“Yes!” says Spence. “AJ and the Snowhook team reached – and blew through – our checkpoint: Golovin.”
“So they detoured through Russia?” Admin says. “Didn’t some recent politician say you can see Russia from Alaska?”
“Stop right now,” Spence says. “The big question is – will AJ cross the finish line in Nome tonight? Seems to be a possibility from Rebecca’s (and thanks so much for taking the time to do this, Rebecca) Thursday night report:”
Sometimes you have to push the reset button. Wednesday was a difficult day, yet AJ and the team have appeared to push that particular button before leaving Koyuk today; they’ve had good run times on the trail today without—and this is my favorite part—any heart sickening, worry causing incidents. Elim—check. Golovin—check. White Mountain—check.
After a mandatory eight hour layover in White Mountain, the team will set out for Nome with only one more stop of their 908 mile journey in between. White Mountain is a village, but Safety is not. Safety is a roadhouse that is only opened during the race. Teams usually blow through Safety as the end of the race nears, yet last year AJ remained in Safety for several hours. Why the delay to the finish line? One word—Annabelle. She is his main leader, and last year as the female alpha and leader she decided to extend the brief stop in Safety. He could have dropped her and continued on the way less one leader, sure, but he refused. Our girl had been with him in all his qualifying races, on all of his training runs and it was her that helped him get to the starting line in the first place. They would cross the line together. He waited her wait out.
At the finisher’s banquet, I saw a race vet I knew from my time on the trail in 2007. He was stationed at Safety when Annabelle it was time for a nap. I stated I understood he spent some quality time with AJ at Safety, to which he confided, “Yeah, I told him ever dirty joke I know and he still wouldn’t leave.” After a nap, Annabelle rose, told the team it was time and raced to the finish line.
Could we see a late finish on Friday night? It’s possible. Rule of thumb—figure on the average run taking 12 hours from White Mountain to Nome, however this can be impacted by dogs, weather and life on the trail.
Welcome long-lost twin.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012 at 8:39 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.