March 5, 2012 10 pm AST
It has been an interesting day along the Iditarod Trail. After leaving Willow in fairly warm temperatures and blue skies, Aliy, Ryne and the other 2012 Iditarod mushers had a night of 15 to 25 below. That is perfect for the SP Dogs! Today the temps began to rise and the weather started to change. Snow is likely on the trail.
Aliy is moving along steadily and is doing what she wanted to be able to do at this point in the race. Many of the dogs on her team have already run a thousand mile race. This is allowing her to keep a strong pace and doesn't seem to be lacking speed. Aliy and the dogs have been running in the top 5 for most of the start of the race. She is currently running in the first position, out of Rohn with all 16 of her dogs.
The news on the trail has been very positive. Some of the mushers are calling it the best trail they have seen in years. Aliy commented on the great trail conditions as well as saying that the Happy River Steps were in great shape this year. The controversial Steps were taken out of the race, but due to wind blowing the alternate route closed, they were added back in. The mushers were informed of the change on Saturday night. It sounds like it was the correct decision.
Aliy has been featured in two Iditarod Insider videos. The best of the two was of her and the team coming into Rainy Pass. The dogs look wonderful!
Ryne is having a great run. She is sticking to her schedule, which is always a good sign! She did have to drop a dog in Finger Lake. She is now resting with her 15 dogs at Rainy Pass, having arrived at 6:30 this evening.
We won't know who she had to drop until the dog gets back to Anchorage. The Iditarod Air Force flies the dogs back in small 2 and 4 seat planes that are very weather sensitive. I don't expect to get word on our dropped dog until tomorrow midday at the earliest.
We had hoped to have some photos and video from the trail today, but the weather kept small planes out of Rainy Pass. The kennel hopes to have people out on the trail later this week, but everything is weather dependent.
Enjoy the race!