OFFICIAL RED TEAM ID#47 VIDEO/COMMENTARY IN YELLOW




IDITAROD 2019 IS ALSO KNOWN AS "XLVII" for the continuous running of the event (#47).  Final Standings above right
SP Kennel policy 2019:  One team for each of the longest distance major races...links to race when it starts 3-3-19 - the sky on Ceremonial Start Day.



 
IDITAROD INSIDER:  Interview shows lots of ID planning - including self-deprecating  humor.


AWARDS BANQUET SUNDAY MARCH 17, 2019:  4th Place in 2019!!!  Woof woof woof.


SP Kennel Red Team received the Halfway Award for completing 1st half first.  And...




Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award for best dog care!  WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF

HOW IT IS AWARDED (as we heard it):   

SURPRISE!!!  SP Kennel recognized as winner for the 5th ("woof") time! 
 





THE "PAWNOTES" UNOFFICIAL VERSION.  NOW WE BEGIN WITH LINKS TO OFFICIAL VERSION
CHENA WAS ABLE TO CONCENTRATE ON HER EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR IDITAROD XLVII

 

CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:  WE NOW BEGIN ADDING GRAPHIC LINK TO SHORT SP KENNEL VIDEO STORY AS REPORTED OFFICIALLY
The Red Team's adventure, day by day (begins 6:40pm approx.  EST 7:40pm).  Unofficial version.  "Pawnotes" includes some graphics from previous ID's.






THE FIRST FEW MILES LINK TO SP KENNEL




DAY ONE

  1. AND THEY'RE OFF!!!
  2. At the 48 mile mark. Red Team motoring along, moving up from 19th to 13th place.  This looks to be a most interesting ID, although here, about 4 hours in, it is of course too soon to tell.
  3. Now 18th place a few minutes later (resting?) - passed by Nick Petit and Martin Buser...this is why I don't watch constantly - it is nerve wracking.  Chena says not to worry.
  4. Now she's in 14th place 20 minutes later...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZmiddle of the night, way down the list then...
  5. And upon waking...4th place!
  6. An hour later (117 mi), second place...and now resting 123mi.  Where is this? 
  7. FINGER LAKE.  That's the check point before some of the most challenging parts of ID trail...
  8. After a lengthy rest, Red Team embarks on this difficult leg.  In seventh place @145mi.
  9. We watched an interview of defending champ Joar - from Finger Lakes - and he said the trail was fine, but it was getting warm - he would run at night.  During the day he lets his dogs set their own pace - lots of rests so they can roll around in the snow.  WOOF. 
PAWNOTES
Here at the beginning, Chena wants to be sure everyone understands that this is a collaborative effort.
Data sources (secondary) she used are:
The true "primary" source, Chena says, is her group of "field reporters" - team members who give info to the Eagle Brigade.  This flying squad of eagle-eyed journalists pierces the clouds/snow and observes progress from on high, a truly "cheap" or "cheep" way to communicate.

*
Early
    


**BREAKING NEWS - FIVE MEMBERS OF THE FIRE LITTER ON ID RED TEAM
Chena not on the team, but is now able to devote herself to her position as Editor in Chief of the WOOFSITE and bring her best insights to you!!!  Here's her first post: "This is going to be a dog fight with so many highly skilled teams up front" but she warns not to count out those who picked high numbers. "ID is truly a mind game and dogs might prefer having to fight to get the lead..."  On the other paw, Chena herself loves either method - "Running in front is cool, too!" she stated, citing her recent victory in both the YQ200 as well as 2018 YQ1000.

***
Speed kills as the saying goes.  What I've found is the relation between "run" and "rest" in a distance race like ID or YQ is critical.  If the moving speed is faster than the average speed here at the early phases of a long distance race, unless you are driving a team of super dogs, or holding some in reserve (probably not so much this year) it should catch up with them later in the race.

****
STEPS:  Quite a few years ago, Red Team Leader kept her hand-held camera running while descending the Happy River Steps - now that is a daredevil move if ever I heard one!  The video was so scary (you could hear the "whack" as tree limbs closed in and the "BANG" as the sled bounced down each and every Step - this is not a warm and fuzzy sport!  Of course, the most scary one was when, some years later, I believe Jeff King wore a camera mounted atop his visor - the year of the "wipe outs" due to no snow cover - the dogs love this and run super fast - Red Team musher made it through but others just called it a day, "scratched." Broken bones and nerves among that group.





Rainy Pass can be really tough - this year running at night may be good for the team, but tough on the musher!

     
WOOF WOOF WOOF - CLICK ON GRAPHIC TO GET TO SP KENNEL ID#47 STORY!  THESE ABOVE - UP & DOWN ALASKA RANGE





DAY TWO
  1. Arriving Rainy Pass, Red Team took a longish rest...
  2. 5th place at 9pm on the way to Rohn (not the member of the Board of Finance in Weston).  Whose meeting is going on and on, taking me away from keeping track of ID...
  3. March 12th is a big meeting in Weston - Selectman, Finance, Education and our 3 state legislators...we heard First Selectman say Weston under the present formula in SB431 (Sen. Looney) would be told it puts 42% rather than 25% toward TRSZZZZ.
  4. Upon awaking in Weston CT we read in the HOUR (Dan Haar) of the Progressive Democrats push for actions against Weston - that would be 2 of Weston's 3 legislators.
  5. Lunchtime and 5 miles to Nikolai for the Red Team...nominally in 4th place but some fast teams breathing down their neck...
  6. Arrived Nikolai (mile 207) in 4th or fifth place...in the Denali neighborhood, we think...2014 Iditarod view of Denali above.
  7. POST-RACE INSIDER INTERVIEW - RED TEAM MUSHER SAYS IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE LEAD PACK AT THIS TIME, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN.
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PAWNOTES








DAY THREE
  1. We got started late covering Day #3 because we figured the Red Team would spend longer tending to ouches...out of Nikolai towards McGrath;
  2. As we write these notes, the Red Team is in fifth place, cookin' with Crisco as my favorite watercolor teacher once said...speed increased from earlier...293 miles done.
  3. "Spirit of the North" - first into McGrath goes to Quick Nick.
  4. At 9am in Weston we are shocked to see that Red Team is...in second place!!!  Some of the lead teams may be taking their 24 hour rests, but it is nice to see anyway!!!
  5. Back from morning rounds...and it looks to me that Red Team is taking its long rest in Ophir...one all-day rest, and 2 8 hour rests - one along the Yukon and one at White Mountain.
  6. WRONG - only 2hrs and guess who is in FIRST PLACE at mile 359?  Red Team!!!  What fun!!!
  7. Next stop:  Iditarod.  Jefe remembers this from last year!

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DID WE MENTION THE LENGTH OF IDITAROD TRAIL?  FIFTH IN THE SERIES HERE


PAWNOTES:




ON THE LONG LONELY TRAIL TO...IDITAROD


Spark's graphic of Iditarod Traii.  Team doesn't do anything "half-way" - they're "all in" - but they'll take the gold.
"We didn't know Spark was an artist - hasn't got to color studies yet"  Chena reports "he knows 'chiaroscuro' (dark&light)."

TWENTY-FOUR HOUR PLUS TIME OUT:  At 1:38am AK TIME...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

"THE GAMBLE"


On the way to Iditarod, breaking trail...hot hot hot!!!  #6 - tough sledding for hard-working team.

THE ALASKA TUNDRA...https://spkennel.com/2019/07/2019-aliy-cam-episodes-7-and-8/



DAY FOUR
  1. Long leg to Iditarod...#7 above.
  2. Winding down with just 40 more miles to go - shown in #8 below.
  3. They arrived1:38am, AK time.  In the dark, of course.  Dogs look happy on Insider video - wagging tails!!!  Who was in the sled bag???
  4. Took a long time to get there - trail (they were breaking trail) not well marked.  But now everyone else will have an easier time.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ24hr rest...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

IDITAROD ON THE HORIZON, VIOLET ASKS???  https://spkennel.com/2019/07/2019-aliy-cam-episodes-7-and-8/

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PAWNOTES:




Episodes 9 and 10

This is where the benefit of the strategy of going straight through to the half way pays off!  See what a fresh team can do!



RUNNING THEM DOWN ONE BY ONE
The only team to have gone to the halfway point before 24 hr rest, Red Team feeling refreshed!




WOOF!!!  https://spkennel.com/2019/08/2019-aliy-cam-episodes-9-and-10/
Refreshed from 24 hours plus in the old, abandoned town of Iditarod, Red Team back on the trail in pursuit!




EPISODE 11 & 12 - Rain, rain and more rain.

DAY FIVE
  1. Day Five will begin around 6:40pm, but since we began some previous days late, how about this one...early?
  2. Commentary from ID regarding trail on Southern Route says...watch out for blustery Yukon...
  3. And Red Team is back on the trail, now in 12th place.  But refreshed from 24 hrs at historic Iditarod. 
  4. Into Shageluk in 11th place...and a general note on running the slushy Yukon...did we mention...rain?

PAWNOTES:





EAGLE EYE REPORTER NOTES:
"She's going for it" but...after almost as long (voluntary rest) at Eagle Island but official 8hr. rest saved for...Kaltag!!!

DAY SIX
  1. WOW!!!  We took some time off...and now the Red Team is in 6th place heading into Grayling (where the top 5 are resting);
  2. On the edge of our seat...it appears some who had been ahead of the Red Team took 8 hr rest enabling Red Team to jump ahead...
  3. This "lead" mentioned above, after poring over our charts, will be given back  once Red Team takes their 8 hr rest somewhere on the Yukon.
  4. Eagles thought Red Team would grace their Island for the official 8hr rest...which is required along the Yukon.  They caught fish for the team, but...
  5. NOPE!!!  However as mentioned below, Eagle Brigade earned their carp (that's Chena's play on the word "keep").

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PAWNOTES:






  

DAY SEVEN
  1. WARNING:  This is where time "springs ahead" at 2am.  Which is why using the tracker is always better than doing arithmetic.
  2. Team loses Commando at Eagle Island reported- now only 13 dogs in line - which is still the highest number for any team (Jessie Royer has 13 too).
  3. During the night, Red Team, 13 strong - was that FIVE in lead?  Nope, probably Spark - made their way to Kaltag!!!  Musher check in video.
  4. We say that as ID analyst refers to "protecting their position" as a comment made by a team near the lead pack...
  5. OUT OF KALTAG!!!  On the road again, as it were.  85 miles to Unalakleet...as this is written, 24 miles in to this, the longest "leg"...


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More of the same.

PAWNOTES:

    






DAY EIGHT
  1. At the end of the day, Red Team is chugging along in seventh - getting closer to sixth place team and seeming to draw away from those behind - but we wear rose colored glasses.
  2. This is the longest stretch in ID - 68 miles down, 17 to go 'til UNK.  Eagle team reports "Red Team moving forward!" and thru the night...
  3. In to Shaktoolik...previously, we hadn't figured that Red Team would stay here for a while.*
  4. FRONT PAGE in Anchorage Daily News of Aliy giving Nomex a tip - or maybe she was just telling him what a big boy he is...
  5. For a young team they are doing fantastically well - WOOF (translation from Chena - "JMO").
  6. Team down to twelve (48 paws), departed Shaktoolik for Koyuk - total 50 miles..."But it seems like 100 because it is blowing on the ocean and the view is the same..." an official comment.


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PAWNOTES








DAY NINE

  1.  FWIW - not yet "DAY#9" - Red Team more than 40 miles behind so they are not worried about anything up front...
  2. Make that 32 miles behind...
  3. In 4th place as of 10:12pm.  818mi.
  4. Of the 48 miles to Elim from Koyuk at mile 862, that makes a baker's dozen to go...or seventy-five percent done on this leg...
  5. 868mi now, and Eagle Brigade has signed the contract for remainder of ID with race officials.  They will defer to official news sources in case of a tie in exchange for various gifts.
  6. Red Team in  Elim mile 875 (above second from right)!!!

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PAWNOTES:







RED TEAM FINISHES 4th - we watched the finish live. 
Approaching Nome...(l).  The only working mic (we think) picked up Red Team musher turning to fans and thanking them!!!  WOOF!!!

DAY TEN

  1. Into White Mountain in 4th place.  How did she do that???  Guess the benefit of great long distance training as well as the 24hr coming at the halfway point!!!
  2. Out of White Mountain in 4th Place...
  3. Have we passed the "blow hole" yet???
  4. They don't call it "Safety" for no reason...22 miles more...
  5. Now ten miles to go, still in 4th Place!!!
  6. AND RED TEAM COMES IN 4th!!!  AWESOME!!!
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PAWNOTES:




ON COMPARING 14 TO 16 TEAM MEMBER EFFECT:



ON COMPARING YQ1000 WITH IDITAROD


Chena was a member of the winning Black Team in Yukon Quest 2018, and has run ID three times, calls attention to facts found on the Iditarod website.  Differences in the races are profound...
All in all, she notes:  "I prefer ID because it tests our ability to concentrate" although admitting that YQ is more fun for dogs.  "As a team, we were really happy all the time" in 2018, she stated.