Good Morning Pedigree Stage Stop Race Fans,
finally race day is here. The day the Musher ( and fans ) have been looking forward to for weeks, or months. For most teams this is the 1st race of the season. Some have not even been on the sled much. It is about 28F, barely below freezing, and still snowing pretty good. Been snowing most of the day since yesterday in Alpine and right now there are about 4 inches of fresh stuff on the trail. Of course the trail has been groomed. Yet this will be far from hard packed and fast.
It is 31 Miles out and back in total. This trail has been run for the past 2 years. ( Before in 2018 when Lina Streeper won, runtimes were about 4hrs 30 minutes for about 60 miles )
In 2019 Erik Laforce had the fast time for day 1 with 1:48.04, Linda Streeper 1:48:53 and Anny Malo 1:49.12. That shows you how incredibly tight the competition is. 1 Minute separating the Top 3 Teams.
Last year in 2020 Anny Malo was the quickest out of the gate with 1:43.59 ( 16.2 mph ) followed by Lina Streeper with 1:46.12 ( 15.8 mph ) and Jeff Conn at 1:48.57 ( 15.4 mph ). Those run times I found incredibly quick, considering the slow trail conditions on the way back, as teams encountered quite a few snowmachine on the return part of the run ( which has chewed up the trail ) on this multi use trail.
Normally, on hard packed trail, the teams which are going out first, have a bit of an advantage. Today, with all this fresh snow, not necessarily so. Part of a mushers strategy is waxing their runners. Warm weather wax is coming out today Here a picture of Marco and Elliot testing their waxing job on the sleds: