Monday, January 31, 2011

Let's go Race!!!!

The Yukon Quest is a fantastic event. All of us here at SP Kennel are excited about the upcoming race. The course starts in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada and travels much of the Yukon River, the surrounding lakes, mountains and ridges - across the Canada/USA border - north to the Yukon River again and then south down through rugged mountains, through our hometown of Two Rivers and to the finish line in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska. What an adventure!

The team will be traveling on some of the most historic mushing trails of the North Land. Robert Service wrote great poems capturing the feelings and energy of the land over 100 years ago. (Link to Poems.) Hardy men and hardier sled dogs are the norm in this land. As the team travels through the land and rivers near Dawson, everyone should pay homage to the faithful "Buck" in Jack London's, The Call of the Wild.

The Black Team will literally, be mushing home! How awesome to be able to mush 1,000 miles to your home!

The overall goal for the Black Team is to cover the 1,000 miles in a competitive, yet honest manner. We realize that a Rookie musher with 14 Rookie YQ dogs is at a competitive disadvantage. As many times as Allen looks at a map, reads about the trail or talks to YQ Veterans, he is still a rookie. It is actually, a great position to start the race: relatively little pressure, no knowledge of all the "bad spots on the trail", and an excitement about traveling in unknown northern regions.

The Black Team is a stellar group of dogs. (The roster will be posted on Friday after final Vet Checks and meetings.) It is a young squad: the youngest is 2 1/2 years old and the oldest is 6 1/2. The average age is 4 years old. There are Iditarod veterans and rookies. It will be very exciting to see what these guys can do!

So, the Yukon Quest will be a test of SP Kennel breeding, training and overall fortitude. We sincerely hope for a Top 10 finish, but we will not be too dismayed with any "finish line" outcome. This will be the first time that SP Kennel dogs will race the Yukon Quest and, potentially, the Iditarod in the same season. This is a new undertaking, so we do not have all the details worked out. But, as usual the dogs continue to amaze us. We have bumped up the last two weeks of training to the likes of "pre Iditarod" schedule. Longer miles and a slower pace. We are ready!

The Yukon Quest 300 will be fun. Yes.... FUN! The goal for this entire season has been to race as many SP Kennel dogs as possible. After this race, we will nearly have given everyone a chance to shine! Aliy will have a lot of the "old faithful" on the Red Team. This will be Ryne's first long distance race for SP Kennel and her Red & Black squad is a mixture of youth and veteran.

The Yukon Quest 300 is not a big money winning event. It is simply a way to travel the trail and enjoy the beauty of your dogs, your earth and your self. Our goals are to walk away from the Yukon Quest 300 finish line knowing that we had a solid run and that many of these dogs will now be better conditioned to run the Iditarod.

So.... let's go race!!!

Here's a Robert Service SP Kennel favorite:

The Cremation of Sam Mcgee

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee,
where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South
to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold,
but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way
that he'd "sooner live in hell".

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way
over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold
it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze
till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one
to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed
tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead
were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he,
"I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you
won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no;
then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold
till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead -- it's my awful dread
of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair,
you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed,
so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn;
but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh,
and he raved all day
of his home in Tennessee;

And before nightfall a corpse was all
that was left of Sam McGee.
There wasn't a breath in that land of death,
and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid,
because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say:
"You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you
to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid,
and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb,
in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight,
while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows --
O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed
to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent
and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad,
but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing,
and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge,
and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice
it was called the "Alice May".
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit,
and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here", said I, with a sudden cry,
"is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor,
and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around,
and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared --
such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal,
and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like
to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled,
and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks,
and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak
went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow
I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about
ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said:
"I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"
. . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm,
in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile,
and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear
you'll let in the cold and storm --
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee,
it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Local Favorites

Pleasant Valley Store changed their billboard sign this weekend! The Yukon Quest trail (at approximately mile 960) goes directly in front of the store. The sign is literally 20 feet from the trail.

Thanks Becky and Alex!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yukon Quest Practice Run

The Yukon Quest starts on February 5th in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The finish line is 1,000 miles and 10 plus days away in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska.

The SP Kennel sled dogs (and mushers) got to see the last 80 miles of this race trail during several practice runs this week. The idea is to get the dogs familiar with these last miles. That way, they know where they are going and what happens when they get there.

Aliy greeted the two dog teams at the "finish line". They had a tasty meal and straw beds to roll in. The dogs were then de booted and unharnessed. After this, they were walked 30 feet up the river bank to the Big Red Dog Truck which was parked in the River Park parking lot.

A smooth Yukon Quest "Practice Run"!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Congratulations Scruggs!

Our two-year-old superstar, Scruggs, now has his own two-year-old sponsor! Aidan Bowman has been following Scruggs and the SP dogs on the Dog Log and especially enjoys when the dogs howl. Since the Bowmans are a family of animal lovers, it only makes sense that little Aidan takes a liking to one of the lovable SP dogs. He just has to convince the family cats it’s a good idea!

Thank you Aidan for cheering on Scruggs!

SP Kennel dog sponsorship is one of our most popular programs. Our dog sponsors are a big part of the SP K team. If you'd like more information about the program, check out How to be a Dog Sponsor.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Visit from the Doctor

Dr. Nelson, PUD, Aliy and Allen

Dr. Stuart Nelson, DVM, is the Chief Veterinarian for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. In the month prior to the race, he conscientiously tries to visit some of this year's race kennels. This way he can talk to the mushers and look over the dogs in their home setting. It was a great visit and Dr. Nelson, Allen and Aliy chatted about many health, nutrition and overall wellness issues.

Dr. Nelson was "hands on" with some of our racers. It was very positive to have a skilled sled dog veterinarian spend several hours walking with, talking to and examining dogs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spotlight On... Beemer!

This series of posts spotlights particular dogs at SP Kennel.
We'd like you to get to know these dogs and love them for the individuals that they are.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Burger Run Recap

And the winner of the Loudest Dog Team is.......SP KENNEL!
Yes, the enthusiasm of the yearlings at the start and finish of the Burger Run, combined with Ranger barking the whole way down the trail earned us the Loudest Dog Team (and 2nd place although no one was counting).

Overall, the Burger Run was a success. We got off to a great start with the help of musher turned handler, Aliy. It was a mass start, with the dogs beginning in harness tied to the truck. After the race marshal hollered "Ready, Set, Go!" all the mushers and one helper each ran to their trucks, grabbed their dogs, and hooked them to the gangline, then took off. Lucky for us, Aliy got the team out before we were caught up in the chaos and tangles of the other teams! Once on the trail, the yearlings exceeded all expectations, pulling hard the entire way. Even when passing teams (or being passed) the yearlings were unfazed. The only hiccup was the first pass when Scooter, in all the excitement, backed out of her harness and frolicked around until she realized she didn't recognize the dogs in any of the surrounding teams. ChaCha and Stormy were my superstar leaders, and they couldn't have done a better job. It was a perfect trail (no water), perfect team, and the weather was even warm (-20 instead of -40).

And what better way to celebrate than a delicious hamburger?

Yukon Quest Food Drops Complete!

Food Drops are resupply bags that are sent out onto the race trail prior to the start of any event. Most distance sled dog races use the Food Drop system. These resupplies are basically - dropped - out at the various Checkpoints and wait there for the musher and dog team to race through and pick them up.

Shorter races - such as the Copper Basin 300, Tustemena 200, Kusko 300 - have the Food Drops due the day before the race starts. The longer (and more complex) sled dog races - the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod - have a Food Drop due date two or three weeks prior to the event. This is necessary in order to transport the supplies hundreds of miles by trucks or airplanes. All three SP Kennel Yukon Quest teams (Allen's YQ 1000 and Aliy and Ryne's YQ 300) Food Drops were due today.

These due dates are like any big looming deadlines. There are, of course, mushers who are last minute packers, mushers who have a routine and pack the same bags for 25 years and newbies who don't know what to pack.

Volunteers help sort Yukon Quest Food Drops

The biggest challenge with these due dates is that a musher will not know what the weather, temperature or trail conditions will be in two or three weeks. It is relatively simple to pack for a race that will start the next day, but it will be over a month from today's Yukon Quest Food Drop to when Allen goes through these bags at the Circle Checkpoint.

Most mushers will pack plenty of extras. Extra dog booties, socks, neck gaiters, gloves, dog jackets, musher food and the list goes on! As well as extra gear, extra dog food is essential. The race plan might be to stay at a checkpoint for 6 hours, but... in the real world anything can happen! (Aliy stayed in a checkpoint on the Iditarod during a blizzard for 24 hours.) Always be prepared to stay longer and feed more!

As well, the dogs' appetite sometimes changes with the weather and temperatures. Fat snacks and Eagle MVP kibble are necessary in very cold temperatures, but fish snacks and Eagle Power pack are better in warmer temperatures. Will this Yukon Quest be a "Snow Cone" or a "Hot Cup of Tea" kinda race?

The bottom line in packing Yukon Quest Food Drops is: pack what you think you'll need and then pack what you don't think you'll need, then you might be finished.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Rivers Hamburger Run

Hungry for a hamburger? Today is the 32-mile Hamburger Run that goes from Pleasant Valley Store to Angel Creek Lodge ending with a hamburger. Joining me on my first race of the season will be some of the yearlings plus a few trail-hardened veterans like ChaCha, Oddball, Stormy and Skittles. Good thing the elders are coming along to keep everyone in line!

We've got high hopes for these spunky yearlings! The Burger Run is a perfect starter race to see how they do!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chena River Run

Before any race we will take the dogs on a training run as long as the longest leg of that race. Aliy went on a fairly long training run on the frozen Chena River prior to the Copper Basin 300 - literally from sunrise to sunset!

This video footage captures the beauty of Alaskan wintertime skies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spotlight On...Roy!

This series of posts spotlights particular dogs at SP Kennel.
We'd like you to get to know these dogs and love them for the individuals that they are.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Congratulations Pud!

Congratulations to Pud!

At the 2010 Iditarod start, Pud had the lucky opportunity to meet his sponsors, Neil and Charlotte Frick in Anchorage. Being Pud’s first Iditarod appearance, he was a bit shy during all the excitement of race day, but a little affection and words of encouragement from Neil and Charlotte were all it took. Pud did fantastic as a rookie.

This season, Pud has had bad luck. He was in training until Mid November when he just didn't seem "right". After several vet visits and blood draws, he was diagnosed with a thyroid gland deficiency. This is not common in huskys, but our last "thyroid" dog was Rosco who retired 5 years ago. So, we were surprised to see it in Pud. It is a simple fix - twice daily supplement. Once the vets feel that his thyroid levels stay normal for a month then he is free to be a sled dog again. A month is just around the corner, so, LOOK OUT.... Pud's on the mend!

Thank you Charlotte and Neil for sponsoring Pud!

SP Kennel dog sponsorship is one of our most popular programs. Our dog sponsors are a big part of the SP K team. If you'd like more information about the program, check out
How to be a Dog Sponsor.

Pud and Aliy

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Burger Run Scheduled for January 22

Ryne will be running the only SP Kennel Team in the Two Rivers Burger Run. Team to be posted.
Allen and Aliy will be in Fairbanks because Yukon Quest Food Drops are due the same day.
Busy. Busy.

2011 Copper Basin: a Handler’s Perspective

For many folks unfamiliar with the world of dog sled racing, I’ve decided to give a slightly different perspective of the CB300 and highlight a group of people easily overlooked: the handlers. Before I delve into the trail, checkpoints, and challenges of the race from the eyes of handler, I’ll first explain who/what exactly is a handler.

Handlers are essential to most races (excluding the Iditarod), and yet we can do so little during the actually competition. In fact, the term ‘handler’ is a bit misleading, seeing as we cannot touch the dogs or assist the musher once the race begins. Perhaps, a more accurate title would be ‘observer’. Essentially, we’re like a pit crew at Talladega that can’t actually touch the car, instead saying, “Hey Dale, it looks like you’ve got a flat tire. You might want to fix that.” We can’t help bootie or feed the dogs; we can’t heat up water; we can’t lie out straw; we can’t even pet or massage the dogs.

So what
can we do? We can scout out a checkpoint before our musher arrives and stomp out the perfect spot for our team to camp. We can find where the water, drop bags, straw, food, and lodgings are located. As the mushers tire, we can gently remind them that they were going to wrap so-and-so’s wrist, or that they wanted to feed the two wheel dogs too. We can keep track of their rest times and wake them up when it’s time to leave. Once the musher and the dogs hit the trail, we can clean up their campsite, pack up the truck, take any dropped dogs with us, then drive to the next checkpoint to wait and watch some more. In between driving, waiting, watching, and cleaning, we catch a few moments sleep.
After reading the responsibilities of a handler, you may wonder who in their right mind would sign up for that job? And the answer is…everyone. Often times we’re volunteers who just like to be a part of the dog sledding world for a weekend. For many, meeting and interacting with the other handlers is half the fun. We’re an eclectic bunch, ranging in age, profession, interests, and experience, but for some reason we all find ourselves standing at -10, anxiously waiting for a light to start winding its way through the trees. Among the many characters I met were a young couple from Norway, a fellow Alabamian experiencing her first Alaskan winter, a guy from Anchorage with zero dog knowledge, and a “multi-handler” who has no real kennel affiliation but shows up to races and handles for whoever needs assistance. The excitement of racing and the enthusiasm of the dogs draw people from all walks of life who just want to be a part of the experience, myself included.

Now that I’ve established who/what is a handler, we’ll look at the Copper Basin 300 through the eyes of a participant who never sees more than 50 yards of the trail. Let’s start with the weather. During most of the race, the temperatures were warm by Copper Basin standards: 10 to -10 degrees. For handlers, this was
wonderful. It is much more enjoyable to wait outside in these temps than the typical -30 to -40 degrees commonly found during Copper Basin. For the musher, however, this meant more open water and deep overflow, so that they returned from runs wet and cold. This year’s trail route also varied from previous years. The race started from Paxson, and once all teams were on the trail, the handlers could drive the 3-4 hours to the next checkpoint, Chistochina. For the mushers, starting in Paxson meant that they were able to tackle the enormous hill with a fresh dog team right from the beginning. For the handlers, the already long drive from Paxson to Chistochina was further complicated by the 2-hour time differential between the first and last bibs (aka Aliy and Allen). The addition of the Spot Trackers in this year’s race was also incredibly helpful for the handlers, when they worked. Now only if we could get wireless or even cell phone reception at each of the checkpoints. And finally the finish in Paxson along Paxson Lake and the airstrip, while long for the mushers, gave the handlers a heads up as to their arrival so that we weren’t caught sleeping when they crossed the finish line.

Overall, handling for the SP Kennel teams in the Copper Basin 300 was three days packed with fun and excitement. I had the chance to learn from veteran CB300 handlers, Ray and Bob, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming races!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Copper Basin 300 Overview

Copper Basin 300 was an important race for SP Kennel.

Honestly, not all of us are happy with the outcome - you can't blame a past champion for looking for his next win! (As we have always said in the past, in order to win a competitive race, a team must progress smoothly and with out issue from start to finish.)

But, after saying all of that...... SP Kennel, as a whole, had several successes, learned quite a bit and made some huge advances during the race. Here is the 2011 Copper Basin 300 recap:
  • 9th Place - Aliy and the Red Team had a virtually flawless race. The team managed to avoid most of the trail hazards and stay on the correct route. The 2 year old rookie "Honkey Tonk" litter mates (Scruggs, Willie, Waylon, Boondocks) outperformed expectations. The 3 year old brothers, Beemer and Rambler were confidant and lead much of the race while their sister, Malibu, was flawless. Race veterans (Spot, Bonita, Roy, Dingle) were solid through out the 300 miles. Moonpie got a sore foot (perhaps a bruise from a trail hazard) and he wanted to leave with the team after Tolsona, but Aliy made the final call and cut him from the roster.
  • 16th Place - Allen and the Black Team started number 50 out of 51 teams. They passed 27 teams in the first 62 miles. This first leg might have used a little too much of their reserve energy because their speed dropped the next leg. Then, the unthinkable happened, and the team took a wrong turn. The extra miles and the overall heartache of such a mistake took a toll on both musher and dogs. Much of the upbeat and positive energy was gone. Butterscotch and Skittles were dropped because they were tired. Ranger, Kit Kat, Snickers, Tatfish and Rose worked like troopers to the finish line. The five outstanding dogs on the team were: Olivia, Quito, Scout, Viper and Biscuit- it seemed that nothing could phase them.
  • 30th Place - Bridgett and the Red & Black Team had an "adventure". Both musher and dogs had to show extreme patience, fortitude and determination. Bridgett and the dogs got wet feet, wet bodies and wet gear several times during the 300 miles. In below zero temperatures, they needed to dry themselves at camp fires, change clothes, and persevere. Half way through the race, the team crashed into a hidden log and destroyed the sled. This required a sled change. The R&B dogs were chosen because many were older experienced racers who could use a nice, easy race with plenty of rest. So, the "Older Professional Dogs" (Cha Cha, Bullet, Teddy, Homebrew) and the "Veteran Racers" (Kipper, Nacho, Chica, Honda, Betsy) combined with three inexperienced dogs (Hunter, Tug and Lester) were supposed to have an easy 300 mile jaunt. They didn't. Lester tripped in the trail and got a sore wrist and was therefore dropped, Honda got cold feet from the water crossings and was dropped and Homebrew was tired only 20 miles from the finish, so he was dropped. In the end, the team pulled through and crossed the finish line. It was certainly a great effort!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Congratulations Ranger!

Congratulations to Ranger!

Ranger is sponsored by the Four Atigun Adventurers- Linda, Betsy, Terry, and Helena. In 2009, they joined us on our Mushing Adventure Trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were they met lots of SP Kennel athletes. They had the real arctic experience, chopping ice from the frozen river (for coffee the next morning) and putting dog blankets on the dogs every evening. By the end of the trip, they had fallen in love with the SP dogs, and asked, “Who should we sponsor as an up-and-coming racer?” Since Ranger had helped collect ice from the water hole earlier and he was one of the young stars, he was the perfect choice. Ranger is now on his second year of sponsorship, and he isn’t letting anyone down! This year will be even better than the last!

Thank you Linda, Betsy, Terry, and Helena!

SP Kennel dog sponsorship is one of our most popular programs. Our dog sponsors are a big part of the SP K team. If you'd like more information about the program, check out
How to be a Dog Sponsor.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dogs and Mushers are Home

Two Rivers was a welcome sight at 1 AM Wednesday. It was a safe and uneventful drive home.

The SP Kennel dogs ran to their houses and ate a big dinner. Mushers and handlers went directly to bed.

Teddy at home

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bridgett Video

Copper Basin 300 Day 3 & Finishes


Kipper finished the race in high form. Homebrew was the other dog dropped.

Bridgett Safely In & Sleeping

Bridgett and her dog are safely to the finish.  Bridgett finished with ChaCha and Bullet in lead. They were here rocks the whole race. She dropped Lester, Honda & Kipper, finishing with 9 dogs.

Aliy, Allen & Bridgett are meeting for breakfast soon. More stories soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bridgett On the Trail

Aliy and Allen are resting after finishing their race this afternoon and Bridgett is making her way to the finish line. At last report, she still had all of her dogs, her goal, and was resting as the dogs needed. She has had an eventful race (gone swimming twice) and I'm sure, will have lots of stories. We expect her into Paxson in the early morning, but it depends on the dogs.

More race video tomorrow.

Allen In

Allen crossed the finish line. He is tired & sore, but very glad to be done.  Dogs are all in good shape.

Allen Through Meier's Lake

Allen looking good through Meier's Lake at 3:35 pm AST. Expect him to Finish about 6 pm.


Aliy Finishes

Aliy came across the finish line in great spirits in 9th place. She had a huge smile on her face.

Aliy Through Meier's Lake

Aliy Meier

Waiting at Meier's

CB Website Incorrect

Website & tracker still has Aliy in Sourdough. It is wrong. She should be in Meier's Lake soon.

News from the Trail

We caught up with Ray & Ryne on the trail at Sourdough. Aliy had already left, looking great and Allen is out now. His feet were very wet, not a good thing. His boots never dried at Wolverine, after going through copious amounts of overflow between Tolsona and Wolverine. He had spare boots in Sourdough. Both Aliy and Allen have completed all of there required rest and will only rest now if the dogs need it.  Aliy should be in Meiers Lake between 12:30 and 1 pm AST.

Dropped dog are Skittles & Butterscotch off of Allen's team and Moonpie & Waylon off of Aliy's team.

Bridgett had another rough run to Wolverine. So much overflow. She changed sleds there.

More soon.

Into the Dead Zone

The mushers entered the "Dead Zone" last night. Always very hard to get information to and from the area, including to the Copper Basin Website. We are heading up there soon and will get you more information as soon as possible. No word yet on dropped dogs.

Copper Basin 300 2011 Day 2

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Aliy Out of Wolverine

Aliy is out of Wolverine with 10 dogs. Will let you know as soon as I hear which dog was dropped from her team as well as the dog Allen dropped in Tolsona. Aliy reported that the trail from Tolsona had extreme overflow, up to 3 feet in places. As of this, Bridgett and Allen are still making their way to Wolverine. I'm sure we will hear some stories.

Bridgett left Tolsona with a broken brush bow on her sled. She hit a stump on the trail from Glennallen. She didn't have the equipment to repair the sled in Tolsona so is limping it to Wolverine where she should be able to get it repaired.

Aliy Back on Trail

Aliy is back on trail. She is heading towards Wolverine. She had to drop Moonpie. Nothing serious, but slightly injured. Aliy seemed happy &  upbeat after her rest. Video later.

Bridgett Leaving Glennallen

Bridgett is hooked up and making her way to the line to get back on the trail. Her 8 hour mandatory stop is completed. She will be heading to Tolsona next, though she is not planning to stop there.  Her dogs spent a beautiful day laying in the sun on straw and are ready to go.

Aliy's Dogs Resting Well

Aliy & her dogs are resting well in Tolsona. I have het out time as 4:53 AST. Temperatures are holding at about 15 below, perfect dog running temps.

Allen at Tolsona

"It is what it is." Allen about the lost trail. Working with dogs now. Sleep soon.

The Waiting Game

Allen & 3 other teams took a wrong turn on way to Tolsona. He is over an hour overdue. Hope they will be on soon.

Bridgett Resting at Glennallen

Everyone is resting at the Hub. We are racing to Tolsana.

Red Team and Red & Black Team Resting

Aliy is in Tolsana where she has declared her 8 hour mandatory rest. (She could change her mind and leave early though!) She has bedded the dogs down and given them a good meal and is now eating herself and getting ready to get some sleep. Bridgett is in Glennallen doing the same thing. Both are running very well.

Allen is shown out of Glennallen on his way to Tolsana. Should have pictures for you soon.

Copper Basin 300 Start

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Allen Cruising to Chistochina

If my sleepy brain has this figured out correctly, Allen passed 24 teams on his run to Chistochina. As Bridgett said, "He FLEW." He came into the checkpoint at 8:24 pm AST very pleased with his dogs and his run. All three teams will now be resting before their push towards Glennallen. It will be exciting to see what happens tomorrow as people begin to do their mandatory rests. The times will be leveled out from the two minute start times. Aliy's stop will be 8 hours plus 1 hour & 40 minutes since she started in the 2 slot. Allen's will be 8 hours plus 2 minutes since he started in the 50th position. (Bridgett's will be a total of 9 hours & 32 minutes.)

Mobile Update

Bridgett just pulling in to Chistochina. Dogs looking good.

Aliy In - Mobile Update

Corrections: Brent Sass was 1st in, then Lance. Aliy in with wet feet. River was open. Dogs look good. More soon.

Mackey First to Chisto

Lance Mackey has arrived a Chistochina with a happy spunky dog team. We are now waiting for Aliy to arrive.

Allen Off On the Trail

Although it was a little crazy getting to the starting line, Allen and the Black Team are on their way.  On this BEAUTIFUL day, all of SP Kennel's teams are on the trail.  Each of our mushers are carrying a SPOT locator and you can track them at

The teams now travel through the mountains to village of Chistochina, a hard 6 - 8 hour run. We will get updates out as soon as possible.

Aliy And Bridgett Out

Aliy & Bridgett are out on the trail.

PreRace Mobile Update 1

Dogs, handlers and gear are at the starting line. Everything is gearing up to go. Saw lots of moose and caribou on trip down.  Will post pictures of race when I can.

Friday, January 7, 2011

SP Kennel Start Positions

SP Kennel has made it down to the Copper Basin 300 and are all checked in. They are currently on their way to Paxson for the night to prepare for the 1 pm AST race start. The start positions were drawn from an old boot at the musher’s meeting this afternoon. Aliy and the Red Team will be heading out in the 2nd slot. Bridgett and the Red & Black Team will be going out 6th. Allen and the Black Team drew 50th out of 51 teams. Not exactly what he was hoping for, but he will make the best of it. Teams will go out in 2 minute intervals. There is WiFi at Paxson Lodge so I hope to be able to keep you updated at the start. Enjoy the race.

Copper Basin 300 Red & Black Team Roster

Copper Basin 300 Red Team Roster