I D I T A R O D X L V
CLICK HERE FOR "AS IT HAPPENED" IDITAROD XLV REPORT, BOTH TEAMS
- FOR OUR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF IDITAROD XLV RED TEAM'S VIDEO CLICK HERE
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!)
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 Nulato. For 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.:
- Dogs skating along the ice to the next stop, getting closer all the time.
- Land Ho sort of. Well, a spit of land - a peninsula - with a shelter cabin!
- Landscape ho!!! Right and below, graphics from two snaps from a terrific 360 degree scan of the sights - Chena's art below...
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
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/
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
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
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
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.
- After comparing maps, I am reminded that this alternate route is
more like YQ in terms of distances between checkpoints. Minus
mountains, I think...
- Red Team to feature variety in their diet; Black Team isn't worried about this. SOURCE: About Town analysis.
- Who among those with 4 legs will be on which team of 16 dogs each?
Is there a difference between dogs picked for YQ and those for
- For example, ChaCha never ran the YQ while being the first among
the SP Kennel All Stars. She was born the year
after Red Team Leader won the YQ1000. To this day Red Team leader
the only woman to have ever done so. Black Team musher only began
competing in the YQ1000 in 2011.
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
- Well now. We watched the Red Team embark live before dinner
last evening. It is lunchtime now. Tracker Truth: If
Red Team started in 41st position, then how did they get into...
- The chasing pack (fifth position alternating with a few others, now 10th)? Those in the lead pack are...
- Martin Buser, Mitch Seavey, Dallas Seavey, Quick Nick, etc. No surprise here! But wait...
- Not even a day gone by and Red Team moves from 41st place to FIRST PLACE out of Manley Hot Springs!
- Tanana is the next check point. Getting close to 200 miles (out of 1000)
- We note that it appears that using the tracker almost by itself will be the way to follow the Red Team!
- Tanana interview reveals that the gastrointestinal bug picked up on the quest still with the dogs...but they are eating fine...
- Ruby is the next checkpoint - and a song for the ages.
DAY#3 - mile 316 as we close our day; by morning the team in Ruby (346 miles)!
- FYI, Red Team in eighth, and Jessie and Michelle in 9 & 10!
- Now in Ruby...saw
Insider Interview of Red Team Leader and everybody is fine, just going 6
miles an hour. Other mushers note that the going is slow.
- Taking a 24 hr at Ruby (mile 346)? Nope - the 8 hour! At mile 348 after 12 noon EST. And a dog dropped, it is reported.
- 24 to be taken in Galena. Will the team shake the "bug?"
- Good thing Black Team has arrived Galena for their 24!
- Dr. Chena can consult with
Commando to see what's up with health of Red Team - nothing in the rules
that would prevent 4-legged family members on different teams from
greeting each other!
- Dr. Chena makes a call
on another member of the Red Team - "No need to start a long run to
Koyukuk with a teammate who will have to be carried" - she offers to brother Commando.
- Huslia mile 478; mile
508 Red Team rests; mile 564 is Koyukuk - we would guess a nice
little stop before or just after KYKK, depending on the time of day and
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.
- Well, no one ever
said it was easy - Daylight Savings time should be moving the clock
forward one hour - but to me it looks as if the Iditarod moved the
clock ONE WHOLE DAY ahead!
- Close observation by
Chipper, now starring as Black Team "BIG LITTLE DOG IN CHARGE" - of the
Insider footage - notes "Looks like Kodiak had to step aside - we're
sure he's OK 'cause Dr. Chena says so!"
- At mile 602 at 10am
Weston time, the "tag team" is still being pursued by a few others
closely - we are betting that Jessie Royer will catch them.*
- FYI - "tag team" of wrestlers not to be beaten by those playing by Marquess of Quensberry rules.
- If 16 dogs can't go
faster than 12 dogs do, as was suggested on opening day Monday March 6
by one of the commentators with recent experience in the sport, why keep
16 on the line? Perhaps we'll find out!
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.
- To the Coast!!! Memories and ghosts of Iditarod 44 to be purged on this trip.
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...
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.
The best news we've heard yet - Red Team leader awards the prize for best bathrooms to...Shaktoolik!!!
- Out of Elim with now 10 teammates - those behind in hot pursuit. Next stop: White Mountain!
is time for RALLY CAPS - keep up the speed into White Mountain!!!
(NOTE: Red Team eighth hot on the heels of seventh #14 - didn't
get'm; #9 catches Red Team...
- Out of Safety back in the lead for 8th place...
R E D T E A M - Who is on it? Since the YQ1000 BLACK TEAM becomes the RED TEAM for Iditarod
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)
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.
DAY#3 - mile 264 as we close out our day...
Ten o'clock in the east...how's that for moving up, Black Team!!! Woof!!!
- Overnight, however, Black Team has others rush past, keeping their to their own pace...back in the 30's.
- Woof! Mile 323 when we take a look mid-morning! Motoring!!!
- Arrives Galena, takes 24.
- Dr Chena consulted by brother Commando on
physical health of Red Team; she says after sniff test "Take 2
cookies and call me in the morning."
Chena now is employing her movie critic skills: "Bette Davis, who
was a bitch (female 4-legged animal), said it best - it is going to be a
- By the end of Day#4, where does the Black Team stand? Resting at mile 438!
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
- Confusion reigns. What day is it? Is this a
conspiracy? Daylight Savings time one sets the clocks forward one
hour - in the Lower 48 - maybe it is different in AK - they add an extra day because they are so remote?
- Dallas drops his "clown car" sled (wherein he kept 4 "extra" dogs
on a rotating basis - we don't know which dogs got no rest, or if in
fact even a majority of the finishing team will have run the full length
of the 1049 miles. We include this comment with the Black Team
because on it are veterans including Olivia, Scout, Waylon, Willie,
Scooter, Clyde, Chemo, as well as Outlaw, Chipper, Lydia...who together
have so much experience they could tell you stories!!! They all
think "clown cars" are an insult to their heritage.
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.
- How has the choice of dining experiences been for the Black Team
this Iditarod? (Chef Clyde was delighted to hear Red Team leader
report on bathrooms in Shaktoolik.)
- "Woof, woof...woof) says Chef Clyde. (Translation:
"Native fare so far" he says. "Simple fish and wet meat soup" and
lots of fresh water, too. "Music piped in by Musher Allen.")
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" -
- Chena reports Clyde circulated petitions with the teams finishing
40-@70 - and she will be calculating the "Woof" votes thru the end of
- Methodology: All finishing teams get one vote;
multiply by four for numbers of paws 40-@70 - this is to "level the
playing field" for lower performing teams. TOTAL = number of
- If total "Woof" votes is greater than the number of times "Seavey" appears in the headline of "Eye on the Trail" by Joe Runyan, then it will become the law to allow Chef Clyde's operation to hold a Party in the dog lot!!!
- CLYDE'S PROPOSAL REJECTED: Citing health regulations in Nome, Iditarod Trail Committee says "NO WAY" because there was not a plan for scooping poop both during and after the Party.
"That's fair" says ChaCha's daughter Olivia (Chena's mother), a veteran
of seven Iditarods. "Wait 'til next year" says Chef Clyde!
- Was there a hint of why the Red Team got sick after Manley Hot
Springs? Did other teams suffer the same ailment? Not.
Chef Clyde has his ideas, but will not even try to publish them
because they are "fake news" similar to the New York Times front
page. "Editor-in-Chief Chena would not approve any 'news'
attributed to 'unnamed sources' - doesn't cut it at DNN" he chortles!
- EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA -
Chena's end of season note had a P.S. that indicated that doctors had
been consulted far and wide and SP Kennel mushers got answers as to why
the sickness on both Yukon Quest 1000 team and Iditarod Red
Team!!! So Chena indicated to us that things were A-OK for next
season!!! (We note that the same doggies who got sick ran both
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.
- Wednesday report on the way to Elim (mile 856 of 979 - not
as-advertised 1000 plus): Black Team, 62 legs strong, is
- And speaking of motoring - RED TEAM eighth place in out racing bigger team down the stretch!!! WOOF!!!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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");
- SP Brasserie to develop plan for food carts next Iditarod? We'll find out soon enough!
- 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...
- Black Team to finish #39 (just saw #38 come in). Red Team Crew in the finishing chute...family too we think...
- 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
- 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
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.
- Iditarod differs from the other 1000 mile adventure held last
month (YQ1000) although the change to Fairbanks start makes the
first approx. half of the race somewhat like YQ - without the mountain
- Also, change in rules this year will make every four (4) legged athlete run the entire distance (no extra sleeping car caboose). This has been interpreted as either going hard on those who were able to afford/desire to do a novel "tag team wrestling"
approach. Purists favor the rule where mushers decide whether
dogs can continue or not - a test of a commitment to DOGS
FIRST. Since the winners recently have employed the "tag team"
approach, they have held back dogs via extra rests in transit, saving
some for a last third of the race rush to the finish - JMO.
- Also there is no contact with a "crew" because the Iditarod
travels across rural Alaska (no roads near check points). So it
requires mushers, all alone, to follow tactical race plans under conditions of
extreme sleep deprivation.
- The number of entries between the two races differs as well:
YQ1000 2017 (14 dog team): 14 teams finished, seven scratched
during race; Iditarod 2017 (16 dog tam): 73 teams starting,
another dozen withdrawn before it starts. Who did not enter?
Winner of Yukon Quest 1000, if I read the news correctly.
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).
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
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
KODIAK AND COMMANDO LEADING THE WAY WE THINK - OUR TIPSTER WILLIE ("MR. GET NEWS FAST") PLACING BETS...
- Chena promises that the DNN will cover this Iditarod for sure - "DNN is going to make a special effort to follow Red and Black on line" and be creative about it.
- The new "Social Butterfly Network" which is a sub-group of DNN
that only uses smartphones, is still in training. Editor Chena is not going
to promise anything here. "It is more important that the girls
keep their feet dry and concentrate on not stepping in any holes" as
Chena herself has done whilst multi-tasking...
- BREAKING NEWS: Did the results at YQ1000 throw favor to Izzy and Mismo for major lead load sharing instead of Kodiak and Commando?
- Editor Chena, who misses wrestling with him, can't wait to do an "up close and personal" interview
with Commando who is reported as being smitten with Junior...."Commando
and Junior circled around and around..." from SP Kennel website "YQ Finish Line Report."