The Red Team is into Koyuk!

They camped about midway between Shaktoolik and Koyuk and although the location on the sea ice was perhaps a little unorthodox, she had run through Shaktoolik she was due to stop somewhere on that run.

The Insider crew stopped to chat and she explained that it was in her initial race plan to stop there, then she changed her mind but changed it back again. Aliy told us how the dogs can sleep in the wind – she lay them out in groups of three and they curled up together with their backs to the wind and heads away from it. They are wearing their wind breakers and they were probably perfectly content. Aliy had set up her sled, cooler and cooker as wind breaks for her team and herself.

The Trail Notes tell us that “the trail from Koyuk follows the main snowmachine trail to Elim and is usually well marked. However, the wind can blow hard in the Moses Point area and the trail can drift over very quickly.” It has been windy on the coast today and the weather forecast for the area is for similar wind over night.


Allen brought his Black Team into Unlakleet at 11.46pm tonight. They have been travelling at good speeds since their camp at, what we presume was, Tripod Flats cabin. They will likely stay here for 4 to 6 hours before heading out onto the windy coast.

The coast will be a real test for the youngsters; it will be unlike anything they have ever experienced before, running on sea ice in the coastal winds. Quito, Nacho, Lester and Sissy are well experienced while Junior has seen it once before, so he may spread out the experienced amongst the team. This is where mental toughness kicks in also – they are 700 miles in and probably starting to wonder when it will end. Allen will set it up and put them in a situation where they can only succeed.


Neither Clyde nor Felix made it back to Anchorage yet. We’re anxious to get them back but understand a few teams scratched over the last couple of days so their whole teams will have had to be transported back as well so… hopefully tomorrow!

On another note, take a look at this wonderful piece from Laura Wright, the Teacher on the Trail, about the village of Unalakleet. In it she also talks about ACT – Alaskans Coming Together – a wellness initiative involving former champ John Baker as the primary advocate and spokesman and Katherine Keith as the Program Director. Both John and Katherine are running in this year’s race and mushers on the race are supporting the initiative.

11 Responses

  • Im glad Sebastian posted the bit on Aliy resting on the ice…otherwise I would have been worried! At least it was sunny out and wasnt whipping up a ground blizzard!! Minus the wind it looked like a nice place to sit and ice fish!

    Its great there is a wellness iniciative being promoted throughout the remote villages in Alaska! Hats off to John and Katherine who champianed the program with the Governors support! We could all use a little wellness in our lives!

  • Perfect update and perfect timing!
    Thank you!
    Go Aliy!
    I hope you benefited from your short rest in Koyuk.
    Your doing AWESOME!
    SPK Red Team

  • Yahoo…Aliy en route after 3 hours rest in Koyuk with 13 HAPPY dogs! Puts a smile on my face! GO RED TEAM!!!

    Well wishes to Clyde and Felix on your travels too! Do they start sending dropped dogs to Nome instead of Anchorage at some point? Just wondering.

  • Aliy– so happy to read about your current strategies and how you think about the dogs to rest so they can be at their best. We send lots of good thoughts and cheers to you and your team. Hike!! From Mrs Reich Third grade class ..

  • Laura Wright's article is spot-on about it being a teachable moment for youth….and I will add, a reminder for adults. ID, Jeff and Aliy have handled this professionally. Very good article and information on ACT. Thank you for the links.

    Aliy seemed upbeat in her insider interview and WOW the wind on the frozen ice. I'm not much of a camper so I can't imagine camping on sea ice and in 30 mph winds.

    The Black team is still resting at this moment. Get tough rookies and learn how it's done. I love the old mixed with the young to give them confidence and training.

    Go SPK Red & Black!

  • Cheers and good travels to Nome! Aliy, you inspire us to go through our (much less exciting) days with purpose and courage, caring for the humans and animals around us. I believe you influence and encourage more people than you can imagine. Thank you for that. Take care of yourself and those good dogs.

  • Aliy! Go team go! Roar !
    30m to # 32, and he's going 5m/h!!! Dallas in WM! Ruuuuuun. It' so great to see your dogs smile. They are so awesome and your rest times are just perfect! All cheers to the red and black team !

  • Thanks for pictures & post. Aliy & Allen two special superstars along with their teammate's. SPK rocks. Mush on.

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