At 4.24am this morning the Red Team arrived into the Ruby checkpoint and spent just eight minutes there while Aliy went through drop bags and the vet team had a chance to look at the dogs. They have multiple experienced vets available so can get through a dog team, looking for specific issues, very quickly.

Check out the Insider video here! Dutch and Mismo were in lead, Kodiak and Izzy in swing, Scout and Willie, Chipper and Waylon, Chemo and Scruggs, Schmoe, Commando and Felix then Clyde and Sandy in wheel.

The team had camped between Cripple and Ruby for about 3-3.25 hours at 9.30pm last night. A zoomed in view of the analytics shows us she stopped almost exactly two hours later for a quick snack for the dogs at about 2.30am then pulled into Ruby another couple of hours after that.

They are now running on the Yukon River and will take an eight hour mandatory rest at one of the next three checkpoints (they can choose from Ruby, Galena, Nulato or Kaltag).

The GPS tracker currently has them in first position, although the teams are all on different stop/start schedules and expect teams to leap frog each other all the way down the river!

Sebastian Schnuelle saw the team into Ruby – to read his report and see his pictures click here. And, there are a couple of great pics of the team from yesterday in Cripple by Jeff Schultz on the Iditarod website (click here for link)


We see that Allen has left one team mate in the Cripple checkpoint with the vet and volunteer team. We do not know who it is at this stage and will get that info to you as soon as we can so we appreciate your patience.

Allen had his Black Team rest in Cripple for just over 4.5 hours having arrived at 15 past midnight last night. They are now on the trail again and as I write are about 50 miles from Ruby checkpoint. We had expected them to go through Cripple but Allen must have felt the team needed a little more rest and took advantage of a quiet night-time checkpoint. Time after time Allen shows himself to be a great dog man; running the Iditarod with the bunch of youngsters takes a specific skill set to keep in tune with the team and alter original plans accordingly. He will have several contingency plans up his sleeve and we send his drop bags out with that in mind so we are not concerned at a slight deviation from plan A.

11 Responses

  • Having great fun following the tracker, the posts on the ID site, and of course all the great tidbits you are posting to the DogLog – thanks for giving us so many updates. Looks like Aliy and Allen are just rolling along great and I will remain glued to the tracker as much as possible and cheering for the teams from the best kennel out there. Go Red! Go Black! Go Dogs!

  • Glued to the tracker is right!!! I'm supposed to be over at the Shop building a cabinet….but here I am…in front of the computer! Thanks for the link to Jeff's photos…my favorite of course is of Chemo's smiling face heading into Cripple…is it just me or do these dogs look like they are having a blast!

    I hope the Red Team gets to Galena before the heat of the day comes….the forecast daytime temps along the river are down right hot for sled dogs! I'm sure a nice rest in the sun would be enjoyed by all!!

    I have been keeping an eye on the Black Team as well. Allen does such a great job with the youngsters….Commando was on the Black Team just last year and look at him now! I'm already looking forward to the next season when more dogs from the Fire Litter will no doubt be on the "A" Team through the season!!!

    Go SPK!!!

  • WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, good doggies!!!

    Best of luck to all!!!

    Ditto to above comments and indeed, Chemo is a particularly smooth operator!!!


  • I watched the live race commentary this morning for a bit and they were talking quite a bit about Aliy, her race/run schedule. They made comparisons to her "rhythmic" schedule to those mushers that had made a big push at times and Joe Runyan commented "and look, now she's in the lead" (my paraphrase). They also mentioned, as you did Moira, about the fact that there will be a lot of passing back and forth with the different schedule. . I just checked the tracker and she's not far from Galena. I'm too am continually checking the tracker for both Red & Black teams. For a team that several are learning the ropes of the ID, they are doing so well. As always thanks for the updates and the links that go with it.

  • I suppose others have gotten this e-mail too, but just in case:

    "We expect the Aliy Zirkle to arrive into Galena at approximately 10:45am Alaska local time.

    "We are trying hard to get live video from the checkpoint. No promises."


  • Looking at Sebastian's photos, I am struck with how happy they all are. Aliy said they were not "perky, peppy, I'm going to kick your ass", but they certainly are a well balanced team emotionally.

    Looking at their faces, I can't imagine them doing anything other than running that river early in the morning.

  • Along with Nessmuk's commentary, all other comments round out this race so far… Wonderful – thanks again SPK ground control.

    Makes it tough to dhut down for a bit to get other work done…

    Go Black – go, go go Red… Speed, Health, Safety yo all.

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