SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

YQ: Into Braeburn

We were so happy to see the team pull in to Braeburn at 7.33pm. They are currently sitting in third position, about three hours behind Hugh, just over 20 minutes behind Brent and only 90 minutes in front of Matt.

We could see the teams coming on the nearby ridge so it was exciting to catch a glimpse of Allen’s headlamp as they came down the hill.

They pulled into the checkpoint and Allen was immediately engulfed in the media scrum while the dogs waited patiently to be let go to their parking spot. When he said “you ready?” they all jumped up and Schmoe (of course, Schmoe) and Mac yelled.

He pulled in with Mismo and Scout in lead, Chipper had been in lead for a while but ended up in Swing with Waylon. Kodiak was running with I.Z.Z.Y. and the rest of the lineup of Schmoe and Scruggs, Willie and Dutch and Clyde with Commando in wheel remains unchanged.

Once in their parking spot Allen gave them all a bunch of snacks and some kibble and plain water and they all ate like hungry hogs! It’s a great sign at this stage of the race. They even pulled the hook a couple times and had the energy to covet each other's snacks! He then de-bootied and bed them down for their nice long rest here. They will get another big kibble and meaty/watery meal before they leave.

The teams are parked fairly closely together in the order they came in with Hugh's team closest to the exit chute, then Brent's team and ours. Matt will slot in alongside them ready for the race to the finish tomorrow.

This checkpoint is another opportunity for the vet team to do a thorough and meticulous check of every dog. They spend a lot of time looking through every foot (that's 52 feet), listening to their hearts and lungs, checking hydration status and mobility of wrists and shoulders. They take such care of our canine friends and we so appreciate having them available to us.

Allen is now in the lodge eating one the of the plate-sized bacon-cheese burgers. Most of us, when we see the burger, say “Wow!” – Allen said “I could probably eat two of those!”

Allen told us the trail was pretty much as he expected. The heat is the biggest issue, as it has been for the last few days, but the dogs are coping okay with it. Even Mac who doesn’t always excel in warmer weather is doing well.

He’s really proud of Commando! He was wavering about taking him on the race as a two year old but he’s done 900 miles of a competitive race with just 100 left to go. It had been a bit hard on him mentally but he’s doing so well and still pulling.

So far, Allen thinks Scout has been the strongest dog. He keeps putting him back in lead and Scout is steady and reliable. This is Scout's sixth Yukon Quest so he certainly knows the way!

We’ve been frantically texting to and fro with Aliy with updates as cell coverage is limited. She said she has been circling for the last couple of hours trying not to hit refresh constantly. She is happy and relieved they are in and can now enjoy eight hours of rest here. She’s also happy the Iditarod drop bags are completed ready to be turned in tomorrow!!

The team and Allen will enjoy their break here and leave for the finish line at 3.33am!

Nap time now for everyone.


J elliott said...

Well, there I go tearing up again... And a very Happy Valentine's to SPK... (What an outrageous, great hamburger!!!). Thanks again -so much- for the updates/photos. you guys rock!

Anonymous said...

Oh Goodness!
great report Moira.
Glad to see all eating so well including Allen!
Are these Alaska times or Canadian time zone? Maybe they are both the same?! Thanks to the team here and in Canada taking care of everything.
Get good rest my friends, you are deserving of lots of loving when you get back!
Wishing a wonderful journey to Whitehorse!
Padee- Chipper's sponsor

Lisa B said...

The next generation is doing so very well - testament to Allen for getting 13 of them to Braeburn. Hope he enjoyed the burger and gets a good rest. Go Black Team!

Tim said...

You are all doing an awesome job ! Impressive with the mix of youngsters and in the long run will be great for SP Kennel. I am especially looking forward to Allen's race end evaluations and comments re each dog. It is fascinating to me to hear both he and Aily describe each dogs performance and speculate on their future. I did'nt realize Aily had gone back north. Seeing the big picture for sure...
Thanks for the awesome posts ! Tim in Kodiak,Ak.

Anonymous said...

Extra big hugs for Commando and maybe extra hugs for doing so well running with the big dogs , lam sure Scout will have been giving some barks of wisdom . Enjoy the last 100 miles and Denali and l will be woofing , cheering all the way . πŸΎπŸΎπŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

Meraai Malan said...

Well done Black Team and Allen. The suspense is killing me!Hang in there and good luck for the last stretch.

Jo Anna Hartman said...

So nice to read the wonderful blog. Great writing and descriptions. Thank you for sharing this with us. Good luck, may wind not blow and the creeks not rise for fast and smooth run tomorrow. Best wishes from BC

Nessmuk said...

What an amazing group of young dogs (with some experianced ones sprinkled in there) to make such a competitive Team! They will be asked to go "all out" for the last 100 miles and I predict they will once again rise to the occassion! Im catching a full 8 hour rest here too....gearing up for a great Presidents Day Holiday on Monday...I couldnt think of a better way to enjoy it than watching the last leg of a 1,000 race! We will all be giving a HOWL outside during Allen and the Black Teams departure time!

Dakotah John's Blog said...

Wow that's awesome man!!
Great Photo of the Burgers!!
I Want One!!

Margaret said...

Wonderful post, glad to hear the team - all baker's-dozen of them - is well, eating and my that is a large hamburger!!!

Woof, woof, woof!!!


Anonymous said...

Just heard Allen's interview. He pretty much conceded the race to Hugh. Thus, the race really is going to be for 2nd place. Are the dogs up to it? We will see.
Good job, Allen, for getting 13 to this point in the race. Run well for the last stretch. Hope you get 2nd place. If these dogs are this good at their young age, can we expect a powerhouse team next year? :)

Anonymous said...

What an amazing race , right down to the wire, so great to see Allen, as usual so tough and amazing and SPK dogs! the same... Yea, Scout and all. Go Allen!! Yea, handlers! Julie V

Chark28 said...

Enjoy this last leg all of you! Moria, thanks so much for your wonderful updates. You really have a gift for bringing us inside the race. For a team so many youngsters this has been remarkable. On to Whitehorse!

Kathy said...

Great post! What a wonderful view of things. Glad to hear dogs
and Allen are in such fine form. That burger looked great! Eat
well everyone and Good Luck on the last leg of the journey.

Lourdes, VT said...

Amazing performance by the young pups! Shows how well trained and loved they are! Congratulations!!!

Cindy Eckhoff said...

Wonderful job, so proud of everyone and a promising future ahead. Best wishes to Allen and doggies 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

Steve Parker said...

I'm loving Comando (if you ever decide to run away boy, look me up). Good luck Allen and team, take it to the finish.

Christine said...

Just amazed and impressed with Mismo this year! Go Black team!!

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!! Can't say enough wonderful things about your crew - 2 or 4 legs, active participants of backup!!!

So this is what a "rebuilding year" looks like at SP Kennel?

Average age = 4.35 yrs. according to my not always exact arithmetic.