LINK TO 2018 YUKON QUEST OFFICIAL WEBSITE . THE BLACK TEAM's PICTURE STORY JOURNEY: An explanation of our reporting methodology here.
YQ Banquet: http://yukonquest.com/sites/default/files/article-attachments/2018-02-17%20-%202018%20Finish%20%26%20Awards%20Banquet.pdf
SPOILER ALERT: The Black Team won!!! WOOF WOOF
WOOF. 9 days, 18 hours, and 53 minutes, with all 14
4-legged members of the team crossing the finish line!!!
REPORT FROM BANQUET IN WHITEHORSE - LINK TO THE GUYS CONQUERING THE ELEVATOR GOING UP AND DOWN, TOO
"...The evening closed with the presentation of the Golden Harness
Award. In honour of their loyalty, endurance, and perseverance
throughout the race, Allen Moore’s two lead dogs, Commando and Dutch,
- made Tanzilla Harness Supply golden harnesses, and steaks
prepared by the Head Chef of the Coast High Country Inn and Convention
Black Team started the race as bib #23 - there are 3 minute intervals
between start times which began at 11am Saturday (Fairbanks time, 3pm
EST); 69 minutes elapsed before Black Team could begin the
Thus we measure "DAY" beginning 4pm EST. We are certainly not "official" nor are we accurate - trust me!
CLICK HERE FOR MILEAGE
DNN's reports from the field or on the ice, trailside, and also (GPS) in the air...MISMO added for power supply to DNN Team. Frogs do data interpolation in below zero weather.
This is where you find out about how the race is going & dropped dogs: http://yukonquest.com/results/1931
NEWS OF HOW THE BLACK TEAM IS FARING
SUMMARY: Not scientific, not predictable, but then, the basic
data provided would not support any other way! Click on "DAY" for
our version of what we think is happening.
DAY SEVEN zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The time for the Black Team in the 35th YQ 1000: 9 days, 18 hours, and 53 minutes
Chena wrote a report on her experiences on the Yukon Quest 1000 trail in 2018: READ IT HERE
986 MILES APPROX. - VARIES FROM YEAR TO YEAR
The race course by mile, Fairbanks to Whitehorse, artist's version
below. Above, the Yukon Quest course, elevations and at right, from
the rules re: rest stops required, etc.
Black Team departs Dawson City
Eagles report that the team is at 1500' elevation @12:30pm E.S.T.
DAY ONE BEGAN AT 4PM, SATURDAY FEB. 3RD, E.S.T.
"Now that was a quick start, Black Team!!!"
It is into the first day of the YQ1000, at "Mile 101", (4 hr required stop) Black Team in 4th place (108 miles into the race). On to Eagle Summit and we go to a long run out...
DAY TWO...Sunday FEB. 4
A nice place to catch a few zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. WOOF!!! CHECK OUT HERDS OF CARIBOU!!!
Day 2: We count the days as if the race began when the Black Team took off from Fairbanks. Official word is everybody blew through Central on the way to Circle City. (FWIW, not the late "Circuit" City electricity emporium).
DAY THREE...Monday FEB. 5
NOW THIS IS RURAL! AND THE TEAM TAKES LOTS AND LOTS OF UNSCHEDULED REST ENJOYING THE PEACE AND QUIET OF THE ALASKA WILDERNESS
Circle is the jumping off point for @300 miles of wilderness mushing with
no checkpoints, but "rest spots" serving as dog drops, we think,
- Until Eagle, a required stop (altho' Black Team taking a break
right now at Slaven's Roadhouse. mile 261)...on the way to first Eagle, one of the required 4 hr. stops...
- BREAKING NEWS: Black Team on the road to Eagle!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF. Tracker not working?
- Is Black Team down a dog or two after Slaven's Roadhouse? L-R
below: Left first from Circle, overtaken on the way to
Eagle; our third favorite musher scratches.
- EAGLE REPORT: Confirmation via infra-red sensing. But Mr.
Eagle checks the files, reports Black Team lingered at Chef Clyde's
"Trail-side Trattoria" in 2017 (at Eagle Summit). Is there a franchise at American Summit now, too?
EAGLE BRIGADE SURVEILLANCE MANTRA: "WE SWOOP DOWN AND REMOVE 'FAST FOOD' ANY TIME WE SEE IT"
"NO 'FAST FOOD' FOR SURE"
A second scan in daylight, using natural techniques, can neither confirm nor deny the initial report. "But Trout Brook Hospitality cabin on the horizon..." not to mention "Clinton Creek" hospitality center, too.
OK, so it gets a little hard to figure out...so the Eagle Brigade
enlists frogs to interpolate data for the eagles. GRIBBIT.
DAY FOUR BEGINS. - Tuesday FEB. 6
AS WE SEE IT, THE BLACK TEAM HAS FOUR HOURS REST BEFORE TAKING ON AMERICAN SUMMIT...
Black Team has landed in Eagle, the village. 4hr mandatory rest
Who will lead the Team up and over American Summit safely?
Commando and Kodiak have been in lead the whole way so far, as best as I
can know from afar. This is the last big ("big" as in pulling
straight up a loooong vertical and downnnnnn again) challenge before the
halfway point and 36 hr rest.
ON THE WAY TO CLINTON CREEK HOSPITALITY CENTER...mile 450.
I am sure, as the time permits, we will be treated to a full-blown video
of Dawson City camp out (mile 503).
Arriving first in Dawson City has a $$ reward - but the winner of the race
is not always the same team that got to Dawson City first, if memory
- The number two team is slightly faster at this point (7.8mph as
opposed to 7.7mph with under 30 miles for the lead team - SP Kennel's
Black Team - to go before Dawson City.
DAY FIVE - Wednesday - FEB. 7 (3 hrs in) - approaching race mid-point...
But not yet into Dawson City - 14 miles to go...8:36pm AK time est.
arrival. It was 9:11pm when we looked an hour ago...now 7:59pm at
497 miles (503 is the Dawson City distance, we believe). Actual arrival 7:30 PST!!!
So to refresh: who is on the Black Team and who's related/same
litter? "( )" indicates the parents of the Black Team
- Chena, Violet, Commando, Spark, Nomex (Nacho and Olivia)
- Dutch, Junior, Kodiak (Nacho and Olivia)
- Five, Rodney (Clyde and Chica [sister of Quito])
- Driver (son of Quito and Biscuit)
- Champ (son of Nacho and Nutmeg)
- Clyde (father of Five and Rodney, who is a son of ChaCha and Lieutenant)
- Felix (son of Quito and Biscuit)
DAY SIX - Thursday - AT THE SPA - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
VOICE REPORT Black Team on American Summit: Run off the road by
caribou or at least the trail "muddied" by hoof prints - a whole
herd!!! Short video up of arrival Dawson City!!!
Chena thinking up alternative strategies for the second half of the YQ 1000...
FRIDAY - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz until @11am E.S.T., we guess. Nope. Looking to go at noon?
That would be Friday, Feb. 9, (P.S.T.). It was noted on the SP
Kennel website that "P.S.T." meant only a three-hour difference for
those of us on the east coast.
Get ready, get set...this is the part that requires "higher math." Or at least higher math for dogs.
Let's see...if the Black Team started in #23 position it should have to
"give back 3 minutes to the three other starting teams or 9
minutes. So that would be 36 hrs and 9 minutes in Dawson
before they can begin part two of the Yukon Quest...BUT it gets more complicated for those of us not on P.S.T.
AT THE HALFWAY POINT (STATS ABOVE).
How do we figure when to start crossing our fingers and hitting
"refresh" again? BY CHECKING NOW!!! According to the
YQ website, Black Team out on the trail again on their way to Scroggie Creek...where on the map is it?
This is not an official checkpoint. We assume there is an indoor
space for 2-legged team member. King Solomon's Dome next...we'll
know more if the Eagle Brigade can report.
In flight, the eagle says (translation) "watch the tracker!" Now in position,
the Eagle Brigade (who wanted to take along a drone but were refused by
YQ1000 rules committee) will keep track of the Black Team as it heads
uphill. And then down again...
SEEMS TO BE RESTING EQUAL TIME WITH RUNNING TO KEEP UP AVERAGE SPEED - WE'LL CONTINUE TO TEST THIS THEORY
Begun just a few minutes early (3:54pm E.S.T.). We note descent
peak of King Solomon's Dome underway. If I heard it right, there
is a really, really nasty cold stretch as they pass through the low area
before Scroggie Creek.
2:46am EST mile 600 on to The Black Hills (named for ...The Black Team?)
A rest for dogs and musher after long up and down mileage since
Dawson? I just figured it out. And now Matt Hall is in
second position and the race is on...at 3am.
By morning they were on the road again.
Black Team is back on the trail after an informal rest of what we
interpret maybe as a bit longer than those previously taken. Team
needs strength for uphills to come after next checkpoint.
"GRIBBIT" @10am for "leap frog part 2"
Run-rest data is secret but available online
Although the Yukon Quest itself reported this, COMPETITORS are not supposed to know what the tracker reports.
More Black Hills and another "Trail-side Trattoria"
12:50pm on Saturday (EST): Resting at another of Chef Clyde's "Trail-side Trattorias" this one in the Black Hills?
The Yukon Quest 1000 calls it the eighth day - we're not going to
get all excited about this, because we counted the 36 hrs as one and
PELLY CROSSING WILL BE BIG
When the Black Team arrive Pelly, we'll really find out what's been
going on. Although we have gotten hints here and there that
indeed, Chef Clyde has had better luck with Yukon Quest approval for his
"bistro" concept than from that other long distance race.
SUNDAY A.M. ON THE ICE AGAIN
In and out of Pelly Crossing and on to McCabe Creek
hospitality. On the river - all ice and "jumble" no snow...similar
to earlier in the race...after breakfast for two hours Black Team moving along carefully.
At this point we are beginning to consider the overall length of the
full journey and how far there is to go and what kinds of conditions the
Black Team will experience.
Black Team is at McCabe Creek having cinnamon buns, perhaps? How
did we figure this out? Chef Clyde "branching out"
with Eagle Deliveries...cinnamon buns from Braeburn. "Take-out" gets a new application!
And in reviewing the "Speed v. Time" data...while some speed bump ups
might be attributed to eager doggies, we think, considering that this is
the Yukon Quest 1000, and from experience we've always heard about
mushers needing "pitons" installed on the tip of their boots - like
mountain climbing spikes - in the YQ. As they say - what goes up
must come down...FAST...no brakes or "low gear" to keep the heavy sled
from picking up speed. So the doggies run at more than 20 miles
per hour downhill (note peaks).
HMMMMM...How resilient is the Black Team?
Looks to me as if the Black Team may be readying itself to embark on the
trip to Carmacks of 73 miles. Or not!
The next leg is is a steady uphill (160
feet elevation - not like the hills conquered already). But at this point in the
race that ain't flat...727.9 miles traveled and how many left? OK, assuming it is 986 miles long that
makes @260 miles with checkpoints (including a mandatory 8 hrs rest in
Braeburn). Which is the last one before the Whitehorse finish...
ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
How long did the Black Team rest? Let's see...they started up
again at 3:18pm, having appeared to have rested for six hrs.
FWIW. Making sure to be out of sight of the chasing teams is
always a smart move. They have to wonder where the leader
is. How far ahead?
So they are climbing again, following a river.
Begins for us (E.S.T.) in a few minutes...735 miles at 4:16pm. 743 at 5:30pm.
Meanwhile just behind the Black Team the #2 and #3 teams have been
passed by a third team! Meanwhile, they traveled 8 miles and
in 75 minutes...and the stats have their speed at 6.9 mph...gribbit.
Arrive Carmacks. At 9:30pm E.S.T. we check on Black Team. Note that the official record has "next waypoint" as Braeburn. At
12:04pm, 826.2 miles done, 14.6 miles more to Braeburn. 8
hr. mandatory rest there before last 100 miles - 76.9, actually, this year is the official mileage to Whitehorse.
After lunch...830 miles, 11 miles to go to CINNAMON BUNS...at
@12:30pm. After 1pm, traveling at 8mph, 9mi to go to CINNAMON
BUNS...5.8 mi @7mph;
Observations: Two graphic representation of the end section of
the race explains why rally caps will be employed to urge on the Black
Team. Chena does Garbo...
ARRIVED Braeburn at elevation 2326' - finish line in Whitehorse is at elevation 2089' and 76.2 miles away.
The Black Team has arrived Braeburn in first place. NEXT STOP: FINISH LINE (Whitehorse).
All SP Kennel fans are holding their collective breath...a few questions
on everyone's mind might be, not including why the tracker always seems
to stop working in the last miles:
- OUR GUESS: How much of a lead does Black Team have over second place team? Ans. 5 hours...FWIW - 36 mile lead with 11.9 miles to go = how many hours?
- Or not? Guess not! How fast will the Black Team go on the streets of Whitehorse?
- This is going to be painful to watch, so we're gong to go back to
sleep...24 mile lead. With 76.2 minus 27 = 49.2 miles to go
at 3:49am EST.
- 868.3 mi...make that 869.9...47 miles to go...4AM now.
- Waking up to good news...now getting to the point where "rally caps"
come out, Black Team's placed in reverse for the last miles of the race
through the streets of Whitehorse!!!
"WOOF WOOF WOOF" COUNT DOWN FROM DNN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CHENA:
- 905.5 (11.9 miles to go)
- 909.6 (7.8 miles to go)
- 913.1 (4.3 miles to go)
- 914.4 (3 miles to go)
- 915.3 (2.1 miles to go)...916, 1.4 miles to go...
- Going 8.2 miles and hour into the chute!!!
- TOTAL TIME: 9 days, 18 hours, and 53 minutes
Speed up to 7.8 mph and climbing - 8.2 racing to the finish...
EDITOR REPORT BREAKING NEWS...BLACK TEAM CHAMPS!!!
WATCH INTERVIEW WHEN IT APPEARS ONLINE - WE SAW IT LIVE ON YOUTUBE - HERE'S THE FACTS
Black Team leader explains that last leg was in a snow storm.
Could not see far enough to enjoy Lake Lebarge. Was pleased he
finished with all 14 dogs in great condition.
PLAY THAT NUMBER!!! TWENTY-THREE (23) (OUT OF TWENTY-SIX
). AT HALFWAY POINT NINE (9) TEAMS HAVE BOWED OUT FOR
This means that Black Team has to pass just about everybody.
IIRC this is a large field for the Yukon Quest 1000. Leaving from
Fairbanks tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 3) for Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
"Poise" sort of sounds like "paws"...
Strategy for the Yukon Quest 1000:
- First, the Team will have to pick a song for their musher to sing in addition to "Jingle Bells": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkuu0Lwb5EM
- Next, after the top three songs are listed, they must be referred
to Olivia, named after "Olivia" Newton-John perhaps. Olivia is after all, from the
Honky-Tonk Litter, and knows her music;
- "Puppy Love" is a perfect song but not for this race or the Iditarod, where no puppies participate for SP Kennel.
Things a dog must know about the YQ 1000...BLACK TEAM...eight (8) of the 14 dogs are children of Olivia (by Nacho).
As Chena has noted having been told by her Mommy Olivia (aka The Big 'O') "This is one
tough race - only the best AND toughest doggies make the cut."
- Having said this, Olivia notes that in her four (4) YQ1000
races (and seven  Iditarods), she received the "Best Dressed" award!
Chena looks at the bright side, noting that if there is a benefit in sitting out the YQ300, it
would be to be able to do justice to reportage on the Yukon Quest 1000.
"You know, The Red Team Leader won this 1000 mile race in Year 2000 -
she is the only 2-legged woman to have done so. EVER."
ON THE SLENDER, BUT VERY SUPPLE, SIDE
In the style of Rembrandt? Or more like a John Singer Sargent portraitt?
BLACK TEAM NEWS
- OMG: Chena one of 16 dogs passing the vet check for the 14 dog team for Yukon
Quest 1000 - that's a surprise that she made it this far!!!
- If she
does make the Black Team, Assistant Editor MAC will have to step up to
help Beemer report for DNN!!!
- MAP: for this year's YQ1000 and topo - link to this year's topo, checkpoints. The race team keeps updating the trail conditions, which of course are always changing...
- EAGLE EYE: THIS IS AN EXTREME RACE...there are fewer checkpoints,
lots of camping out, and dog teams and mushers are inaccessible at many
spots along the route. They do now have 2-way emergency contact -
but the musher or his lead dog, if as smart as, say Chena is, has to
elect to use it. ALSO DOGS GET 36 HRS
REST (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) IN DAWSON (@500 MILES) plus other required rest stops.