A few weeks after the race Allen gives his thoughts on the team that carried him 1000 miles from Fairbanks to Nome.

What can you say about Scout that’s not already been said? He’s outlasted almost all his siblings and still came in lead at the finish line of another 1000 mile race – his #12! That should say it all in a nutshell. There is nothing he hasn’t done in the last few years in any race we put him in, and still never ceases to amaze with his longevity. He’s a great dog.

Olivia was on all the championship teams and we were a little worried about putting her in this team; it was kind of a last minute decision but she had no injuries this year and she performed like a superstar. This was #11 1000 mile race for her.

You keep throwing adversity in Waylon‘s face and he keeps coming out on top, whether it is having a dog with no hair or just had one of his toes amputated; he still never ceases to amaze. He ran in lead for at least half of the race. He has a lot of heart and I wish we had more dogs just like him and we would be even more successful.

Willie is another “old one” and this will probably be his last 1000 mile race. It’s good to have all these older dogs that were on the winning Quest teams and 2nd place Iditarod teams. It is good to see him pass the torch on to the youngsters and teach them as well as he has. Good boy Willie.

Scooter is the best cheerleader a team could ever have. She will always make you smile, even at mile 800 when we just did a long run and I asked them “are you ready to go” and she is up going “ape” like she hadn’t run all year. She was the motivator to get the team up and ready to go, just like she has always been. She’s a great dog, she eats well and another great “oldie”.

Chemo is steady. He has always been steady. He’s not the fastest dog we’ve ever had but I had him in lead for 300 miles at the beginning because he is a steering wheel and could get us through any difficulty with ease. He is just a relaxed kind of a dog and I enjoy having him on the team.

It’s funny to say but now even Outlaw is getting older; it’s hard to see him as an “older dog”. He’s had a few injuries this year and we wondered how he would do in another 1000 mile race but he came through and worked through all the injuries and performed well without ever hesitating. He’s a good steady wheel dog that likes to go.

Probably the best asset that Clyde has, and has always had, is his appetite. If we could have more dogs with his appetite we would have a much better team; that’s why we have bred him several times in the last couple of years to get that trait. With appetite you have energy and usually they always finish because of that – him and his offspring.

Chipper the fireball – all 32 pounds of her. Running the Quest wasn’t enough for her and she thought she should run Iditarod in lead for most of the time. She is 32 pounds but has the heart of a 70 pound dog – whenever we get to a checkpoint people think she’s a puppy but she soon lets them know that she is not with her attitude.

Lydia is another petite gal that likes to lope and go fast as much as she can. She also was in lead for a few hundred miles but the hardest thing about her is you can’t see her when she’s in lead so you don’t know what she’s doing. But, again, she pulled through and finished another 1000 mile race and that makes her a superstar.

Chena was probably the biggest stand out on the team. She can easily be in the “A” team and probably will be from now on. She led for several hundred miles also and she’s a driving force when in lead. It’s hard to tell because when the team is resting she acts like she wants to rest forever, until you get up to go. Then you see what type of dog she really is – which is a driving force.

Nomex has definitely come in to his own. He was probably second to Chena and surprised me more than most dogs. He has been prone to injury – in the Quest he had to stop 500 miles in. But he recovered and we were worried about him getting injured again. Thankfully he proved us wrong! He was always happy, energetic and liked to eat, and always wanted to flirt with the girls.

Tinder was a great dog for probably three quarters of the race. Gastro intestinal issues hampered him from finishing the race strongly. He didn’t eat well for a while and that hurt him as far as energy level, thus I dropped him at White Mountain as he ran out of energy. Since we’ve been home he’s been eating well, is 100 percent and will be a great dog in the future.

Hotshot‘s a funny dog. He was one of the last picks for the team because he actually tries too hard and to my pleasant surprise, going into the 24 hour layover he was a rock star. I was so surprised, I even told Aliy at the Galena that he’s as good as any dog I had at that point. That’s the good news. The bad news is, when we left our 24 hour layover he seemed like he was hurt on every joint thus he scampered into the the next checkpoint slowly and was not pulling for 50 miles so I decided to leave him at Huslia – the halfway point. As always, he tried a little too hard and that’s probably where the injuries come from but it was good to see him make it halfway through he race.

Five is definitely like his father in his eating which helped him have a lot of energy. Most two year olds have a lot of hurdles to get through in a 1000 mile race and he kept amazing me with how strong he was at the end of every run. He started to get sore wrists, which I wrapped and I promised to drop him at the next checkpoint if he got sore, but midway through the run he excelled so I didn’t drop him and didn’t drop him… until suddenly we were at the finish. Can’t ask any more from a two year old that what Five gave.

Scooby is another crazy two year old. He too, tries too hard but he got over that hurdle and started settling down into a steady trot and as the race went on grew stronger and stronger. He got more and more confident and realised that we were not going to stop. As the finish line approached he got excited, every though he’s never been to the finish line he knew something was going on, I guess he sensed that from his more mature team mates. Hopefully that enthusiasm for the finish line will help us in the future coming into Nome with him on the team.

15 Responses

  • Excellent wrap up. Thank you, Allen. I'm always interested in "my guy" Five! Hoping he will be the next SPK superstar!!

  • These comments on the dogs are great. It's great to read how dogs are assessed anytime, but esp. over such a long distance.

  • Thanks you so much for this wonderful review of the Black Team's performance in Iditarod 45!!!

    What a team!!! Chena was proud to be along for the exciting trip with her Mommy Olivia and Uncles Scout, Willie and Waylon.



    (Chena's sponsor)

  • When I look at the resumes of these dogs, it's amazing to see how many 1,000 miles races they have done….with Quito holding a record at 13! Willie, Olivia and Scout from this Black Team are all in double digits for number of 1,000 mile races and wow, that is impressive!! Waylon and Willie did the Honkytonk litter proud…..Scooter sounds like she kept her reputation and cheered the whole Team on for 1,000 miles once again. We couldn't be more proud of Chemo with how much time he got to spend in lead this year…I especially like how Allen described him as a steering wheel!! Yes, it does seem funny even the Outlaw litter is being described as older….weren't they just pups not too long ago!?!? Always fun to watch the young ones of Allen's Iditarod Black Team excell…next year even more of the Fire Litter will be on the A Team no doubt…just as planned!! The Five Litter is also making some moves in that direction too with Scooby and Five on this Team! Chipper and Lydia can fill in on any A or B Team, a tribute to the depth of talent at SPK. Thank you for this wrap up…what an awesome insight to the dogs who are trail hardened and experienced as well as and future "up and comers" of SPK.

  • Allen – This Iditarod must have been so fun to be with such a veteran team. It sounds like the couple of youngsters did really well for their first 1000 race too.

    I've been a long time of Clyde and I was wondering as he ran along side of Scooby if thought to himself that he reminded him of an attractive older woman he had a fling with. Also, did he glance at Five and think that young fellow is particularly handsome. And then go, oh – he looks just like me. Ha ha.

    Thanks for another fun winter of following the Black Team.


  • Such great dogs! All of them. Scout and Olivia, Wow, #12 & #11 1000 mile races. What a stable force those two have been for years. Scooter, way to keep the team smiling and motivated even at 800 miles into the race. I really enjoyed the video as they reached the finish line a few weeks ago. I'll watch several more times I'm sure. Thanks for the wrap up.

  • What a great race and performance by the Black team and SPKennel. I put the video on the big screen and Beemer and Viper watched their brother (Scout) and sister (Olivia) and the rest of the SPKennel "crew" motor through the 2017 Iditarod. What a great wrap-up!

  • I love these wrap ups about the dogs! Each one is awesome and you must be very proud of them. I can't wait until next year! Go SPK!!

  • Great wrap up Allen. The young and the experience dogs what a
    fantastic team! Thanks for the video and a great 2017 season!

  • Thank you for your thoughts and commentary, Allen. You and Aliy must be so proud! To have the kind of dogs you have and to have trained them so well – it shows the success of the SPK breeding and training program over the years. The youngsters are moving up. It's exciting to see them grow and learn. And the experienced veterans – it's exciting to watch them race yet another LONG distance race. To have that kind of depth in your kennel, it shows the years of hard work. I like hearing you and Aliy talk about the dogs' performances, behaviors and personalities. And congratulations again on the Sportsmanship Award. You and those Black Team 4-leggeds not only helped each other finish, you obviously helped other teams, too.

  • Love this, the old dogs passing the torch with their super examples and the younger ones coming into their own. It's a microcosm of life that has me smiling through tears. Thank you so much for this great run-down. I know, Allen, that your dogs think you are a good sport just as your fellow mushers do. To me that and the dog care are The Big Awards and to heck with who finishes first. They represent what Joe Redington wanted to preserve when he started this event. SPK is right in there every time. That's why I love you all. Heartfelt thanks!!

Comments are closed.