The Thrill After the 24 Hour Layover
Seth is just gearing up to get ready to leave Huslia as I type. He took his 24 hour layover in Galena and left with 14 dogs. I have yet to receive word of who he first dropped. I have an idea by not seeing a certain dog in pictures, but I don't want to quote a wrong summary.
He has been running a pretty conservative and laid-back race schedule. Mind you, most of his team are rookie 2 year olds running the trail to just have fun. Since they are young, there is no need for them to be trying to race for a top spot. He has rested about 5 hours at the previous few checkpoints just before and coming off of his 24 hour layover. At Koyukuk and inbetween from there and Kaltag, he will bank a few more hours of extra rest. This is *similar* to Mitch's plan in resting his mandatory 8 hour in Kaltag. The trail after Kaltag is known as the "coast" and can be strenuous. This will play an advantage in both the front-runner, Mitch and Seth. Having a fresh team right before the going gets tough is always a great option. I know many were worried because Mitch has yet to take his 8 hour compared to the other top contenders, but he had played his cards as he should and did it well.
After Kaltag, Seth should be on the regular 5/6 hour rest schedule. Anything that can change will change, so these are just estimates. He is not racing for top 20, top 30, top 40, etc; but to just simply finish with happy and healthy dogs. He is a tremendous dog person and I have faith in him that he is sticking to his plan. His speed is on par and so far so good. I don't know about you, but I am extremely proud of his accomplishments pertaining to the race and everything it took to get there. Every night I pray all is well. It is hard not communicating and not knowing what is going on out there. But do you see that smile? He barely never wears it:)
If you are interested in seeing the dogs that Seth has trained/racing this year, check out "2016/17 Team"
Also don't forget to sign up for the email newsletter to find out who made the team!
Iditarod 2017 Update
Phew. That was close. I almost thought for a second that Iditarod was never going to get here. I am more than thankful that it has finally arrived.
Oh right. Ahem. Excuse my manners. Let me formally introduce myself. Probably a good idea.. maybe?
I'm Taylor Steele back at writing these posts for Seth while he is out racing and doing his "thing". I just finished mid-term exams and can you say... Spring Break?!?! I am going to Nome for the finish line. A great way to spend spring break right?
Anyways, I extremely apologize for lack of website updating. It's extremely hard being an Iditarod musher AND the significant other.
Seth was so excited for this race and I'm excited to breathe... finally.
Well until today. Ya know, they always say when you seem to make 1 step forward you are always brought 2 steps backwards again. Weird how life works that way. We are unfortunately mourning the loss of sweet Deacon. But this will have us carry on into good spirits and know that he lived a happy life. His brothers are on the team and are eager to finish the race for him. I will be making Facebook posts under Seth's page and making them "public" so even those without Facebook should be able to see them. I posted 2 recent posts and you should check them out. Please, if any one realizes their name is not listed under sponsors... let me know! I have a lot of catching up to do. Thank you for your extreme patience.
Here are the links to the FB posts. Also be sure to "subscribe" to the newsletters as I will be introducing the pups who made the team!!!
and this one
Seth will plan to leave Galena around 11:35PM AKST and head to Huslia. I will update more tomorrow after work and give a little more race plan.
But did I mention... subscribe to that news letter!!!!
Check what is happening!
Winter temperatures are here but the snow is not. We have a little snow on the ground to cushion the trail some but not nearly enough to get off the wheeled "sleds". Snow is in the forecast and the rivers should be getting hard.
11/12/2016 Sponsor A Dog Program released
We have been asked by some to provide a way for fans to help support individual dogs. Check out our 2016/17 Team and see how you can become a dog sponsor.
10/31/2016 Winter is close
We are in full swing into training. Lots of miles and time with the pups. The group I have this year I have been with since before they could see making this a different kind of year. We have been getting settled in and ready for winter. Thinking of winter, we received our first snow and sad to say our first melt down as well. That is the way it goes sometimes. Looking forward to more snow, more miles, and more fun! Stayed tuned an artist at the main kennel has been working on a T-shirt design.
10/16/2016 Busy Bees
A hive isn't built over night but winter camp has been coming together nice. A big THANKS to Sam and Renee of Trail 16 Kennel for making things happen and inviting me. We have a most important things in place now; dog lot, human shelter, heat, and water source. Taylor came up for the weekend and played dog musher as an early Halloween costume.
10/01/2016 Starting a new race season
Well friends that time of the year has come around again and fall training has begun. I will have some good news in the next few days as soon as things get shifted around and space opens up on the credit card! Entry of one race has gone up 33% from the last time I entered, to $4000. After I get my ducks in a row I will be signing up for another grand adventure.
Whitehorse Finish Line!
At 2:53PST Seth arrived to the finish line in 8th place! Congrats to him!!
Keyes, Lily, Gibson, Berg, Turbo, Chile, and Lexus were all there with him!
Off to Whitehorse!!!
In at Braeburn
At 8:43PST all 9 pups arrived at the Braeburn checkpoint back in 8th place. Seth has a mandatory 8 hour layover here and then he will take off at 4:43PST for Whitehorse to cross the finish line!!!
Bumper and Eli were to stay behind. Bumper is the oldest pooch on the team and decided to leave the rest to the young'ns. Eli had a very random toenail infection (darn things go so fast) but all is good with them now and it seems they are getting spoiled by Seth's brother Kiley and handler Kevin.
Everything seems fine so far (knock on wood) and, well, you know the saying..
Dawson City Checkpoint
Arrived! Halfway there Seth! Finally.
I do apologize for such a late website update. It's been crazy busy here at the kennel. I didn't have much to say other than Seth made it into Dawson for his 36 hour layover.
Seth arrived to Dawson at 15:44 PST with 11 dogs and left at 3:44PST with 11 dogs. I got the long awaited call from him with an update on how things are and my first question being "Are you okay?" then I suddenly thought it's Seth and of course he's fine. This kid can go through anything and come back for more, but perhaps, maybe not 100%. And that is the case right now. Seth is doing good and is indeed okay. It's definitely no easy race for sure, but he is just a mushin' along. There were a few times on the trail where things got a little messy, as anything can happen and most likely will happen. In dog mushing you just have to do what you have to do. Seth mentioned the dogs are doing good and his goal is to just finish. As this is his rookie year, he was already mentioning things he could change for next year! Even though next year is the opposite route. All in all, Seth is well and he is having fun. Following his dream. He is doing a superb job and I did let him know he has a lot of people cheering him on and letting him know how proud we are of him. I think that lifted his spirits up a little bit.
Czech and India were dropped in Eagle for minor sore muscles. Have you ever gone 400 miles and didn't need a massage but wasn't ready to go again in 5 hours? These littermate teammates are all in good shape now, but was just best for them to get a little extra rest. I don't have a picture of Czech on hand, but here is miss India!
He made it to Scroggie creek. He will rest here before heading to the next checkpoint. All is well here, and we are just cruising along.
If you haven't noticed, Brent Sass is falling a little behind in the race as he was the leader for a long time. Hugh Neff had gained a few hours on Brent but Allen Moore stayed in Pelly resting his dogs in the heat of the day while Hugh and Brent ran them. This, I think, definitely plays a role in this part of the race as we are getting down to the nitty-gritty. Hugh's plan seems pretty well planned, but I think at this point Allen is the team to beat right now. We will just have to see.
Eagle Checkpoint....finally 02/09/2016
Seth left Circle City at 12:51AKST on February 8th. He just pulled into Eagle checkpoint at 20:30AKST. He rested twice on the trail, once being at Slaven's Roadhouse and the second time being at Trout Creek cabin. Those two places aren't official, so I don't have precise times of when he arrived and how long he stayed but it appears to me he was right on schedule. Rumor has it that is dogs are looking great and as his brother said "Lily is being Lily!" We know when Lily is being Lily... it's a good sign. Lily is known for her loudness when hooking up. Seth and I always tried to hook her up at the end because we want to keep a calm dog team at the start and Lily is just yapping along to go and it get's everyone else roudy :) So after over 200 miles, Lily being Lily is a great sign.
Seth arrived at Eagle checkpoint at 20:30AKST. He will rest here for a few hours and go back out to head for Dawson. Here, all mushers have to rest at least 4 hours mandatory, but are welcomed to rest more. He is currently a little over 2 hours behind rookie musher Tom Frode and 10 minutes ahead of rookie musher Andy Pace. Things could start getting interesting. Anyways, it's a long trek to Dawson. I don't want to post too far into the future, but once he gets to where he is subjected to be, I will post more. We are hoping there is just 7 more days to go. 7 more days.
Here are some of the teammates....
Chile is an outstanding little female. This girl is one of the core leaders on Seth's team, but like all of his dogs, Chile will run anywhere in the team. Chile ran the 2013 Jr Iditarod as a two year old, she's ran Iditarod, and was 4th in last years Yukon Quest. A brave and loyal girl to say at the least.
Over the river and through the woods to Circle City he goes...
Safe to say that it had been a long night of waking up to a dozen alarms to check the tracker.
Seth arrived in Circle City at 7:50am AKST with 13 dogs and a 14 hour, 14 minute run time. Like I previously stated, he was going to rest at mile 165 before heading all the way to Circle. Remember when I was saying to keep an eye on Andrew Pace and his run time to Circle? I said that if his race is starting to be nearly similar to Seth's it's probably going to start if he rests in Circle. Sure enough it is.
Andrew arrived into Circle City at 6:06am AKST with 13 dogs and a run time of 14 hours and 17 minutes. Only 3 minutes slower than Seth, but then again.. Seth left the Central checkpoint 19 minutes after he got there and Andrew left 8 minutes. Had Seth left 5 minutes after he arrived to Central, he would be even more ahead on run time, but only slightly. It is 12:14PM AKST and it looks as if Andrew and Tom could be resting more than 5 hours, unless the trackers are glitching, but I've been following the Yukon Quest twitter updates which are pretty fast after someone leaves or arrives. I'm still watching out for Tom Frode with his arrival into Circle City at 6:32am AKST with all 14 dogs and a run time of 13 hours and 53 minutes. He's got Seth and Andrew beat on this run by about 20 minutes. It can only get longer or shorter from here on out. I'm expecting to see these 3 close in placing when they finish if they keep their runs to how they've been going.
It looks like there's 2 options here. Tom and Andrew are resting for more than 5 hours and probably leaving when Seth leaves. They are most likely to go all the way to Slaven's roadhouse and rest while Seth rests a few miles back or perhaps camp before or after. They are over an hour ahead of Seth, but leaving around the time he does will change things up, mind you, they would now have an extra hour of rest on Seth. Seth is projected to rest again at mile 270. After that, it's hard to tell how close they will be until they all give me run times into mile 270 and how much they are actually going to rest. Things can and probably will change and yet again have me wondering what is going to happen next.
In the mean time... Meet Seth's teammate Lily.
You can hear this dog from miles away when she's hooked up and ready to go. Lily likes to have sticks with her on the trail while resting because it takes her mind off of chewing her harness :)
Checkpoint 101 and Central
Seth arrived at checkpoint 101 at 13:48 AKST after arriving there at 9:06pm AKST. He took a mandatory 4 hour rest plus his differential time making a total of 4 hours and 42 minutes rest. Not too shabby.
He left 101 with one less dog. Her name is Whisper. Whisper is okay, it was just best to leave her behind. Seth arrived at Central checkpoint at 17:17 AKST and was only there to shortly grab some supplies. He set sail for Circle checkpoint, about 74 miles from Central. Since he went through Central, he is now resting on the trail at around mile 165. After his rest, he will head to Central and rest for the same amount of time, around 5 hours if everything is going as planned. I plan for him to leave this rest place in-between Central and Circle around 2:30AM AKST.
As far as the other mushers, it looks like the leaders of the pack, Allen Moore, Hugh Neff, Brent Sass, Ed Hopkins, and Matt Hall are all holding up so far. I've been keeping record on the rookies in the race that are closely running with Seth. Rookie Andrew Pace seems to be running a slightly similar trail run time to Seth's. His run time from Fairbanks to Two Rivers was 12 hours and 39 minutes. I didn't pay any attention on where and how long he rested before he got to Two Rivers. When he reached Two rivers he only stayed 9 minutes, probably to gather things. Seth's run from Fairbanks to Two Rivers was 10 hours 38 minutes. He stopped about 35 miles with a 2.5 hour rest. Upon reaching Two Rivers, he rested 5 hours and 2 minutes. This is where it starts to become pretty similar. Andrew's run from Two Rivers to 101 was 5 hours and 39 minutes stopping there for 6 hours rest. Seth's run from Two Rivers to 101 was 5 hours 38 minutes taking the mandatory 4 hours and then 42 more minutes. Seth got to Central from 101 in 4 hours and 29 minutes only stopping 19 minutes to gather supplies. Andrew's run from 101 to Central was 3 hours 27 minutes and got out of Central in 5 minutes. That's about an hour difference but Andrew arrived in Central at 15:34 AKST and Seth arriving at 17:17 AKST. However, things could change. Andrew stopped to rest sooner than Seth did and Seth ended up catching him. With Seth camping right now, Andrew will most likely pass him. If they are going to start running a similar race, Andrew would be stopping in Circle for a few hours.
I wouldn't look past Tom Frode though. He got to Two Rivers in 9 hours 40 minutes and only stayed 38 minutes. From Two Rivers to 101 his run time was 10 hours 49 minutes with 4 hours and 16 minutes of rest. From 101 to Central his run time was a mere 3 hours and 14 minutes. Add an extra 8 minutes to get him out of the checkpoint. He rested around mile 150 I believe, and Seth passed him on his way to his resting point. Sure enough, Tom will pass Seth again while Seth is trail resting. Still an early race so it's hard to tell if they could come close, but I wouldn't put doubts past it.
Many of you saw the picture I shared on Seth's facebook from the Yukon Quest of Seth pulling a dog from the sled bag. This is probably just a part of his race strategy considering Woody is a leader. It's always nice to have a fresh dog.
I hope these updates are working for everyone. I am balancing an all day job and posting updates as much as I can.
Two Rivers Checkpoint
Things are so far so good. I had many questions at the start such as "Is it normal for this early in the race to stop for over 2 hours?" For this team and the plan, precisely. His speed, run time over a certain number of miles, and rest time are all on pace so far. We are only about 75 miles into the race though. We want to keep a nice, happy, healthy team. In order to do so this early in a race, we will treat them with rest. Seth is resting at the Two Rivers checkpoint for 5 hours. He will then mush along to 101 checkpoint where he is projected to rest for a few hours. If things are looking good at this point, he will be following the schedule. It's a bit cloudy out, so who knows what the weather may be like out there.
I will be up to check that he is out of Two Rivers just to make sure everything is still on track.
To no-ones surprise, Brent Sass and Hugh Neff are showing off their speed early in the race. You can't win the race on the first day, but you sure can lose it. Brent is the champion from 2015 and Hugh knows this race left and right. However, competition between these two could sure limit their positions at the end. I would be watching for Matt Hall. They seem like they may have a tactical plan already. Matt is playing the first part of this race nice and slow as well. Rumor has it that he was on his drag mat at 9 miles per hour 40 miles into the race. It looks like Luc and Tom Frode went through Two Rivers and stopped to camp shortly after. With the distance between these checkpoints, it makes it hard to avoid camping in between.
Seth knows these dogs very well. I've never seen dogs respond so well to someone. There truly is a connection with him and his team. They are in this together. It's 10:42pm AKST and I am checking out for the next 4 hours.
Yukon Quest Start
2/6/2016 4:21PM AKST
Seth is off and running the 2016 Yukon Quest! Its been a great training season with him and I am so happy to finally see this all pay off (this as in our lack of sleep).
First off, I am Taylor Steele reporting for Seth. I've been mushing for about 10 years now, originally from Pennsylvania and like Seth, I am also apart of Seavey's Iditarod Racing Team for the second year now. I ran the Jr. Iditarod in 2013 with Mitch's dogs, and a few of them are on Seth's Yukon Quest team!
Seth left at 11:48AM AKST to depart for Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. We are expecting him to have a 10 day finish. His schedule is a nice and easy pace all the way to the finish. The live tracker is available on the Yukon Quests website (I am not familiar with Seth's website or I would embed a link). As of now, he is resting his dogs about 35 miles into the race. His speed and timing are great. It's very early in the race, so being the back of the pack is, in a way, a good thing. What's that saying.... Slow and steady wins the race?
I will be back tonight to give more updates and post some more pictures of the teammates!
First snow fall of the season. Not much but the pups sure do like it (and the mushers).
08/03/2015 Something New or Something Blue?
We might need a cranial exam, Tedford? (MD that stitched Seth up this past winter) Seth has signed up for the 2016 Yukon Quest. The goal from the beginning was to finish them both so why not make it happen! "If you can dream it, you can do it."
07/07/2015 Hanging Out This Summer
Seeing some familiar faces and meeting some new. From fishing for salmon to watching the Mt. Marathon Race, we have been soaking up what Seward has to offer but mostly just playing with dogs.
06/27/2015 Here We Go Again!
It is official Seth has signed up for the 2016 Iditarod. Check out the official press release here or on social media here. Can not explain exactly why but we are going back for another round!
05/13/2015 Visit to America
It had been a while since Seth visited the contiguous 48 (know as America to some Alaskans). So with the early melt off this season, he decide to find out what all the fuss was about. Spending some family time and getting grounded as one of his brothers put it. Going back to an interview in 2012, Seth said growing up with all kinds of critters instilled a love of animals. Here is a few of his families animals.
04/28/2015 School Visits
Seth visited some elementary schools in the Birmingham area during his trip down South. We had a great time and so did the kiddos!
04/04/2015 Summer Time is Just Around the Corner
This year Seth has decided to guide for Seavey's Iditaride. Starting in May we will be in Seward working hard with this years Iditarod race team (dogs and humans) and a few others. If your going to be in Seward contact us or stop by for a visit!
03/31/2015 We did it!
After 11 days we pulled into Nome. We are trying to get back into reality but our heart and mind keep wondering back onto the trail. We definitely have to do this again. In fact, I would recommend it to any slightly sane minded person. Yes, it was cold (30 below to 60 below) for the first half, deep slow trail in the middle, and a bit windy (40mph wind with 60mph gust) over the ocean but it was AMAZING!
Our goals for 2015 season were simple, finish with a happy healthly team in Nome. We did just that, in the words of Iditarod reporter Terrie Hanke; "Barnes came in with 11 dogs. They were peppy and looked like they’d been having the time of their lives over the past 11 days." Here is the full article.
We are extremely busy trying to line up summer work and next years race season but after things slow down I will update the website and get in touch with everyone.
12/25/2014 Holiday Fun
Kevin and Patrick's tree
The kennel took a rare but enjoyable day off, opened gifts and relaxed.
12/20/2014 December Training Camp
We packed up and traveled 300 miles to better conditions (snow). Five mushers, 3 dog trucks, 72 dogs, nearly a ton of food, and over 1800 miles on the runners for the humans in 5 days, AWESOME!
12/18/2014 Featured on Iditarod Trail Committee's Facebook Page
10/18/2014 Winter is close
Air Jitterbug, photo by Patrick Beall
Fall training is in full swing. We have had a little snow but it has not stayed for long. Training has been going great and the pups are transferring from summer play to winter training well. They seem to be as eager as Seth for the real winter to begin.
06/28/2014 One step closer!
It is official Seth has signed up for the 2015 Iditarod. Check out the official press release here or on social media here. We have long road ahead of us to get to the start line but we are now one step closer. With your help we will get there.
05/01/2014 Summertime is here!
Well summer is here. This year summer came a bit early in Alaska compared to last year by about a month. This year Seth is teaming up with Sundog Kennels in Talkeetna for kennel tours and dog sled rides. If you are in the area stop by and say hi. Looking for a tour, contact us to book. We are expecting a fun but busy season!
07/15/2013 Alaskan Wildstyle Racing and Flat Dog Kennel
We are proud to announce for the 2013/14 race season Seth is joining forces with Alaskan Wildstyle Racing with fellow mushers and mentors Aaron Burmeister and Tony Browning at Flat Dog Kennel. We believe this gives us the best opportunity to achieve our goals as set out for this race season and the future.
06/28/2013 Overall Plan and Goals for 2013/14 Race Season
After careful thought and discussion with friends and mentors, we have decided to hold off on running the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod this year. The plan was to enter one of these races this coming year. However, we believe it is in the race teams best interest to put another race season under us to better develop our skills and become more competitive for the future. Our main goals this year will be to improve on dog care, race time management, gain more valuable experience, and have fun. In doing so we would like to be serious competition in a few of these races. We will be providing a list of races for the season as we get closer to winter. Some of the races we are looking at are the Knik 200, Northern Lights 300, Kuskokwim 300, Yukon Quest 300, Two Rivers 200, Sheep Mountain, and the Kobuk 440. It is unlikely we will enter all of these races but we would sure like to.
06/01/2013 Summer Fun
This summer Seth is teaming up with Sirius Sled Dogs to put on a summer mushing school and cart rides. Check us out at www.SiriusSledDogs.net. As the snow is just now disappearing and the ground starting to unfreeze, we are kicking off an exciting summer tourist season. If you're in Fairbanks this summer contact us and stop by for a visit.
04/25/2013 End of the Season
The race season is pretty much wrapped up for this season. We accomplished our main goal this year of finishing Seth's qualification for the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. In the process we learned loads of valuable knowledge on the trail. They say when you stop learning it is time to move on and we have lots still to learn. We would have liked to finish a little better in races this year but we did not want to jeopardize getting qualified nor did we believe we had the team to win. All in all though, we are quite pleased with the season. Now it is time to sit down and determine what we want to accomplish for next year.