It’s 6.15pm AK time.


Aliy and the Red Team are running towards Ruby right now having ‘blown through’ Cripple at 3.45pm this afternoon. The Insider posted a video of the team as they went through and she is currently running with Mismo and Dutch in lead, Scout and Izzy in swing, Willie and Scruggs, Waylon and Chipper, Kodiak and Chemo, Schmoe on his own, Sandy and Commando then Clyde and Felix in wheel.

Screen shot from Insider video

The video showed the vets taking a look a the team and Aliy signing off the vet book (part of the mandatory gear mushers must have on them at all times), and showed some nice close-ups of Kodiak, Sandy and Commando. The dogs look really good and seemed more than happy to continue on to their next stop.

Aliy herself also looks great! Well rested, fit and healthy!

As they leave you can see that Aliy has half a bale of straw strapped to the sled. That indicates strongly that they will camp out on the way to Ruby.

Screen shot from Insider video

Aliy and Allen both set a ‘plan A’ (and B and C…) for their race and at this point it seems they are both keeping to schedule. They like to keep a regular run/rest rhythm for their dogs and because they both enjoy camping, and are extremely capable and experienced, they are able to break their runs up to suit the dogs rather than to stop in checkpoints for the mushers’ comfort. They are well prepared to take what they need to stop on the trail, and as I have mentioned before, often times the dogs get a better rest when they are away from other dog teams and people.

They are currently sitting second according to the GPS tracker but there are a bunch of mushers still seeing out their mandatory 24 hour layover so it is too soon to arrive at any conclusions about that yet. Once everyone is off their 24 hour break we will get a better idea of where they all sit.


Allen and the Black Team have stopped to camp at mile 400 – exactly the same spot as the Red Team did earlier in the day. At the moment they are using the same run schedule as the Red Team (but their rest break may be a little longer) so expect them to go through Cripple during the night.

The Trail Notes say of this section: It’s a safe bet you won’t have the faintest idea where you are for much this leg. Even if you sneak a GPS along with you it won’t help much because every hill and creek seems the same as the one before and the one ahead. There are a few recognizable river and creek crossings, but precious few hills and prominent landmarks. At night you will be collapsed into your own little world and the trail will seem to go forever. At least much of it is along an old cart trail, so there’s not much chance to get lost.


Chica is staying the night Linda’s before heading out to Margie’s kennel in Knik. Having had a couple of days rest out on the trail she is in good shape but just seems a little bummed about not being in the race anymore. Linda brought her inside while she had some work to do and she seemed very happy with that situation!

Selfie fun; Looking good Chica!

Having a snack; relaxing inside while Linda attends to her work

18 Responses

  • Chica is so graceful.

    I hope she is getting all better and able to vicariously enjoy the Iditarod fun from afar, and know her team learned so much from her along the way that they are making all of us proud!!!


    Best to all 2 and 4 legged SP Kennel folks,


  • Another great and fan rewarding report. Thanks… Hope Mac is doing equally well as Chica.

    It does have to be an emotional shock to be removed off line – no matter the circumstances in 'human language'.

    Thank you Linda! Moira, Wendy, chris, everyone at ground control at SPK…

    Watchin frm New Mexico.

  • I thought the Red Team was sharp looking and VERY happy moving through Cripple! Go Red Team….SO exciting!

    I wish we had more pictures of the Black Team….I miss seeing their happy faces! Your doing great Black Team….rest up…plenty of trail to learn on!

    Chica….sorry your feeling lonely but you will soon be reunited with Mac….that should make you happy….right? Good Girl Chica….good girl!

  • Chica is a Rock Star!

    SPK Black and Red teams are moving along great.
    At this point,
    I have to remind myself to breath when thinking of the Red team,
    and I start hoping for Allen's team to also finish in the top 30. However, I know his mission doesn't usually provide that outcome.

    Aliy and her team really looked great coming into Cripple. In fact, it looked like half the team was going to run RIGHT PAST that interesting group of people at the checkpoint. I think Kodiak pulled the team back toward the checkpoint, right over one of the markers, when Aliy called out Gee, Gee! Kodiak knows his commands, and is evidently quite strong. The dogs looked perky, yet calm, with tails wagging.
    The II video, with face shots, is very NICE.
    🙂 🙂 🙂
    Aliy was clearly perky!
    Way to go Aliy, keeping it upbeat for the dogs!

  • Love Chica and Linda pics. Great to see the dogs so strong on the trail. Good vibes to Red and Black from the Midwest!


  • Aliy passing through Ruby a few minutes ago: onto the Yukon !! and cheers to the dogs. Woosh —
    Glued to the tracker: this is a looong race this year. Take good care of those trusting dogs! All our love to you.

  • Aily is in 1st place right now. I am so happy for her and the entire Red team. They are running a fantastic race! Best wishes for a quick run on the Yukon.

    Of course Chica is disappointed that she had to leave the race early. I hope being reunited with Mac cheers her up.


  • For a team in its rebuilding year, Aliy's team is sure doing very well. I am not expecting a win, although it would be nice, but goodness she not only is in the lead pack but as I write is up there with Brent Sass!

    I am also always impressed at how far Allen is able to push the B team. They rest more but they always do very well in the standings.

    To sum it up, the dogs as well as Aliy and Allen ROCK!

  • Aliy and team are looking good. Lots of lead dogs on the team, you can see this in the video coming into cripple. When Aliy says gee the line turned at the same time. It looked like Aliy was the pivot point and they could have made a circle if she kept saying gee. A whole line of smart dogs.

    Going ahead to Ruby. Loved watching the dogs coming into Ruby. Aliy's dogs are so well behaved. Loved the closeup of Schmoe dawg.

    Thanks for all the updates.

  • Exciting!! Run Aliy, Run!! I admit I got tears in my eyes when I saw that you are leading the way!!!
    I love that you have a plan and stick to it!!
    God speed!

  • I wonder if Sandy and Commando are chatting about what fun it is to be on the A team as they run side by side ?

  • So sorry to hear about Chica's sore shoulder and hope she recuperates quickly. I just checked the GPS and see Aliy passed Brent. Go Aliy!!!!!!!! Best of luck to the Red and Black Teams.

  • Sweet Chica – I am so glad she with a person that gives her great care and love.

    Aliy made amazing time up from Takotna to the river. Each year I am somewhat unsure about how she is doing with respect to others until the run to the river. Despite all the disclaimers of it being a rebuilding year, rookies to red team on the Iditarod, never having been across the Alaska Range and all that, from what I can see, they are a first class, competitive team.

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