February 5, 2013- 12:00am (received at 7 am)
I’ll try to get another one in here before the 500-mile drive back home to Fairbanks tomorrow. As I reread my last update I found a few small math errors on my chart (sorry, I was a little rummy still…) and I’ve rediscovered the speed vs. time plots on the trackers. I’ve been doing most of my research on an I-phone with a shattered screen and my fat fingers don’t manipulate the screen so well. I now have a laptop with normal keys and an intact screen and have been better able to dive deeper into the tracker data.
As the leaders approach their long 36-hour mandatory layover at Dawson their race strategy often times becomes less by the book and a little more from the hip. Typically racers go into a race with an “A” plan, plus a “B” plan, and kind of a fuzzy “C” plan in the back of their heads. Rarely does the “A” plan work. Hopefully then the “B” plan can be engaged but often times you find yourself trying to formulate a “D” plan all under the stress of racing with a mind numb from cold, exhaustion, and severe sleep deprivation. Having not seen anyone’s pre-race plan on paper I have no way of interpreting if they’re still racing by the paper plan or scrambling to formulate the “D” plan.
Hugh and Allen both look to have made aggressive moves. Hugh did two really long runs with brief 3-4 hour stops in between. His last run was almost completely through the heat of the day. Time will tell if my earlier prediction was right or wrong. I hope he proves me wrong. He rested at Scroggie and will most likely do the 100-mile run non-stop into Dawson City. Allen kind of surprised me by pushing late into the day and resting just two and a half hours through the worst of the heat before pushing on to Scroggie and blowing through. Typically it can be as much as a 15 hour run from Scroggie to Dawson so I can’t imagine Allen not taking some sort of break on his way there.
Jake is running a little less than two trail hours behind Allen and, if I had to guess, will probably rest four hours at Scroggie and then also run non-stop to Dawson. I can only assume that Allen will also stop but possibly not that long. If he does stop for four hours and their run speeds are the same on their last run, Allen will have a two-hour lead on Jake. Jake is about an hour and a half trail hours behind Hugh. Assuming Hugh runs straight to Dawson and Jake takes a four-hour at Scroggie and has a similar run speed as Hugh, he will be five or so hours behind Hugh into Dawson.
So if I were to venture a guess I would say Hugh will get the gold, followed by Alan about two and a half to three and a half hours later, followed by Jake about five hours later. This all depends on the assumption that they are running the same speed. That’s a big assumption. I recall in 2011 Hugh having a surprisingly fast run time on this leg ahead of myself and Hans Gatt after some similarly extreme runs and rests which totally blew me away. Leaving Scroggie the trail gets into seemingly endless hills culminating at King Solomon’s Dome before a long descent down to Dawson. Having to load a dog on this run can be disastrous unless it’s done after the dome where it’s all downhill into town.
Time will tell…
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