We have heard from Iditarod HQ that it was Chica that Allen left in Rohn on Monday night. Chica developed a sore shoulder and leaving her in Rohn would have been the best thing for her and the team. We say “it would have been a difficult decision” but that’s not really true – it would have been an easy decision because it was best for her but it would have been a tough reality for Allen. She is one of the best dogs ever and he will miss having her calming influence, vast experience and extraordinary work ethic on the trail with the youngsters.

Chica is back in Anchorage already and our Returned Dog Coordinator Linda is about to pick her up. We’ll update you later today.


Allen still has 15 team mates with him on the trail towards Ophir! They left Takotna at 7.26am this morning after completing their mandatory 24 hours plus time differential. We’re super pleased to see both teams still have 15 athletes!


Aliy and the Red Team, as expected, went right through Ophir and are on the trail towards Cripple. The GPS tracker shows them resting at mile 400 so it has either updated right when she has stopped to snack the dogs, or they are going to camp there for a few hours. We suspect the latter as it would fit her run/rest schedule perfectly to be resting here rather than the checkpoint at Cripple. Historically she has stopped the team and camped on this run so that seems to fit.

Cripple is a ghost town now, having once been a booming gold town back in gold rush times. It is the official ‘half way’ point in the race although not technically half way in terms of mileage. The first musher there wins the Dorothy G Page Halfway Award sponsored by GCI. Dorothy G Page is known as the “Mother of the Iditarod” (check out the wikipedia link for more information). Dallas Seavey took that prize yesterday evening.

19 Responses

  • Mac will be happy to see, Chica.
    Red & Black team have a great time to Nome.
    Follow Your both from Florida, GPS Tracker, Facebook & Your Blog.
    Have a good Mush. Brita

  • So sad to hear it's Chica (and Mac) who were dropped. No doubt it was for the best, but they are both such steady teammates. I know they both gave it their all

    Continue safe passage Red and Black Teams; I'm still pulling for Aliy to see the burled arch first!

  • Job well done, Chica. Now its time to rest. She's not a youngster anymore. After listening to Jessie Royer's ADN interview (link you sent previously) and a couple of Insider interviews about the rough trails, maybe the rough trail got to Chica this year. I thought Aliy looked a little stiff walking around in Takotna in one of her interviews too. They are certainly more tough than I was in my youth and definitely so now.

  • Chica!

    7 x 9.75 = 68.25

    You are a ROCK STAR Chica girl!!!!

    I can not imagine hanging in there with the elite athletes, young and old, when I reach your age. You have always impressed me!

    Thank you for taking the youngsters to Rohn. Showing them how the pros rest, and helping Nacho keep that middle of the team under control for Allen. Yes, we saw that. It didn't look like an easy job.

    Chica, you are a sweetheart and a super star.

  • Tracker Break Trivia

    Today’s question has a nexus with the date, March 10th 2016.

    To date, which team of 10 dogs made it all the way to Nome in the fastest time?

    I’ll post the answer when Aliy arrives in Galena.

    Since Aliy went through Cripple, we can expect she will rest her team before Ruby. Don’t break your computer while the dogs are “refreshing.” Get some sleep, or go find the answer.

    hint: also a Nexus with this post.

  • Hope you feel better Chica!! Us fans will miss you out on the trail too, but find solace in knowing you are in good hands! Just another kind of adventure on the Iditarod Trail you know so well!

  • Go Aliy go Aliy!!!! Red Team is looking fine on the trail…heading toward Jeff King and going to pass him by! Solid!


  • Miss Chica but the old gal deserves the best care possible. Love and scratches to her. What a great old grande dame of SPK. BTW I just looked at the video of Aliy and the Red Team coming in to and leaving Cripple. The dogs looked great! Ears and tails up and trotting at a smooth, brisk pace. There was a big dog in the lead–looked like a single lead–and I am guessing Mismo?? Go Red Team; the tracker shows they have passed Brent Sass camping now and are in second place heading for Ruby!!

  • Watching Aliy. She is going to give me a heart attack. This is her year!!!!!!!!!!!!. It better be, as I have been watching her sice she was a handler and I was with Kathy Swenson, and we traveled the road together, keeping an eye in case one of us got into trouble. That by the way is the way to see this race.
    ChrisK 30year Alaskan now in Florida.

  • Tracker Break Trivia, Answer

    To date, which team of 10 dogs made it all the way to Nome in the fastest time?

    The team of 10 dogs who made it all the way to Nome the fastest was: the 2014 SPK Red team: Quito, Nacho, Willie, Waylon, Clyde, Pud, Olivia, Boondocks, Mac and Sissy.

    They were accompanied by their musher Aliy Zirkle, and assisted in the earlier portion of the race by their teammates, Scruggs, Scout, Chemo, Biscuit, Schmoe, and CHICA (who took a rest just short of the finish at Safety).

    Yes, CHICA was part of that amazing team!!!
    To date this finish, is the second fastest in the history of the Iditarod.
    Their time was 8 days, 13 hours six minutes and 41 seconds.
    SPK Rocks!

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