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YQ 300 Update 2

Aliy Zirkle and all 12 puppies made it to Circle just minutes after her husband, Allen Moore, pulled out. Allen left at 4:54AM and Aliy arrived at 4:57AM.

[My mistake – I forgot that they have a mandatory six-hour stop at Circle, and then head back to actually finish at Central and make the full 300 miles. Too much going on simultaneously, and the last time they ran this route was in 2012.]

Aliy crossed the real finish line at 10:32PM (7:32PM AKST).

Standings at 10:45PM CST (7:45PM AKST):

Finish At Central
1 Aliy Zirkle
Beyond Circle
2 Chase Tingle
3 Heidi Sutter
4 Sebastian Schnuelle
5 Laura Allaway
6 Jimmy Lebling
At Circle
7 Amanda Gecas
8 Andrew Pace
9 Ryne Olson
Beyond Central
10 Simon McLoughlin

Deke Naaktgeboren and Jesse Brattrud scratched at Mile 101.


1 Steve Bates { 02.03.14 at 3:21 pm }

I am always amazed and pleased by the degree of dedication the mushers show to their dogs. They’re obviously in it for the long haul, over much more than one season, and seem to have a real relationship with their dogs. I remember hearing one woman speak… sorry; her name escapes me, but she was less involved in YQ, Iditarod, etc. and more interested in some of the truly long-distance runs, in which she held at least one record… and her commitment to the well-being of her dogs was visible in her face as she spoke of them. Good attitude, IMHO. If only more people cared more about the critters we share the planet with…

2 Bryan { 02.03.14 at 3:53 pm }

A lot of the people who run these races do so to justify having dozens of dogs. They really like dogs, and if they live well off the grid, as many of the mushers do, a dog team is the only way you can get around in a real Arctic winter. Forty below does nothing good for an internal combustion engine, rubber and metal fracture readily, so wooden sleds and dogs are the only reliable forms of transportation.

The problem mushers have most often with dogs is holding them back, so they don’t injure themselves. The mandatory stops during the races are to give the race vets time to check on the dogs. There are no human doctors on race trails, but there are vets at every mandatory stop. If you break a bone during a race, or have another major injury, you can continue if you want unless that injury prevents you from caring for your dogs, then you are withdrawn by race officials immediately.

3 Badtux { 02.04.14 at 11:47 am }

And the temperatures on your sidebar are looking more appropriate for this race now…. -8F is a lot better for the puppies than the 27F that I saw there just a week ago!

4 Bryan { 02.04.14 at 12:59 pm }

The temperatures are certainly better, but the trail is ice, not snow, which makes it hard to stay upright. A few inches of snow would certainly help, as you know from winter 4-wheeling.

5 Badtux { 02.04.14 at 11:12 pm }

Ice definitely is not my favorite winter wheeling conditions, that’s for sure. I remember coming down the trail behind Rita’s Cabin in Death Valley National Park and there was a slope that was ice. Luckily there was a snowbank at the bottom of it for me to slide sideways into…

Do the dogs have traction problems on the ice too?

6 Bryan { 02.04.14 at 11:37 pm }

The dogs can’t get a grip on ice, and will get cut on fractured ice, even with the ‘booties’ on. The ‘ice booties’ have rubber bumps on the bottom, but they are fairly worthless, and the dogs really want to feel the ground to be sure of their footing. So far there have been a large number of dogs dropped, and most of them are probably due to ice injuries. The dog’s nails/claws just don’t work well. Packed snow is the best surface for a dog team – low friction for the sled and good purchase for the dogs.

Yeah, I used a snow bank to brake a couple of times when I was working out driving a Beetle in the snow.