Travis rolled out of Takotna right on time 5:56 this morning. He still has 14 very talented, capable dogs in the team — many who will lead.
Moving like a freight train at an impressive 9.9 miles an hour, blew through Ophir with a run time of 2 hours and 19 minutes. This is the second fastest time posted info Ophir and a good sign of things to come. He’s already made up a lot of time on the teams that left ahead of him and I expect he will do a bit of passing on the run to Iditarod.
When we talked about this section of the race for scheduling, we assumed he would rest in Takotna and somewhere on the trail between Ophir and Iditarod. From Takotna to Iditarod is 103 miles. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shut down for a few hours during the heat of the day before continuing on — but I can’t say exactly where he’ll choose to do so. He may decide to break the run up evenly or favor a slightly longer or shorter run off the start.
Being able to rest at the warmest part of the day will help his team maintain speed — which he’s been very careful in managing up to this point in the race. As the race progresses, I expect to see the team excel.
Another plus is that it seems that the trail to Iditarod has set up nicely overnight with teams now posting much faster run teams. This is great news for Travis but not good for the teams that choose to run to Iditarod for their 24. The biggest question is whether or not the trail with soften with the heat of the day and how much snow is accumulating.
It sure seems like things are starting to come together and it will be exciting to watch the progression of the race in the next 48 hours.
Stay tuned for a team roster update coming later today. With all the chaos in getting ready for the big race and just Travis and I, I haven’t had much time for preparing things and am a little behind the curveball!