Blair Braverman+ Your Authors @BlairBraverman Dogsledder. Author. Adventurer. If you like these tweets, you'll love WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (@eccobooks). FAQ: They’re Alaskan huskies. Jan. 30, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

AND THEY’RE OFF. Sweet video interview with Q before the race here. I approve of his decision to carry straw! 

One thing that’s slightly tricky about this race is that the distance between checkpoints is 70-75 miles, and while sled dogs certainly *can* run that far (and more) in a stretch, most mushers like to rest their teams every 45-50 miles.

That means that if mushers split the run in half, with a rest at the 35 mile point, the dogs will probably not be tired (at least in the first stage) and may not rest effectively. They’ll just stand and wait, or even pace, because they just wanna keep going.

It takes self-control for a musher to just keep sitting there waiting, watching their dogs be restless. The temptation is to think, well, as long as they’re not REALLY resting, why don’t we keep going?

But! This is a bad idea. It’s often best to frontload rest in a race, even when the dogs don’t seem tired, because it will keep them feeling fresh. (Though of course every team is different, and mushers know their own dogs’ needs best.)

Anyway, this is one of the things I’ll be paying attention to, for all the teams, as I watch the tracker today. And also why I was glad to see Q carrying straw for that sweet, sweet trail rest.

You can follow @BlairBraverman.


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