Howdy! Macgellan here…

It’s that time of year again. The SPK teams are on the road to Glennallen for the start of the Copper Basin 300, and I’ve been asked to offer you some guidance about how to analyze the race this weekend. Deja vu all over again!

For those of you who want to take a deep dive, here are quick links to my similar articles over the past four years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.

For those of you who don’t want to read that much or only want a quick refresher course, here goes:

The only thing that really matters in the CB300 is cumulative run times between checkpoints!

1) All teams run the same course and distance.

2) All teams have a mandatory minimum 18 hours of rest in checkpoints (and top teams will only take that amount of rest).

3) Whichever team runs the fastest between all the checkpoints will be the winner. Period. Full stop.

We all know how exciting it is to click the tracker’s refresh button. Our brains faithfully give us a tiny shot of dopamine every time we click and see the pins move. Yes, indeed, refreshing the tracker during sled dog racing season is as addictive as email, texting, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, etc., all combined!

Until all the required rests have been taken, however, position on the trail is not an accurate indicator of actual race position. A team which takes more rest early on may appear to be far behind a team which has taken little early rest. The reality may be that they’re actually far ahead due to shorter run times. I fully encourage you to enjoy clicking the refresh button, but rely on run-time data for the real story.

If you don’t feel like doing all the math yourself, fear not. I will endeavor, as usual, to provide you with updates on cumulative run times at a few points during the race. They will look something like this chart from 2015:

Let’s get ready to rumble… Go SPK teams!

10 Responses

  • Yahoo…Macgellan!!! Always love your insight on this race in particular!! Run times… it! If I recall, Allen likes to do his rest early on, as to give himself and his Team more flexibility later in the race….and it probably helps to "ramp the team up" to a "crescendo" finish! Allen is a 6 time Champ of this race…the Master!!! The 2016 SPK Red Team gave everyone a lil thrill last year too…..needless to say the talent runs deep at SPK!!

    Glad to have you back Macgellan….always a fan of your posts!!!

  • Go Allen, Aliy and Chris and all the talented 4-legged athletes (our bro's) of SPKennel. Although we may be retired, we are woofin' for you!!

  • Thank you Mac. You nailed it on clicking the refresh button. We are ready. Go SPK teams and support staff!

  • Thanks for being back on the job! Go Mac Go as well as the rest
    of the wonderful dogs. Allen is the Master and Good Luck Aliy
    & Chris! SPK at it's BEST!

  • yes, great updates and insights from you over the years,
    I am a fan of your analyses and comments ,
    especially considering that you are not on the sled itself!!! i'd just like to a:dd a perspective : if one knows the trail and lives in the vicinity training a team of super dogs, the tracker has a slightly different purpose : one can enjoy the spot a certain team is @ in consideration of the always changing trail conditions and deduct by the running behaviour of that team on how they are doing, thus participating in the manner of : what would I do? When will I see them @ the next checkpoint, when will they rest, etc..
    the seemingly virtuality of the tracker lured Damon T. into proposing a computer game for the Quest to have people compete on the screen…. I invite all the followers of the races to make a trip on the various race trails ( summer or winter ) in order to get a little glimpse of what it looks like from a living point of view!
    todays cb300 is extremely different to any other ; the trail has a very different condition :
    the figure eight signs of eternity overlap and centre in a swamp; it is extremely suddenly warm; there are only 2 1/2 checkpoints ( and the run rest time in order to accumulate those 18 h's @ a checkpoint is thus difficult to maneuver with the dogs sleep rhythm – ) ; in 2 days the drop bag contents might look very different in this warm weather…; the head on passings might be interesting ; there is no "glass mountain" to climb or topple off; several times over the straight stretch of the west-east road/trail might make this race very fast; the dogs finally will come to the conclusion that one doesn't know WHAT one wants or WHERE one wants to go, retracing the already run track! ? , oh well …….. And again I wish to be there and RUNNNNN.
    smiles to you and grreetings.

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