Wow! Thirteen dogs to the finish line and they were yelling and howling in the finish chute.

It was so exciting to be in the chute waiting for the team. Every couple minutes we would check the tracker and it moved excruciatingly slowly! They were making great time along the trail, it just seemed to us to take ages before we caught sight of them.

We were speculating who Allen would have in lead, none of us guessed Izzy! Izzy and Scout proudly trotted up the chute with giant Mismo and tiny Chipper in swing, Kodiak and Waylon, Scruggs and Schmoe, Dutch and Willie, Big Mac then Clyde and Commando.

Handler crew ready and waiting in the finish chute

The dogs enjoyed their thawed salmon and beef snacks and we almost lost some fingers in that manoeuvre! We took booties off and got a chance to really love on them all for a few minutes as Allen was asked some questions by the media. He said how excited he is about next year’s race because of the youngsters that finished today. He choked up a little bit while talking about Scout and how he’s been with him on every Quest he’s run. He’s a good boy!

The vet team did a check on every dog before we left the chute, they have been very vigilant in their care for the canine athletes in this race.

There was a heap of people out cheering them on and Brent (right) and the W&F crew came down to see the team come in.

Check out the Newsminer story and pictures from today’s finish line action.

Allen and Bridgett drove the team the short distance back to the truck, led by Mark, and we set to feeding them their three-kibble mix and the remainder of the meat snacks. Quite a crowd stood around watching and asking questions; it is so cool that so many people are becoming interested in the Quest!

At the same time we fed the 13, we dropped Felix out and gave him his dinner. Allen said “Felix, buddy, how’ve you been? It’s nice to see you boy!”

We frantically texted Aliy during events and Allen called her as soon as we got back to the truck. She can’t wait to see everyone again soon!

Bridgett then spent some time rubbing pink ointment into feet and algyval massaging joints then they were all ready to get into bed and sleep for a few hours until we get them out of the truck later tonight to relieve themselves and eat more meat.

After a long, hot shower and a good meal Allen is now relaxing and, my guess is that, any minute now will be asleep. We’re all in the same hotel room so he warned us that he is still on ‘checkpoint time’ and will wake up every couple hours and even start ski-poling and running in his sleep. I guess that will go on for a few days yet!

Tomorrow Bridgett and Mark will drive the dogs home to the kennel where Aliy has set up the dog barn waiting for them. Allen has some media and other engagements during the week including the Meet the Mushers on Friday evening and Finishers Banquet on Saturday. I’ll stay here with him. I’ll will use some of the ‘down time’ this week to get Allen’s dog-by-dog wrap-up of the race.

15 Responses

  • Fantastic photos, I love how you got every team member there in them.
    I love this post, but after I read, "he warned us that he is still on 'checkpoint time,'" I can't stop laughing, or seeing it in my head.

    Get some sell deserved deep sleep tonight.

    Love ya!

  • Wonderful recount of the athletes, human and canine, coming to the finish line! Congratulations all! Very proud of you!!!

  • Boy – what an incredibly, happy, pleased-with-themselves group… They look like they are in a fun parade & and are totally enjoying the scene around them… After 1000 miles? … Wow…

    Masterful – raising, training & overall care SPK.

  • We are so proud of the Black Team….Allen did an awesome job taking care of them….13 on the line at the finish…thats amazing! I hope they live stream the banquet (or at least offer a replay of it) like they did last year….it was great listening to tales of the trail as everyone wraps up their YQ journey! Bet Aliy will love getting the Team back to the Kennel…her turn with the "A" Team is coming SOON for Iditarod!

  • The YQ is definitely more on my radar than it has been in the past. Modern day media capabilities, blogs like this one, social media, etc…. has really brought sled dog racing to parts of the world where it would normally never be seen. About five years ago I stumbled across the Iditarod website, then found this website/blog through there. Now I am totally hooked on this sport and even more so on SPK. Hopefully YQ can get to the point that they bring more video coverage to their website throughout the race, especially live finish coverage. Seeing the Vets diligence in checking the dogs like they do helps deter naysayer comments about this sport so it's good for them to see the Vet checks in action. Onward now to the Iditarod! Hooray!

  • What a terrific race! It is so fun to follow SPK during race season – even during the nail-biting times ๐Ÿ™‚ Best to all – canines, mushers and handlers. What a team! Looking forward to "seeing" you all again in a few weeks!

  • What a great run. I keep saying that! The future does look bright for SP Kennels. Cant wait to see what team Aliy puts together now after these show offs! So glad everyone is happy and healthy…you too Allen!

  • Great race – Congratulations to all, and a hearty WOOF, WOOF, WOOF to all!!!

    As others have done, I want to also congratulate SP Kennel on its magnificent communications team's work!!!

    P.S. It is 50 degrees this morning in Weston, CT.

  • What a great race!! A superb job in keeping us updated throughout the race.SPKennel is THE premier sled dog kennel and there is no better crew in your dedication to the dogs. The excitement is just beginning.
    Raining "cats and dogs" in PA, but the sun shines on SPKennel!!

  • Dittos to above comments. What an accomplishment to come in third with 13 dogs on the line(especially in a rebuilding year). Super great for SPK. Allen as always is masterful in mushing his team. Thanks for excellent photos. Mismo & Chipper are a very contrasting pair! Yeah Izzy coming in with Scout in lead.


    By the way, I have to give a shout-out to the good looking, happy handler crew!!!

    And wow are the 4-legged Black Team members fantastic performers and really, really good-looking, too!!! They may not be as droll as their Magnificent Musher, however.

    Woof, woof, woof-whistles to all!!!

  • Huge congratulations to the Black Team, all fifteen of them,for an amazing race. They did a fantastic job from start to finish, class act all the way. Blinking back some tears of joy and pride here. Can't say enough!!

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