At 5:48pm Allen brought 14 team mates into Carmacks looking fantastic! The run over from McCabe was around 5.5 hours and they will stay here a while to top up the rest they took there.
I was able to make good use of the wifi that the Quest Logistics team sets up in each checkpoint to FaceTime with Aliy (who is back at the kennel completing the Iditarod food drop bags) as the team arrived. She saw them arrive and I walked up and down the line as Allen was checking in so she could see those 14 happy faces. Pixie Ingram from the PR team then helped me get the phone close amongst the crowd for Allen’s media interviews, so it was almost as good as being there.
All three of us helped park the team behind the community centre as it is can be a tricky manoeuvre to bring them into the yard and take them on a big U-turn so they are facing the correct direction when they leave. Allen bed them down and fed them plenty of snacks, they are still eating everything as their metabolism kicked into efficient 1000-mile mode about 500 miles ago.
The temperature here is climbing with Allen remarking, as he was going about his arrival routine, “man it’s warm here”. I believe it is about -20F and forecast to get warmer and warmer as they head south over the next couple of days.
Dinner for Allen was pulled pork with coleslaw and potato salad with a jug of water followed by a nap. He said the sleep in McCabe made a huge difference and this nap will add to that and make him feel great for the trail ahead.
The conversation around the table now includes the finish line. We talk about the plan for the the next couple of runs and now, that includes Whitehorse. We all know that ANYTHING can and does happen in the Yukon Quest so we are certainly still checking the tracker and doing calculations to see where Matt, Paige and the chasing bunch are.
The next 78 mile section from Carmacks to Braeburn in the past has been a “long run”. This run has taken Allen and his team as long as 12-14 hours. He is hoping and anticipating with the rest he has built up to shorten this run significantly.
They’re on a perfect run-rest schedule with the temperatures climbing as they will be running in the cool of the night. Man, what a difference 24 hours makes – we were talking about how to keep them warm and now we are talking about how to keep them cool.
The team will start their run on overland trails with a good base despite low snow conditions. They go across multiple lakes and there was no overflow noted by the trail breakers last time they were in the area. There has also been reports of multiple moose on the trail and in the willows; so our 14 furry friends and one human will need to keep their eyes peeled as to what is lurking beyond the trail.
What’s waiting in Braeburn? The teams have a mandatory eight hour rest there and the dogs will get a thorough exam from the vet team. It will also be important in this final rest to walk the dogs around a bit to warm up as they won’t have rested that long since Dawson. For Allen there will be burgers the size of dinner plates and for us – the famous Braeburn Cinnamon buns! I’ll be sure to get pictures.