' and mushers' fitness.
At this stage the forecast for this weekend is for a warm race but we'll update you closer to the time. As the recent weather in the area as been warm, snowy and sometimes rainy, the latest update from the race committee is that "The trail crew has been evaluating conditions along the race course and most of the trail challenges appear to be in the Glennallen Highway corridor section of the race. Alternative start and finish locations are under consideration, as well as additional trail segments to make up mileage. The board will make an official announcement as soon as possible regarding these adjustments." We'll keep you updated.
With just two SPK teams in this year (as opposed to three for the previous two years) there will, unfortunately, be many dogs left at home. Allen and Aliy have some difficult decisions to make to finalise their 12-dog team rosters. We'll let you know the Black Team and Red Team line-up on Friday.
The handler crew will be a little different this year with Chris, Mark and Wes following the teams in a couple of trucks. Although Chris is a CB300 rookie, he know the dogs and mushers well after training all season with them. Mark handled at the race last year and Wes has been to the race a few times so they know the lay of the land and it will be a strong, well drilled team in support.
Macgellan will be following from the Lower 48, updating with some stats and tidbits when he can. Moira is still in NZ and will be following along like you! Watching and refreshing the GPS trackers and yelling at the computer, also updating when possible. Internet and cell coverage is not a constant on the ground during this race so we will do our best to get the information, and maybe a pic or two, from the team to you.
The CB300 website will have a leader board and keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates also.