I'm apparently not the only one who is curious about standings in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race this morning. When trying to bring up the Live Tracker I've gotten "time out" errors using two different browsers. I suspect too many of us are trying to view the GPS trackers at the same time, thus overloading the sytem.
When I last looked, at about 5:30 AST this morning Allen Moore and Brent Sass had gained about 10 miles over Hans Gatt and Michelle Phillips. The two leaders were inbetween Slaven's Cabin and Circle and both traveling at just under 8 MPH. Hans and Michelle were both at Slaven's at that time.
About half an hour ago or so, the Yukon Quest Official Site FaceBook crew posted the following information:
"As Allen Moore, Brent Sass and Hans Gatt make their way closer to Circle, Michelle Phillips, Paige Drobny and Matt Hall continue to rest at Slaven's Dog Drop. Denis Tremblay and Ryne Olson are enroute to Slaven's while Nathaniel Hamlyn, Jessie Royer and Torsten Kohnert rest up at Trout Creek Hospitality Stop. Cody Strathe, Brian Wilmshurst and Curt Perano are out of Eagle while Jason Biasette, Andy Pace, Dave Dalton, Deke Naaktgeboren, Misha Wiljes and Rob Cooke continue to rest in Eagle for their mandatory four hours, or longer, as some have chosen to do."
AHA - it's finally my turn to take a look at the Tracker.
Here we see Allen Moore racing less than 3 miles ahead of Bren Sass. In terms of long-distance sled dog racing there are practically neck to neck. Hans Gatt and Michelle Phillips truly are neck to neck with less than a mile between their teams.
I would expect Allen and Brent to be checking into the Circle checkpoint in about two hours.
Take a look at that really squiggly section of trail coming up to the southwest of Circle. That's Birch Creek. If you were to stretch that section of the Quest Trail out you'd see that it's MUCH longer than it seems. I've floated it by canoe in summer and I can assure you that after a few hours on the water it seems to go on to infinity. The Quest trail follows 30 miles of those meanderings, so about four or 5 hours for a fast team.
During winter Birch Creek is notorious for overflow and most years it's one of the coldest sections of trail in the entire race. This year is probably as exception. The temperature right now in Circle is 18 degrees F (-4 C) and in the next checkpoint, Central, it is 24 above F (-4 C).