On the Iditarod Trail (More)
Here’s an insider’s take on line-up strategy. Thanks, Rebecca, Snowhook’s generalissimo, for this overnight report:
AJ dropped Quigley, a lead dog before mushing the long stretch between Kaltag and Unalakleet. He has dropped two lead dogs thus far. He started the race with several leaders to varying degrees of skill and preference. The more lead dogs the team can start the race, the better as once AJ drops a dog another cannot be added to the team. Lead dogs have different strengths and preferences. Some prefer the twists and turns of the wooded trail, others like the uphill and downhill of the race while other lead dogs pick up the pace on river runs. There is something for everybody.
The team isn’t just about lead dogs. The position immediately behind the lead dogs are referred to either as swing or point. Swing dogs may be lead dogs who are resting from the headlining position or leaders in training. The bulk of the team is made up of team dogs that are the engine of the team. Wheel dogs, the position directly in front of the sled are often thought of as the simplest members of any dog team. This is not true. They have the job of assisting AJ while he steers the sled past corners and other obstacles. Each dog has a position and a purpose. Knowing that each dog is an important and valued member of the team, AJ will coddle and care for each canine competitor.
We are grateful for the love and care Melanie’s family gives her just as AJ cares for the team.
Welcome new friend Buster.
This entry was posted on Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 10:15 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.