Copper Basin by the numbers! Looking through the official run and rest data collected in each team throughout the race I can’t help but become more and more proud of the team and their performance. It’s common knowledge that rest perpetuates speed in a dog team, thus a strong team who is receiving large amounts of rest will naturally have fast run times. The minimum mandatory rest time in the Copper Basin is 18 hours of rest in checkpoints, the front runners are all taking only the minimum amount of mandatory rest and still posting very fast run times, which is why they are the front runners! Like I said, rest perpetuates speed and with eleven of the twelve dogs in my team being puppies racing for the first time ever we took more cumulative rest in checkpoints than all but one other musher to keep the teams spirits high and to keep us moving at a good clip when we were on the trail.
Most teams outside of the top ten camped at least once on the trail to break up some of the longer runs, this stop time on the trail is added into their cumulative run time rather than their rest time which skews the cumulative totals a bit. We did not camp or break up any of the legs, we trained specifically for these long legs on the Basin all fall and winter, this training ultimately revolves around our strategy for the Kobuk 440 in early April. The results of the Copper Basin showed that this strategy is working, we maintained our speed and power on these long runs all the way through to the finish, only one musher outside of the top ten posted a faster cumulative run time than us, a testament to the tough heads and strong leadership abilities of the dogs in my team. Cutting almost nine hours of rest off of our cumulative stop time and still maintaining this speed is a no small goal, but after the performance of Yam, Fuse, and the rest of my group I’m confident that it’s a goal within our reach next year when the team has matured and developed into adults. Great work pups!