Good morning! It’s 10am Saturday


Aliy and 13 team mates went through Huslia around four this morning. They are currently placed 9th on the leaderboard but there are still teams to complete their eight hour mandatory stops and only once all teams have both green ticks next to their name will we really know what’s what.

Aliy spent just 16 minutes in the checkpoint where she has left one more team mate with the vet and volunteer team. At this stage we don’t know who that is and, as ever, we appreciate your patience as we find out.

The team is camped 30 miles outside of Huslia, about 55 miles since their last camp. This then gives Aliy a few options of where to stop next. The most likely stop, if she continues this current run/rest schedule, is the village of Koyukuk – another approx 55 miles away. Nulato checkpoint is another 22 miles from there.

I don’t need to tell you that this next stretch of river will be emotional for Aliy, as it is for us watching her. She will be determined to continue to focus on the dogs and the job to be done, and we are focussed on sending positive energy to her.


Allen stopped his 16-strong team almost exactly half-way to Huslia for around three hours, which leads us to believe he is perhaps planning to stop in the checkpoint. They are back on the trail now.

The Black Team’s schedule is very different to that of the Red Team as Allen has different goals for the team. He’s not alone in his goal of wanting to get as many healthy and happy dogs to the finish line as possible but he and his older dogs are also teaching the youngsters how to be 1000 mile racers. That is a different kettle of fish than for those racing seasoned, experienced dogs.

By the end of the race the rookies and the other younger dogs will hopefully have the checkpoint routine down pat – settle in to sleep quickly and eat all that is in front of them. Allen’s three rookies: Five, Scooby and Hotshot, have already run further than they ever have in a race and Nomex has also just passed that milestone. He developed a sore shoulder in Cripple last year and had to go home early. Chena and Tinder, his other less experienced team mates, will be consolidating their knowledge from last year.

Chipper posed an interesting selection decision for Aliy and Allen. Although she is talented, fit and healthy and could have made the Red Team she would have been a “team dog” on that team. By running with the Black Team she is a big fish, will get to lead and boss others about, and is one of the more experienced crew. He will have fun with her on his squad.


Linda has Woody and Violet with her in Anchorage. Woody was dropped as he had a sore shoulder and Violet a sore wrist. They are both eating and enjoying cuddles and love from Linda. Linda did say that she might not ever return Violet and that she might have to stay at her house forever!

23 Responses

  • I dont doubt Linda is loving having SPK dogs around….that Violet must be a sweetheart! Glad to know they are with the extended Kennel Crew in Anchorage getting some TLC!

    LOL…I was wondering how far apart the trail was at the narrowest part on the Huslia Loop….they must be thinking "they are right over there" as they "pass" each other….too funny! Interesting about the back story on Chipper being on Allens Team…she is a lil spit fire isnt she! Glad she has a chance to shine on the Black Team!

    As for this next stretch….I was a bit bummed when they moved the race to this route. All year I have been saying "at least the southern route doesnt go through that part of the river"…but darn it, here we are. As Aliy realized last year, she has the people of Alaska and a whole lot of people world wide thinking about her…all those positive energy thoughts got to be felt by her….she can do this!

  • Alright Aliy, tune in to yourself and you will feel all the good vibes all us folks are sending your way as you mush on and through Nulato. You are not alone!!!! This IS your race!!


  • Love the science in all of this! So much equation and logic thinking. Run rests stops. Clocks of a different sort. One needs a calculus degree & even that doesn't figure 😂 Thanks to all SPK for the great updates ! Onward & eyes to the moon ❤️ Love those dogs ❤️

  • Thank you, Moira. We have been very in tune to the miles that lie ahead in the next few hours and are sending prayers, love, positive vibes and every other good thing to Aliy as she faces what is to come. We have such admiration for all that she is and all that she stands for. Mush on! You GOT this!! All our best!

  • Linda,
    Please love on Violet and give her wonderful ear and butt scratches, but I still want to negotiate where she retires to.
    🙂 Love her for Aliy while she's with you just as you are.

    Allen is incredible keeping all 16 dogs on that team, wow!

    I wish for the upcoming part of the race we could string every fan of SPK, from every corner of the earth, along the trail past Nulato. We would all cheer Aliy on, and not let her have a moment to think about last year. We love you Aliy. Try to find some enjoyment on this part of the trail. At the very least come out knowing that you did something brave and you are stronger for it, even stronger and braver than we all knew you were last year when you risked your life to safe your dogs.

  • Thanks for the update! We are focused on the positive.. great write up on both teams and individual Doggies. Chipper LOVES being Bossy, especially in the yard with her usual yard neighbors. It's a great place for her on Allen's team to learn new things about interacting on races with other dogs. Good luck to SP Kennel teams. Go get em!
    Padee Fairbanks

  • What a wonderful post and screen grabs with montage – like explanations – thanks so much!!!

    Love the schedule Red Team is running! They took the mandated rests (8 and 24 Ruby and Galena IIRC) and are now doing sling shot run-rest – more than some teams (in the rest department), but the same running speed.

    Maybe this is a way to store up energy/eating/drinking in the 4-legged team members (while expending more effort in the 2-legged department) – to keep the team capable to race up the Yukon? FWIW!!!

  • All my best thoughts, prayers and positive energy are with both Aily and Jeff….it will be so wonderful to slay that dragon so they can continue to heal.

  • I just luv how SPK Red and Black Teams are all about their dogs health/emotions/learning/development whether in the race to win it or for more of a coachingteaching challenge. Different goals but same entire human-dogs "team" welfare! Rock on! Red and Black Teams!!

  • HAPPY TRAILS ALIY , Allen AND THE RED ❤️ and BLACK TEAMS 🖤 🐾🐾 just keep those paws moving in a happy rhythm special thoughts for Aliy. Denali 🐾🐾 and Joanne 🇦🇺

  • Allen just checked in at Huslia. It was convenient having Aliy and Allen almost parallel on the tracker for a while. As everyone else, I too have been thinking about Aliy and the stretch of the race that is ahead of her. Prayers for you, Aliy, Allen and the dogs as you face this part of the race head on. Sometimes that's just the only way to do it.

  • We all are rooting for Aliy and holding her in positive light through this next section. In truth, it's probably best to get this out of the way. Back on the horse, so to speak.

    Great to see her blazing the trails. As the Insider guys said, this is still anyone's race. Front runners don't always win. Remember Brent last year, or Jeff the year of the blowhole snow? We ARE still in this.

    Go TEAMS go!!!

  • Aliy sending you love, encouragement, happiness, peace, confidence, you are the better person in this episode. Keep mushing on with a song in your heart and a smile on your lips. You are loved by a whole host of people. Go Red team.
    Allen keep teaching the young team as they are the future.
    Linda keep cuddling these precious SPK dogs, but remember it is just a little while!

Comments are closed.