Checkpoint #1 Skwentna Roadhouse
89 Miles from Big Lake to Skwentna
Fastest split times….
1:09 2016 Team 8 Akelstad/Johnson
1:10 TIE 2016 Teams 6 George/Schachle & 20 Faeo/McKenna
1:11 2014 Team 10 Morgan/Olds
1:12 2016 Team 2 Sottosanti/Zwink
1:13 2014 Team 8 Akelstad/Johnson
1:14 2014 Team 41 Davis/Simons
1:18 2015 Team 33 Conner/Koontz
1:19 TIE 2015 Teams 7 Bartel/Davis &18 Gueco/Zwink
Accurate race records are hard to come by, however, the data above clearly show that teams are shredding minutes within the first 89 miles of the 2,031 mile race course…. this year will be no different…..that adds up to more fuel consumed. Click here for full race archives
According to a conversation with Ken Lee “If you are just riding from Big Lake to Skwentna you will burn about 6 to 7 gallons non race speed. During the Iron Dog race we racers take on 10 to 11 gallons of gas per sled, if the trail is broken or one of the first 8 teams out of Skwentna. But if there is no broke trail or it is snowing pretty good or if you are in the middle or back of the pack each machine will take about 12 to 14 gallons due to the trail conditions ahead.” And Tyson Johnson said “A typical 600 E-TEC sled can make the run from Big Lake to Skwentna on about four gallons, but would more than likely use 7 to 8 at race speed.”
No matter whom you talk to….fuel is king when preparing for Iron Dog! During training runs, racers need fuel either at checkpoints or staged at their own remote destinations. The first Iron Dog checkpoint is Skwentna Roadhouse, just 89 miles from Big Lake’s starting line….there is no “fuel farm” like you would find in a larger village such as Ruby, Galena, or even Nikolai…..Skwentna fuel is hauled in by small barge in the summer, year-round by planes or in the winter via trail on a cargo sled hauled by the trusty sno-go. All in all a hefty expense for both lodge owners and racers.
The first sno/go trail/cargo sled delivery arrived last weekend…..Ken Lee and Adam Gabryszak hauled in
6 drums @55 gallons each @8 pounds per gallon = 2,640 pounds…and all you get is 330 gallons……at training speeds that will go to 41 machines…..so when you consider the 11 weekends before race weekend —-a lot more fuel will have to be hauled before February 18th…..because we all know…..there is no cruising for an Iron Dog racer….it is always full throttle—-NO brakes!
It should be noted that Ken Lee also said “I hauled in 8,000 gallons of fuel last year and it took me until end of March to get that done.”
Pop Quiz: Did someone have a split time of one hour? Jimmer Dick/John Faeo…what year? Ken Lee/Tracey Brassard 1:05….what year?
Pop Quiz: How many teams went to Nome last year on training runs?
Pop Quiz: Is Skwentna a Layover in 2018?
Take a Guess: Most expensive price per gallon is on the Iron Dog Trail?
A nice little clip from the 2016 Iron Dog race day at Skwentna
For updates on the weather and all that is happening at Skwentna follow the Roadhouse on Facebook!
It is a lot of hard work for both racers and vendors to get ready for the one week in February we are all looking forward to……good luck everyone!!!!
HLF ~~~ Iron Dog Maiden, Den Mother