The 16-strong Red Team (15 dogs, one Aliy) departed Nikolai at around 2pm after a four hour rest. They are on their way to McGrath checkpoint some 48 miles away. The trail takes them overland for the first half then on and off the Kuskokwim River for a while. As they have recently rested, Aliy may take the team straight through the checkpoint and onto Takotna just another 18 miles away – we’ll have to wait and see on that but that seems to fit with her current run/rest schedule.

Watching the video of the team coming into Nikolai live was so fun! The dogs happily loped into the checkpoint with waggy tails and smiley faces. The line-up as they came in was Mismo and Kodiak in lead, Dutch and Chemo, Schmoe and Scruggs, Scout and Chipper, Waylon and Izzy, Willie is currently taking the lone spot on the line then Sandy is running with Commando and Clyde with Felix. Aliy has moved some of them around a bit so they have new running partners to mix it up and keep it fresh for them.

Once again, Sebastian Schnuelle captured magnificent pictures of them (and some other teams) coming in to the checkpoint.

Aliy was wearing her parka hood and we noticed some frost around her gator and on the dogs’ faces so we were pleased to see it has cooled a little.

The Insider team interviewed Aliy as she was doing her chores and asked her what’s the difference between Rohn and Nikolai for her to decide to stop at one and not the other. Her answer was, not surprisingly, that Nikolai came at a good time in her run/rest schedule – it was well spaced from her last camp and they get to rest in the warmth of the day. She said she doesn’t really care if they stop in a checkpoint or not and said she has had a couple of really nice camp spots so far. She sleeps in her sleeping bag and bivvy sack and said that she decided not to stop in Rainy Pass at the last minute when she noticed so many planes going over head.


The Black Team pulled into Nikolai checkpoint at 3.11pm this afternoon and they are currently resting.

We’re hearing some reports about what happened last night in the water at Happy River and that Allen helped a few other teams through! We are trying to get more information about that if we can but it does sound like Allen thorough, he probably thought: heck I’m already wet, why not?

We haven’t had any confirmation yet about which Black Team member is on his or her way home.


Linda said she is falling in love with Mac. He is such a big, gentle boy! He’s doing very well and is off to Knik tomorrow.

Hey, where’d everyone go?; I think that bed may be too small for me!

Really? You want me to follow him?; Here Midnight, let me show you how it’s done.

10 Responses

  • Aww, pats for Mac. I bet he is so sad not going on with his partners but it was best for him. He'll have other races to complete. As for Aliy, ever the smart and very caring musher–go, my Friend, with your great teammates!!

  • Love the Mac update. Hilarious! Thank you, Linda, for the photos and for taking great care of Mac. He is a loveable guy.

  • Onto McGrath…

    Aliy's entire team are movie stars – grinning at any and every camera they see… What a crew of 'I'm great!- glad u noticed!!!'

    Follow our snow rooster tail!!! …. Oustanding

  • Thanks so much for this wonderful report – so glad Mac is OK.

    And not surprised to hear Southern gentleman Allen was playing Sir Walter Raleigh, Iditarod style, and helping others stay dry!

    Thanks again for everything,


  • I was SO happy to see the Red Team running into that checkpoint! Even my Boss was like "let me know when she is close"! They looked so happy…and Chemo in swing….wow!

    I love hearing "tales from the trail"…they are the BEST!! Its not hard to imagine Allen diving right in to help…he is known for lending a helping hand when someone needs it!

    Mac…you are too funny!! I feel bad he is not with his Team but I bet he is certainly being entertained by that lil dog!

  • Lol, I'm glad Mac is having some fun.

    Aliy's team looked absolutely fantastic, and she sounded chipper pulling into Nicolai on the live feed.

    Too bad the feed cut out not long before the Black team pulled in.

    I hope Allen and his team are resting well after their eventful day.
    And that Aliy is enjoying their run to McGrath…..and beyond?

    Awesome race so far both Red and Black SPK teams.

    Amazing super stupendous coverage here!

  • I watched the live feed of them coming into McGrath. Looked like they had more to give and didn't need to rest, but were happy to go to the yard too. They looked good. Seems like a very strong team.

  • Awwwwee,you really wonder what goes through their head when they are dropped. He will be excited to see his home again and team mates when they return. Decisions must be made! Glad to see how well the team is performing and Aliy sticking to her plan.

    Allen, such a gratious guy helping other mushers, I am sure they all are very deeply bonded when making such a trip. Once they have done this it seems as though it must be a brotherhood/sisterhood connection for life.

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