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Thread: Iron Dog - Lots of Cheechako Questions..

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    Default Iron Dog - Lots of Cheechako Questions..

    This whole thing is new to me! I went for the first time today and watched all the racers take off! Now I am trying to figure out the website for tracking. I am a bit confused. Has anyone used this yet?

    I donít know how this run works. Is there a stopping point, rest stop or time period where people are required to rest for a certain amount of time? I am following a few select people just so see how it works. What happens if they donít make it to a town or village or someplace warm? Do they have gear to sleep outside, or do they have to make it to a place? Or is this what the checkpoints are? Are they rest areas too?

    For instance.. I am following team 22 (as one of the many teams I picked to follow). I am following them because they are from Maine and I am curious to see how they do. Anyway.. currently they are overnighting at Puntilla Lake, however both Pro and Trail classes say there isnít a layoverÖ (which to means they can stay there overnight). Why are they there then? Or does layover mean something else?

    What is the difference between the pro and trail classes? I thought that rookies went on the trail class, but it looks like there are full rookie teams in the pro class.

    Why does the analytics page on the website in the GPS tracking section list days prior to the race?

    Team #51 states they "scratched, assisting with trails." What does that mean? They quit to help out?

    Ok.. Thanks for all the help! Just trying to figure this all out!

  2. #2
    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    This whole thing is new to me! I went for the first time today and watched all the racers take off! Now I am trying to figure out the website for tracking. I am a bit confused. Has anyone used this yet?

    I donít know how this run works. Is there a stopping point, rest stop or time period where people are required to rest for a certain amount of time? I am following a few select people just so see how it works. What happens if they donít make it to a town or village or someplace warm? Do they have gear to sleep outside, or do they have to make it to a place? Or is this what the checkpoints are? Are they rest areas too?

    For instance.. I am following team 22 (as one of the many teams I picked to follow). I am following them because they are from Maine and I am curious to see how they do. Anyway.. currently they are overnighting at Puntilla Lake, however both Pro and Trail classes say there isnít a layoverÖ (which to means they can stay there overnight). Why are they there then? Or does layover mean something else?

    What is the difference between the pro and trail classes? I thought that rookies went on the trail class, but it looks like there are full rookie teams in the pro class.

    Why does the analytics page on the website in the GPS tracking section list days prior to the race?

    Team #51 states they "scratched, assisting with trails." What does that mean? They quit to help out?

    Ok.. Thanks for all the help! Just trying to figure this all out!
    I might be able to help a little, the difference between Pro and Trail class is the trail class isn't actually racing for anything and they stop in Nome
    not sure about anaylitics page sorry
    As far as the layovers go there are certain checkpoints that are designated layover areas. I believe some are more desirable than others lol. Each team must take a certain number of "layover hours" between Big Lake and Nome and then a certain number of hours from Nome to Fairbanks. It is up to the racers to decide where they will layover. There is some thought that goes into this for the teams. There is a more in depth answer to which checkpoints are layover stops in the Iron dog website under rules section I believe. Hope this helps a little
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    I haven't checked out the tracking web site yet this year.... Last year it had several glitches that made it hard to use. There are a couple of mandatory layovers they take. This is to ensure they get some rest and a decent meal or two. They may also take layovers to work on their machines as needed. Any check point can be used for layovers, its my understanding that certain places have better meals and accommodations available than others.
    Its my understanding the trail class isnt as competitive as the pro class. Its more of a fun run, see if you can do it type of thing. The Pro class is the serious racers trying to win fame and fortune or at least some sponsor ships. Rookies in either class just haven't competed before.
    Scratched, assisting with trails? Could go either way. Not sure about that, you'd probably have to find some obscure news article that mentions the team to figure out for sure what happened to them.

    I follow team #10 Chris Olds is a friend of mine from way back.
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    Thanks for responding.. that clears some things up. I found the rules and read the pro class.. that helps answer a lot. Especially about the layover situations. I guess they have to do 30 hours lay over total before the mid-point. That explains why some do a 14 hour layover. If they want to just pound right through.. this kills that time requirement.

    Man itís awesome how much detail and information they have put into this. I know theyíve been doing it for years, but itís still pretty cool I like the equipment requirements personally. I noticed that 7.7 is cut off. I wonder what the rest of the sentence is supposed to say..

    I am still curious about this: Team #51 states they "scratched, assisting with trails." What does that mean? They quit to help out?

    ::edited addition:: - Why does team 43 have and A, B and C? Can you have more than two people? They are all in the lead.. unless I am missing something..

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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post

    I am still curious about this: Team #51 states they "scratched, assisting with trails." What does that mean? They quit to help out?

    Likely they didn't quit to help out, but rather scratched (for whatever reason) and are assisting with trail work as they get their sleds home....
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē ― H.S.T.
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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    They are trail class riders and probably are just helping out the pro class now. Possibly at one of the checkpoints. Just a guess on the last part
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Team 51 is comprised of two long-time Iron Dog organizers/volunteers. They run the trail class for fun but the race itself is their passion. If they had any issues, or became aware of a pressing need then it's no surprise they've shifted into helping out.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  8. #8

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    Interesting.. "
    Bloom / Meuser / Regan
    Team #55
    Scratched before Galena (North)
    Bloom/Regan had enough, not continuing, Meuser now with Team #49.
    "

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Team 51 is comprised of two long-time Iron Dog organizers/volunteers. They run the trail class for fun but the race itself is their passion. If they had any issues, or became aware of a pressing need then it's no surprise they've shifted into helping out.

    Eric is correct. In addition, the reason it says they were assisting with the trails is, they were manning the checkpoints at Ruby and Galena. Then they were going to turn east and head direct for Fairbanks instead of Nome. They were scouting the possibility of creating a new trail class route to Fairbanks instead of Nome.

    I just ran the trail class, so if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    Interesting.. "
    Bloom / Meuser / Regan
    Team #55
    Scratched before Galena (North)
    Bloom/Regan had enough, not continuing, Meuser now with Team #49.
    "
    It was a tough day for them. One blew a piston the other got very cold. It was -40 on the river at that point. We lost a partner due to a bad A-arm, so Meuser joined our team. He was a great addition and it allowed him to finish.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickb1b View Post
    Eric is correct. In addition, the reason it says they were assisting with the trails is, they were manning the checkpoints at Ruby and Galena. Then they were going to turn east and head direct for Fairbanks instead of Nome. They were scouting the possibility of creating a new trail class route to Fairbanks instead of Nome.

    I just ran the trail class, so if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask.
    Thanks for responding! Sorry it took me so long to get back to this!

    I had a few questions..

    Do you ever have to sleep on the trail itself?

    I know that you get cold from the speed and while you are technically moving, your body isn't as much working up a sweat to keep you warm (I am assuming).. how does one stay warm?

    Someone told me that the Trail Class leaves before the Pro Class? Is that so there is no overlapping?

    Does the Trail Class ever try to go to Fairbanks to do the complete run or would that automatically make them Rookies in the Pro Class if theyíve never done it before?

    What is it like being out there in the dark and cold? I know that itís hard work, but do you ever have moments out there where you are just taken aback by the wonder of it all? The vastness of the landscape and night sky? I mean I know that sounds all romantic in theory, but seriously.. Are there those moments when youíve gotten into a grove where you can take a step back and appreciate the beauty and experience?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Running a snowmachine over rough terrain at high speed is very physically demanding, you're not just sitting on your but squezzing the throttle.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Running a snowmachine over rough terrain at high speed is very physically demanding, you're not just sitting on your but squezzing the throttle.
    Ok! I've never been on one. That explains why all the guys at the starting line kept mentioning putting in lots of gym time.

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    I haven't run the Iron Dog yet but I've been thinking about doing the trail class.

    It can be cold but not as bad as you might think. Believe it or not, you are active and do generate body heat. Also, the handgrips are heated and you catch heat off the engine too. Still, it can be tough to keep your face warm at 50 mph at -20F or colder.

    They send the Trail Class out several days ahead is so that all the participants end up in Nome around the same time. The pros are racing for money and move along a good bit faster.

    There is nothing stopping you from taking off out of Nome and heading for Fairbanks if you were in the Trail Class. You just wouldnít be part of the Iron Dog any more. Youíd be on your own for fuel and the race wouldnít be keeping tabs on you.

    As far as romance and appreciating the wonder of it all, itís always nice to get out, but I imagine you are mostly concerned with not crashing or breaking down.

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    As far as romance and appreciating the wonder of it all, itís always nice to get out, but I imagine you are mostly concerned with not crashing or breaking down.
    True. Dad ran trail class a while back and although he enjoyed it he wants to go back and explore certain areas. Back then they were pushed to meet certain timelines so no time to take in the scenery.

  16. #16

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    1. You do not have to sleep on the trail, but everyone carries equipment so they could if a breakdown or injury would require sleeping out.

    2. The trail class leaves Friday morning and the Pro class leaves Sunday morning. The pros pass the trail class on the last leg into Nome. With us, we beat about half the pros into Nome.

    3. If a team from the trail class beats all of the pros into Nome, they are given the option of continuing on to Fairbanks as part of the Iron Dog.

    4. Generally one does not have a lot of time to take in all the vastness and beauty, however here are a couple of pictures I took along the trail. You do get to experience quite a bit of the beauty Alaska has to offer.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Here are a couple more from Nickoli
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickb1b View Post
    3. If a team from the trail class beats all of the pros into Nome, they are given the option of continuing on to Fairbanks as part of the Iron Dog.
    I didn't realize that. Seems like quite a commitment if you were only planning to go to Nome.

    Nice photos. Like I said above, I've been thinking about running it, but I'm thinking I'd have to trade in my M8 for something more appropriate for the trail and I haven't been quite ready to do that. I'm really having fun with the M8.

  19. #19

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    A lot of guys run the trail class as a prep for the pro class the next year. Therefor they are actually planning to run the whole thing. Just got to beat those pros into Nome with a two day head start.

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    Yeah, that makes sense. I don't have any real interest in running it in the Pro class. I just like riding and think it would be a blast to take off out of Big Lake and end up in Nome.

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