Aliy and 15 team mates (woohoo!) hit the trail towards Ophir at 12.25am after seeing out their 24 hour mandatory layover plus time differential (to put everyone on even footing after the staggered start on Sunday).

We have seen from videos from Takotna that they have had a little snow out there and Aliy thought it may just add a little bit of cushioning for the dogs so the trails are not quite as hard. It looked so peaceful to see the dogs resting under their jackets and fleece blankets with light snow falling around them.

As Ophir is only 23 miles away we don’t expect her to stop there other than perhaps to grab a few meat snacks for the dogs.

The Iditarod Trail Notes describe Ophir as “Whether youโ€™re on the northern or southern route, this is your last vestige of civilization for a very long while. The trip from here to Cripple and on to Ruby (or down to Iditarod and over to Shageluk and Anvik) is arguably the longest, emptiest, loneliest stretch of trail on the race, and the checkpoints at Cripple or Iditarod are basically nothing but tent camps in otherwise uninhabited locations.”

Here are a few links that have photos of the red team: KTUU has “51 photos of the Iditarod Day 3” including some of the Red Team. There is also a KTUU News story that has pictures from Taktona and an ADN article has a little from Aliy.


The Black Team is still resting Takotna and will get back on the trail tomorrow morning. We expect Allen was outside seeing Aliy and team off and it is possible this will be the last time they see each other until Allen crosses under the burled arch in Nome.

The team will be enjoying a 24 hour break and will get to eat at least three meals and meat snacks galore! We sent out salmon, beef, poultry skins and tripe (yummy). Allen will be working to hydrate them as well as getting as many calories into them as possible. He will massage every shoulder and wrist and put soothing ointment on every foot (that’s 60 feet). He will also walk them around a bit so they don’t stiffen up during the break and cover them with jackets and blankets so they can stretch out while they are sleeping.

Allen himself will get in as much sleep as he can and as many calories as he can. We packed meals of chicken pesto, beef stir-fry with cashews, and meatballs in alfredo sauce to accompany his regular trail food of nuts, bacon, oatmeal bars (click here for the recipe) and freeze dried meals. He will also enjoy the Takotna checkpoint hospitality – you could almost see his eyes light up when he spoke of it before the race.

I have found a couple of pics of the Black Team in Nikolai by Jeff Schultz on the “Iditarod Photos” page from March 8 – one of Junior sleeping and the other (third down on left) of the team at rest. (You can also see one of Dutch in Takotna on March 9)

We still have no word on which team member was left in Rohn but we do know that about 70 or 80 dogs are flying into Anchorage from the trail tonight. It will take the vet team some time to work through them as they all are vet checked and documented before they are released to the handlers. It may be tomorrow morning before we find out who will join Mac at Margie’s.

If you are wondering about what happens to returned dogs, Kennel Mom Mickey wrote this great piece and this one for the blog a couple of years ago that explains all about it.

8 Responses

  • YES…15 Team Mates…yahoo!! Im glad the 24 hour rests are over…it really makes it confusing trying to figure out who is really in the lead. Today will be a fun day to watch the tracker…wish I didnt have to go to work!

    Go SPK!

    PS: Tripe….yuck! But the dogs do love it dont they!

  • Although I have read it before, the dropped dog blog from our mom is such a relief to read. It is amazing how many people's lives are touched by these dogs. Thank you for posting it at again this year.

  • Thanks so much for these annotated posts!!!

    SP Kennel is the best entertainment around, this post being a prize example:

    1)search of all photos and highlighting ones with SP Kennel team members;
    2)scouring Iditarod website for useful background;
    3)great recipes!
    4)More photo scanning (there are two teams, after all – prize winning ones too!
    5)And last but not least, retrieving that well remembered ("where did that go?") post by Kennel Mom!!!

    Awesome!!! WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!!!

  • thanks for the update. Glad the team is rested, it will continue to be an exciting race to see how things shake out! Go Aliy, Go Allan!

  • Your updates are fabulous! Of course, I'm following Allen and Aliy on the the Iditarod website but obviously, they can't and don't follow my two favorite teams exclusively.

    I totally agree with Margaret above. Your posts, research and annotations go a long way to keep us SPK fans "in the loop." Thank you for taking the time!

    Will be anxious to hear which teammate Allen dropped. Hope it's a minor thing! Safe passage to the Red and Blacks teams as they begin to cross the barren landscape on their their way to Nome. I'm still optimistically rooting for Aliy and teammates to be the first under the burled arch — young team and all!

  • The race has changed overnight and will yet again today as the 7 front runners have NOT had their 24 yet. Whoo HOO GO DAWGS GO!

  • Thank you for all the links.
    Yum, your drop bag human food options in Takotna are certainly appetizing.

    Aliy is looking great, chasing after that Brent fellow at the moment, lol. He's just where I thought he would be after he and Aliy both had their 24.

    I suspect Hugh won't do as well as he did in the quest, down to 11 dogs at Ophir, but who knows?

    Sending positive thoughts to Aliy and her team, for an excellent run, without "engine trouble" far from check points.
    When I rewound to see Aliy's start out of Takotna, that I missed while at work, I noticed Lance going back to Ophir from about mile 385. I hope he AND his dogs are all ok.
    And I certainly hope Aliy has NO such trouble!!!!
    Positive thoughts Aliy!

  • Woof woof ! Now the race is on ! With the 24+ rest over we can get a better idea of what everyone's position is .Its Friday here in Australia so my weekend is taken care of hitting refresh and checking out the fabulous SPK Blog . Go Aliy and Allen ๐Ÿ”ดโšซ๏ธ All the way ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ Denali and Joanne ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

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