Thursday, March 15, 2012

SP Kennel Racing Season Update

Although I'm still in PA -- enjoying some time in one place and pursuing "personal" projects -- I've kept in close contact with my good friends at SP Kennel throughout the sled dog racing season.

What a season it's been! Following early season victories in short- and mid-distance races -- including a first and second place finish for two SPK teams in the Don Bowers 200-mile race! -- the long distance racing season has been fantastically successful.

Last month, Allen Moore mushed the SPK "Black Team" to a second place finish in the grueling Yukon Quest 1,000 mile sled dog race. Finishing only 23 seconds behind the winner, the team completed a masterful race in excellent shape, spirit and style!

Over the past 10 days, Aliy Zirkle mushed the SPK "Red Team" to a spectacular second place finish in the 1,000 mile Iditarod from Anchorage to Nome. In the process, she achieved the fastest time a woman has ever run the race. It was a nail-biter the entire way, with Aliy in the lead for much of the race and finishing second by less than an hour.

This picture of Aliy and the dogs crossing the frozen Norton Sound pretty much tells the tale of focus, energy, enthusiasm and drive:

I've always been very proud of all my human and canine friends at SP Kennel, but I'm even more proud now than ever. Two second place finishes in the two longest races of the season speak volumes about the quality and consistency of the team. I continue to be in awe of the powerful, legendary alliance between humans and dogs. Hugs and howls all around!

At present, I plan to remain here in PA for another couple of months, probably until the summer. I've got a few ideas kicking around in my head for some high-quality Macgellan exploration after that, but nothing clear enough -- yet! -- to announce… Stay tuned!