Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have gotten started on the third day of the Race and the first five checkpoints are closed. This is the time the Race Geeks start to come out from under cover. To those of us who start keeping statistics NOTHING is too geeky (is that a word?) to compile, to figure, to compare to prior years. This is what separates the Fans from the Fanatics – to be able to let all who ask that THIS year all the mushers are at least into Finger Lake Checkpoint and no one has dropped out of the race yet - I am sure that somewhere someone is checking to find out if this is the farthest checkpoint without a scratch.

I am tracking who has dropped dogs and at what checkpoint. Others are tracking the comparable run times between checkpoints – this year, so far, the runs are a tad slower.

Once again – the best coverage by fans seems to be the Forum sponsored by The Bering Sea School District. http://wiki.bssd.org/index.php/Mushing_forum

As Internet fora go, it is a small group, a little less than 400 members and some of those are out on the trail in the race, but it is a GIANT as far as enthusiasm goes. Membership is free – just sign up and you do not have to be a total Fanatic to be a member. The BSSD board is one of the friendliest Fora going and we welcome anyone who is interested in the race – long time geek or new fan. The Board is also open to anyone who is not registered to read… Serious discussions, Talk to the Musher threads, and pure fun threads.

One of the most fun is the Who Is Trailbreaker? thread. A poster asked this innocent question during the middle of the race last year because there was GPS tracking of some of the mushers and always in the lead was a GPS designated Trailbreaker – the crew who marks and grooms the trail just ahead of the lead mushers. Well this question came up about the time the members were starting to suffer from sleep deprivation and during the time most of the mushers were traveling down the Yukon River – not a hotly contested part of the race. Well a legend was born – and the entire history of the Breaker Family was published – including a Family Tree and their Family Crest. My favorite member is Heart Breaker, the femme fatale of the family though others favor Jail Breaker, the Black Sheep of the family and Wind Breaker the family’s gaseous pet Golden Retriever.

One of the back stories coming out is Lance’s confrontation with a Moose on Saturday during the Ceremonial Start. The story can be read at Lance’s website: http://www.mackeyscomebackkennel.com/ But the photo from the Anchorage Daily News should be enough to get anyone’s attention.

2009 © Photo courtesy of Rebecca Keating

Well, back to checking the leader board and tracking the Dropped Dogs – now the mushers are over the Alaskan Range they should start dropping more dogs-those which were needed for the power to climb the mountains but not needed for the speed of the Interior and the trip down the Yukon.

Mush on!

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