Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mitch Seavey running to Huslia

Mitch Seavey at the Tustumena 200
January 29, 2017
It's not normal. Nothing about this race seems to be normal. It's odd to think that three days in everyone is on the Yukon. It's odd to see certain teams run a conservative race, while others break with tradition and head off down the trail. It's odd that we're even on the route we're on.

Now we're seeing Mitch play rabbit and head to Huslia ahead of the other front runners. At this moment he is still the only team out of Galena. Seavey is normally not the team being chased this early in the race. Past Iditarods Mitch has stayed with the pack, but never wanted to jump out in lead. However, Mitch is a man with a plan and he revealed he'd planned to take his 24 in Huslia, and that his team had given no indication that they needed to alter that plan. So now he's half way there and the rest of the teams are sitting in Ruby and Galena taking at least one of their mandatory rests. Just took a gander and Mitch is now resting on the trail, guess that answers if he took straw or not.

Meanwhile Wade Marrs is hanging out in Ruby taking his 24. He led the way into the checkpoint last night and his team looked peppy and strong. Wade had insiders scratching their heads as he was doing long runs on what is considered short rest. It didn't seem to affect his team too terribly, and now he's looking at charging up the trail and chasing the leaders just before 7pm Alaska time. Dallas will follow nearly an hour behind. Then it's onto Galena before they head to Huslia.

It's taking me too long to write up this blog post - both Michelle Phillips and Jessie Royer are now headed for Huslia as well. Michelle, you will remember, won the Yukon Quest 300 beating out Aliy Zirkle. Jessie Royer was on fire on this trail two years ago.

Dallas told insider that he's a little concerned that Ruby is too early to take his 24 - Mitch took it in Ruby in 2015 and lamented the rest of the race that he'd made a mistake - but Dallas seems to think this is best for his dogs. He is planning to drop two dogs (that means leave them in the good hands of the volunteers and vets in the checkpoint so they can be flown home), but that he may drop a third who has "questionable stool". This is concerning, we don't normally hear Dallas worry about his team (ever, but certainly not this early in the race). I wondered last night when he declared his 24 if there might be "trouble". It could be I'm just reading into things, but something just seems off, but as always Dallas isn't giving anything away.

With everyone taking their 8s and 24s, it's a good time to get other things done. I'm home sick with a cold (I know, right before I head to Nome!) but I do need to do a bit of packing to feel prepared for my first time at the finish! Just a couple more days since I head out! Yikes!

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