Good morning from Pinedale Pedigree® Stage Stop Race fans. The Start of the 25th Pedigree® Stage Stop Race in Downtown Wyoming saw a record crowd for spectators. The weather was near perfect. The same can be said for the start of the first Stage in beautiful Alpine.
Running along the Greys River was a real treat. While the morning temperatures were still slightly below freezing, that changed quickly with the sun getting higher in the sky. One again, for spectators the weather could not have been any better…., nor for taking photographs along the way.
Many races have been lost on day 1, few have been won. That being said, the Top Teams are not coming as a real surprise. Noticeable all of them have shaved off a few minutes from their 2019 runtimes. The length of the trail was identical.
Here how much time teams gained from 2019:
Austin Forney 7 minutes
Bruce Magnusson 2 minutes
Alix Crittenden 3 minutes
Rachel Courtney 2 minutes
Jeff Conn 6 minutes. He attributed that to 8 males dogs chasing 2 female leaders in heat.
Anny Malo 5 minutes. She was 3rd on that 1st leg last year, Lina Streeper 2 minutes
One thing is for certain. Nobody will have gone away hungry from the great dinner last night. Thank you to the fine folks from Pinedale! This is high, open country. Weather can be a factor. It does not look too bad for today…. But looking at tonight, there is definitely some weather brewing.
In longer races, like the Iditarod, the dogs sleep on the gangline and typically hit the trail again after 6 hours. Here at the Stage Stop Race, teams get about 22 Hours off, before they start again. That gives plenty of time for massages and dog care. All dogs sleep in their dogboxes, some even get the luxury to sleep inside an enclosed trailer or even better an enclosed trailer with living quarters and a couch! How well the dogs rest and eat, largely depends on the effort the mushers and handlers are putting in. It was very telling that last night, after the banquet the mushers quickly disappeared and to take care of their teams. Only a well fueled, well rested team is ready for more.
Here is a recap by Jerry Bath and what to look out for in the 2nd Stage in Pinedale: