I really should try waiting until evening to update the blog with events from the trail, but I just can't resist checking the race as soon as I awaken in the morning.
In a very dramatic finish, Michelle Phillips won the Yukon Quest 300, beating SPKennel's Aliy Zirkle across the finish line by a mere 8 SECONDS. Yep, you read that correctly, only 8 seconds. It looks the SPKennel is getting into a habit of having very close finishes in these long races. You can read more about that in this morning's edition of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
In the 1,000, Allen Moore left the Scroggie Creek Dog Drop, heading toward the mid-way point of Dawson well ahead of Hugh Neff early this morning. Based on their positions in the live tracker, with Neff showing some distance ahead of Moore, it appears that Allen spent very little time at the hospitality stop, and chose instead to camp his team out on the trail. Hugh is currently in the lead, perhaps dreaming of the four onces of placer gold awarded to the first Quest musher to reach that city. Jake Berkowitz and Brent Sass appear to be both at Scroggie Creek as I write.
Meanwhile, Lance Mackey is still struggling along with the smallest team in the race. According to an article in today's paper, his dogs aren't eating well, and neither he nor the veterinarians can figure out why. Combined with warm temperatures and soft trails, a team that won't eat is a recipe for disaster, or at least for disappointment. If they don't get a handle on their issues straightaway the best Lance can hope for is a middle of the pack finish.
Now, to shower, shave and get ready to protect this place from the ravages of crime, terrorism and disease. More later.