I D I T A R O D    X L V

     
   

WOOF!!!   CHENA PATTERNS HERSELF AFTER RED TEAM MUSHER AND TRIES TO FOLLOW A POLICY OF "OTHER DOGS FIRST" 

Chena sent us a postcard from Nome!!!  On the way to the airport..."Front Seat Girl" not Chena we suspect (because she stayed behind to participate in Nome 200).  Link to ADN slide show #37 - Spark's bodacious lick!

    

Matson gives shout-out to Aliy and Allen...Red Team leader Aliy reports the fox chasing story from Safety.  How did the Red Team regain 8th position - by simulating Greyhound racing!   As in Grey Fox.

CHENA IS SO PROUD OF BLACK TEAM MUSHER FOR WINNING THE AWARD FOR COMING TO THE RESCUE OF OTHERS.  And being a fun guy to be around ("Woof" was what she said, which can mean just that!)


I D I T A R O D    X L V   A W A R D S    B A N Q U E T    S U N D A Y   M A R C H    1 9    A T    3  P . M .
Eastern time was too late to stay up for me, but we watched the awards part - WOOF!!!  Black Team Leader recognized for SPORTSMANSHIP!!!



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF "ALIYCAM 2017" IN PICTURES, IDITAROD XLV:  Links below are to two songs Chena recommends for setting the team pace.
Red Team
8th after keeping together thru pooping etc.;  Grandma ChaCha influence all around and..Chena in lead with Uncle Scout for Black Team  under the Burled Arch with most of the team still on the line including her Mommy!!!


ABOUT TOWN'S live report; first ALIYCAM on April 13, 2017
We had guessed this would be the first...because a "teaser" post showed it...first! 

ABOUT TOWN'S live report; second ALIYCAM on April 17,  2017
The sense of foreboding was quite a shock to hear..and so we were not surprised when later news of previous therapy was announced.

ABOUT TOWN'S live report;  third ALIYCAM on April 21, 2017
We knew or at least think we knew that these photos would reflect the loneliness we suspect Iditarod personifies.


ABOUT TOWN'S live report;  fourth ALIYCAM on April 24, 2017
And these views are so spectacular it is clear even to East Coast dwellers why the solitude is so unique!


ABOUT TOWN'S live report;  fifth ALIYCAM on April 27, 2017
How many times have we wished we could have glimpsed the unbelievable sense of distance in this latter part of the race - what began as a spot in the distance in #4 becomes the U.S. Fish and Game cabin in #5...


Will the fox give a report?  YES HE DID VIA RED TEAM MUSHER AT THE BANQUET!!!

ABOUT TOWN'S live report;  sixth ALIYCAM on May 3, 2017.

Red Team has more pictures and coverage because they were running in the front, ending up in eighth place.
ABOUT TOWN'S ON THE FLY, DAY BY DAY REPORT ON IDITAROD XLV AS IT UNFOLDED, FOR EACH TEAM, 
RED AND BLACK









FIRST ALIYCAM VIDEO SHOT ON THE WAY TO HUSLIA - CAMERA FROZEN UNTIL THEN - WOODY AND VIOLET SPOKEN OF...IN 8TH PLACE MORE OR LESS... 

As we followed the race via tracker and Insider info, we noted numerical changes to the Red Team;  graphic from around the time 4-legged team members mentioned were dropped (altho' at the time, no one knew the names)...



" A L I Y C A M   2 0 1 7  "   N U M B E R    O N E
 


FIRST VIDEO IN IDITAROD XLV SERIES COMES IN TIME FOR SAD PART OF EASTER WEEK.
Two team members had to leave the Red Team line because one had wrists issues and the other a fever.  Both are fine now!  WOOF!!!



Below is the "map" About Town made of the progress of the Red Team illustrating the team's position day
  
HUSLIA IS AT THE TOP OF THE "LOOP" ABOVE AND A NATIVE VILLAGE WE THINK...
"Hussle" slow music from "Saturday Night Fever" would be appropriate - team not exactly getting all excited...or doing the cha cha cha!





" A L I Y C A M    2 0 1 7 "   N U M B E R    T W O


SECOND VIDEO ON THE ROAD TO KOYUKUK
Approaching the location of bad memories of attacks by drunken snowmobile driver some miles before NulatoFor review.


OH THE CONFUSION...and this is the section where Red Team had a bad experience in iditarod 44.
Aliycam Two moves along to Koyukuk...





" A L I Y C A M   2 0 1 7 "
   N U M B E R   T H R E E 



GORGEOUS VIEWS OF ICY-SNOWY RIVER, MOON & SUNRISE AT THE SAME TIME:  Not shown - cool green reflectors on doggies
Aliycam Three on the river and approaching Kaltag...on to the portage.  Nulato and the site before Nulato of the unfortunate experiences of last year's Iditarod attacks.







" A L I Y C A M    2 0 1 7 "   N U M B E R    F O U R

      
ONE WAY TO RATE RESTAURANTS, TOO!
Now we know the joke about "Shaktoolik has the best bathrooms"...maybe all members of the Red Ream, 4 and 2 legs were not feeling their sea legs, as it were??? 
So far we're on the way to Koyuk and the lovely video of land (peninsula), distant  and water both frozen and snow covered; and special necklines to assist in partnering and helping each other keep the pace while relieving themselves of #2.

 





" A L I Y C A M   2 0 1 7 "   N U M B E R    F I V E


WIND IS A NOISE AS WELL AS VISUAL ELELMENT - STILL ON SEA ICE
Still on the long reach from Shaktoolik to Koyuk there are three things to experience here for me, and Chena's first graphic based on a song...which she thinks is a bit over the top, but does remind her of summer in AK.:
 




GOLOVIN BAY
Will we see the grey fox?  I would guess we won't get video of the team racing super fast to catch the fox, passing the #8 team (who had passed them a while back)...will we get a link to Finishers' Dinner speech by Red Team leader?  Sorry, not yet and we suspect we won't get around to it, but trust us, it was hilarious!!!










 
Chena is proud of Mr. Clyde and all her teammates 4&2 legs - listen to Grandma's music!!!
S P    K E N N E L    T E A M S    W E    F O L L O W . . . C H E N A ' S    B L O G
                



        

GREMLINS
ChaCha is annoyed at the tracker/list of leaders - but she is also understanding of how overtired volunteers can get in these crazy situations...




          
Gremlins in the "Last Great Race" website?
Red Team takes 8hr in Ruby;  Galena for 24 hr. layover ("bug" still needs treatment).  Black Team takes 24 there too. 

M A R C H    4  ,    2 0 1 7   ("Ceremonial Start" Anchorage - Ms. Moose wants to say "hello" to Izzy)  and   M A R C H    6 ,    2 0 1 7    R E -  S T A R T   (Fairbanks)
QUICK LINKS BELOW BUT BEST INFO HERE:  http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/
CONTENTS:

DNN staff assignments Iditarod XLV;   Veterans back at SP Kennel to follow tracker as a "team" and link in spirit to both teams' analytic page twice a day:  http://iditarod.com/tracker/#6/64.657/-157.764
THE XLV IDITAROD: Start Order.
This information should helpful in making it somewhat less fuzzy as to who is in lead REALLY...Iditarod rewards/honors teams who reach various checkpoints first.
Two (2) legged thoughts that ChaCha would have offered (so intellectual - what a doggie she was - WOOF WOOF WOOF;  she would also have noted signage is not as well posted on this route.
Four (4) legged musings pre-race;  or as Olivia remembers her Mommy saying, "Fore!" since she was always moving forward.
-----------
 
      



                
BREAKING NEWS:  CHENA TAPPED TO JOIN THE BLACK TEAM
Chena was not expecting to get the call - although she is running in the Ceremonial Start behind Quito in the Black Team.  Chena awed by so many young leaders in the yard - but she is determined to devote herself to support of SP Kennel via DNN right here!!!  Blow-by-blow of both teams in action!!!


     
 

Ceremonial Start:  Governor Palin declared the Iditarod Ceremonial Start as "Susan Butcher Day".  Chef Clyde skipped Anchorage restaurants - "I like healthy, Fairbanks-style eating" he says!
Wow! They may have started somewhat early, and boosted their internet capabilities, because viewing first the Black Team and then the Red Team no glitches was awesome.  Beautiful stills on SP Kennel site! 


C O L D    S N A P    F O R    S T A R T    O F    I D I T A R O D    X L V ?     F I R S T    H A L F    V E R Y    C O L D  !    

Ten below zero Saturday morning in Two Rivers with some snow...down the trail, by Sunday, it is expected to be 25 degrees ABOVE zero in Huslia...

Click on graphics below for enlargements.

Unalakleet quick snap prediction Thursday, under 2 days out from Ceremonial Start  - not too cold:  March 11 forecast it is predicting SLEET



Quick snap predictions:  Beginning of second week (Monday March 13) for Huslia and Nome.
Nome @20 degrees F
Huslia @15 degrees F
Nenana @-7 degrees F but that would be some days before the other two checkpoints (Huslia being midway and Nome the finish)

---------------

PREDICTIONS:  WEATHER SIMILAR ON RE-START DAY MARCH 6 AT ALL TRADITIONAL STOPS;
  HUSLIA AT RIGHT - WATCH OUT FOR WIND/SNOW STORMS SAFETY AGAIN! 
   
WEATHER AT ASSORTED CHECKPOINTS (2-24-17) - LONG DISTANCE FORECASTS ABOVE
Nome finish - 29 degrees but snowing;
White Mountain - 30 degrees but snowing;
Unalakleet - 33 degrees but snowing (wind chill makes it 19 degrees)
Koyukuk - 31 degrees but feels like 17 degrees;

Huslia - 30 degrees (real feel = 13 degrees) snow expected.
Ruby - 19 degrees and snowing;
Nenana - 36 degrees - snow expected (light);
Fairbanks start - 24 degrees, snow squalls expected.






RED TEAM REPORT
BLACK TEAM REPORT

P R E    R A C E   N E W S    H E R E



Two Rivers Mushers race a diversion for nervous fan base?  "Burger Run" - sounds like a tough job for musher to keep the crew in line - will the aroma of hamburgers overcome the lead dogs?  We think not, considering that Quito and Nacho and Woody are in charge!!!

Counting the days....until re-start in Fairbanks.  SP  Kennel to run two teams - Red and Black.




RED TEAM LINEUP
THEIR RACE STORY DAY BY DAY - NOT TO SPOIL THE DRAMA - BUT THEY PREVAILED OVER PHYSICAL ILLNESS, FINISHING EIGHTH







R E D    T E A M   

    

The day before the Re-Start, we are organizing our thoughts.
 
In past years we have done a chronological day-by-day report from our personal secondary impressions of actual data from the tracker, etc.  That is what we will do this year as well.  Perhaps we will add the feature of the temperature for the day nearest to the location of the Red Team.





DAY#1
-30 degrees - check out re-start pix here plus report:  http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/2017/03/id-restart-and-day-one-report.html
DAY#2


DAY#3
- mile 316 as we close our day;  by morning the team in Ruby (346 miles)!

DAY#4


This is the section coming next where bad things happened last year, IIRC.


DAY#5 & NOW IT IS DAY#8???  What happened to #6 and #7?

* - As it turns out, at White Mountain, it appears there will have to be an intervention by powers stronger than the weather, even, to keep a Seavey from winning another truck - thus making clear that a 16 dog team running the full 1000 miles is not as fast as a team that only runs 80% of the race per dog.



WOODY AND VIOLET MAKE A LOVELY COUPLE...  NOT Southern Route (of lack of snow).  Alternate Route second part retraces the same route this year as last.

Wonderful article "Eye on the Trail: Frosty Unalakleet Waits."  Posted by Terrie Hanke in Iditarod, March 12, 2017 11:33 am
"...Right now everyone in the checkpoint is trying to read minds. What’s Mitch’s plan? He’s just taken his 8-hour Yukon rest and he 24rd in Huslia only 200 miles back. His team is well rested. Will he make the whole 90-mile run from Kaltag to the coast in one stretch or will he rest at the river just out of Unalakleet and then charge on through Unalakleet to Shaktoolik? What about those who are close behind Mitch – Dallas, Wade, Nicolas and Joar? Aliy Zirkle has now joined the group on the Kaltag Portage so add her to the mix of contenders. What are their plans? When do they plan to rest and refuel? Long and short it’s for them to know and us to wonder."  We note that this year race record set last year was broken...
Q.E.D.


Both Seaveys reached Koyukuk with two dogs resting in their sleds (NOTE: 12 dogs total leaving Kaltag for Mitch), and you can expect them to continue their dog-taxi service all the way to Kaltag, taking advantage of hard, fast trails over the next 70 miles. In Kaltag, both Seaveys will most likely switch to their lighter sleds and push across the Kaltag Portage to the Bering Sea Coast, with their remaining team on the line.

The run from Kaltag to Unalakleet will show what 650 miles of rotating dogs has accomplished. If Marrs and Mitch take the exact same rest from Koyukuk to the finish in Nome, Seavey will arrive four hours ahead of Marrs — based on the 0.7 mph difference in their teams' speed. With Seavey still carrying multiple dogs and posting faster run times, we can only assume he will speed up once this carrying strategy ends, probably over the next 70 miles.


DAY#9 COMING UP? Nope.  The Iditarod finally figured out what Daylight Savings Time is...something is up, we cross our fingers and hope...now day seven?





LET'S GET LOUD

DAY#7 - REALLY! 
Iditarod Insider has nice interview with Red Team Leader while resting in Shaktoolik - in addition to the interview upon arrival, a daylight interview posing with young admirer.  Tearing up when she talks about her team.


       

 DAY#8...

 





R E D    T E A M - Who is on it?  Since the YQ1000 BLACK TEAM becomes the RED TEAM for Iditarod


Dogs dropped:
Woody in Ruby;  Violet in Galena and one other in Huslia (unknown - perhaps Kodiak) - see the number above ("dogs out").
Mismo (Koyuk) and Champ (?), Commando (White Mountain) and Schmoe (Elim)
http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/p/race-rosters-2.html






Familiarity:  Who ran this route in 2015?   Ans. - both 2-legged mushers plus these 4-legged individuals:

While on the 2015 Black Team - Junior, Kodiak, Sandy, Felix, Dutch, Commando, Chipper, and Pepe.
And on the 2015 Red Team - from our files (not an official source - we have Chemo on both teams...):




We don't know yet.  Could we gets surprises???  Sunday night we should know the make up of the squad.

However, two more dogs will have be added to, for example, the YQ1000 Black Team.  Veterans substituted for others who are a bit young yet as well?


You can only race as hard as your dog team can go and then you can’t race any harder, so that is a pill that everyone has to swallow and swallow with a smile on your face.”  Red Team leader 2015.  We note that this will be the third time Red Team musher took this alternate route. 





BLACK TEAM LINEUP

THEIR RACE STORY DAY BY DAY




A LEADER NEVER FORGETS
Chena is so proud of her musher!  Based upon a vote of finishing team leaders (2 legs), Black Team gets "Sportsmanship Award" in 2017 - and Chena remembers a previous year when the Black Team leader used his hip deep waders to escort other team leaders (4 legs) across open water in the early phases of Iditarod...


B L A C K    T E A M    R E P O R T    C A R D



Indeed, it is the day before Re-Start.   We are very interested to see the makeup of this Black Team.  In his interview at the Ceremonial Start its musher, Allen,  suggested the dogs selected would be of all ages - but also some of the dogs who didn't make the "cut" for the Red Team.  No emphasis in 2017 on taking very young dogs out to give them "the experience of finishing a 1000 mile race."

We suspect we will be able to do a chronological day-by-day report because Iditarod Insider might reach back in the pack and find them more often.  With SP Teams pulling close bib numbers - and high ones to boot - standings won't mean too much until all participants finish their 24 hour rests.  


          

DAY#1 -30 degrees - check out re-start pix here plus report -   http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/2017/03/id-restart-and-day-one-report.html
We note that Black Team could be called "CHACHACHA" as all but Chipper (Mom is Quito) are her children or grandchildren.

Coasting along!

DAY#2



DAY#3 - mile 264 as we close out our day...


DAY#4

   

DAY#5.  Speed of the Red Team picks up after "bug" is beaten away!  Black Team hanging back in 41st.  When they run they are competitive - we'll find out what went down in a few days...


If the race started on Monday March 6 and it is now Sunday March 12 - how is that 8 days?

SUNDAY MORNING 3-12-17

  
IT IS TUESDAY. THE BLIZZARD IN WESTON IS TEMPORARILY IN ABEYANCE...
AND DAY #8 ARRIVES
Soon hopefully really soon our Iditarod coverage will focus on the Black Team after the Red Team makes it under the Burled Arch.



*
*******************************************
N O M E    -   C L Y D E   I S    T U R N E D    D O W N    O N    H I S    P I L O T     P R O J E C T
G E T T I N G    L O U D    -    P A R T Y    T I M E



CHEF CLYDE ASKS TO BE RETAINED TO RUN FOOD TRUCKS WITH DOGGIE FARE DURING AWARDS BANQUET!!!
This is very big news potentially for SP BRASSERIE - could be the opportunity Clyde has been waiting for - hoping to get a "Pilot Project" approved today!  ("Chena and Scout are on board" - Clyde reports.)




    

REPORT OF FINAL LEGS OF BLACK TEAM RACE DIRECT FROM DNN EDITOR CHENA:

First of all, Chena is in awe of the Red Team - "how do they do it?" she asks.  "It" being to compete while still sick, as the saying goes, as "as sick as a dog."

Chena knows how hard it is to try to keep up with the pace when lead pack is being driven by those who are afforded extra rests.  She is sad that they were not given the opportunity to run the full Iditarod.
  1. Wednesday report on the way to Elim (mile 856 of 979 - not as-advertised 1000 plus):  Black Team, 62 legs strong, is motoring! 
  2. And speaking of motoring - RED TEAM eighth place in out racing bigger team down the stretch!!!  WOOF!!!
  3. Black Team resting in Elim.  Chena approvingly reports that they are protecting at least three teams with female mushers to make sure they are safe.
DAY#9
  1. Our attention turns to the 15 4-legged members of the Black Team:   Chemo, Waylon, Chipper, Editor Chena (the very reasonable team speed has made it possible to re-assert editorial control), Scout, Lydia, Scooter, Tinder, Olivia, Willie, Nomex, Five, Outlaw, Scooby and Clyde.  Only Chipper, as has been mentioned before, is not related to Chena.
  2. Chena all excited:  She has an exclusive with Chef Clyde to be published in time for Awards Banquet - a delay, but the publicity will be fabulous!  One of the reasons Black Team has hung back ("We could have taken care of business,  but Allen wanted to do a survey of mushers on the subject of sled design");
  3. SP Brasserie to develop plan for food carts next Iditarod?  We'll find out soon enough!
DAY#10
  1. Faster than a speeding team of sled dogs - oh, the Black Team are sled dogs, not just stars and up and comers - Chena hopefully will be on the team at the finish (one dog was dropped in Safety) to be able to get the inside story of who got fish snacks and who got beef...
  2. Black Team to finish #39 (just saw #38 come in).  Red Team Crew in the finishing chute...family too we think...
  3. Black Team in!!!  One team member has decided he or she did not want to continue in White Mountain, so there were 14 finishers plus musher.
  4. It was her brother "Dorito" - his family name from his Daddy, Nacho.  Boy did the Black Team kick it in in the last 77 miles!!!




Now that was some trek!



###

 






B L A C K    T E A M
Who was dropped in Huslia?  HOTSHOT!
We'll had to wait a really long time to find out because when your team is not among front-runners, Iditarod Inside isn't much help in situations like this!  We note that two dogs have died this year so far...and the necroscopies are not available yet.  FWIW - Woody and Violet (she of "Izzy and the Angels") are holding paws as noted on the SP Kennel blog. 

CHENA MAKES THE TEAM!!!  Hands off ("Woof") DNN Editor tasks to Beemer son of ChaCha.
Beemer (retired editor)  in charge of layout or naps - Kodiak explains "napping" online w/pix;  ChaCha always the best for commentary:  http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.com/p/race-rosters-2.html







ChaCha has ideas...but who knew about "the bug?"  Or the annoying in-your-face cameras? 

This will be a strategic race for both Red and Black Teams - she cannot recall when the two teams had similar start numbers.  In a 1000 mile race it is less important what start or "bib" number you hold as the myriad options for where and when to take mandatory rests provide some play, but can also be pretty much changed on the fly thru good pre-race planning.  ChaCha says "bummer" - she is still upset that the Alaska Range is out - she loved leading the teams at high speed down the Happy River Steps...
-----------

NOTE:  Direct link to Iditarod website. 
Comparison to YQ1000...from my shallow understanding, the distances between YQ check points is longer - but almost all but 2 are accessible by crew..  There is a 36 hour rest half-way taken at the same location for every team.  Although we do not have the data right now, it appears that YQ is more of a topographic challenge.
---------
OLDER PRE-RACE...OLD MAPS AND CHECKPOINTS, TOO, FROM 2015....

     
AND IT CAME TO PASS...Back to the 2015 re-start in Fairbanks (map above compares to 2003). 
https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2017/02/01/low-snow-in-rainy-pass-and-dalzell-gorge-could-mean-an-iditarod-restart-in-fairbanks/



NEWS FROM SP KENNEL JUNE 26, 2016
Do you believe it?  Sign-ups begin for Iditarod XLV next March.  BLACK TEAM & RED TEAM leaders on the list!!! 







N O    M O R E    E X T R A    T R A I L E R S    F O R    D O G S    T O    R E S T

At first glance this might seem a strange idea in the first place - after all, it is supposed to be a 1000 mile race - why would you encourage dogs to rest "off line?" 

So that they can then go even faster in the last 300 miles?  Ending up with a winning team that didn't run 1000 miles?

YUP!  Here is a report on the self-described "clown car" by its designer:  https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2017/03/10/clown-car-or-doggie-motel-mushers-find-new-way-to-carry-canines/


Holy 2017 Rule Book, Batman!!!    Chena is pleased.  Dogs must run the full 1000 miles...NOPE!!!
For example, she and sister Junior ran in lead 500 miles each - but the other 500 miles they ran in "swing" - the spot behind the lead dog. But they ran the approx. 1000 miles.  In addition, smartphone will be allowed for safety purposes.



     
KODIAK AND COMMANDO LEADING THE WAY WE THINK  - OUR TIPSTER WILLIE ("MR. GET NEWS FAST") PLACING BETS...