KOBUK 440 - APRIL 4, 2019
Q has officially entered the Kobuk 440 which was a qualifer Blair ran last year. It is called the "toughest race above the Arctic Circle." It starts out of Kotzebue and runs out to Kobuk and back to Kotzebue. The trail map and other details can be found at the official website here. Q announced that his team for the Kobuk 440 will be Pepé, Xander, Clem, Spike, Wickson, Ebony, Willow, Talese, Hunter, Boo, Flame, and Colbert. The team flew to Kotzebue on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 and Blair was there waiting for them.
UPDATE #1 - Q drew bib #13 at the banquet on April 3, 2019. The mass start out of Kotzebue is at 12:30pm ADT on April 4, 2019. We may or may not have trackers as there is some concern they will not arrive before the race (PS they arrived in time), but the link to the tracking website is here:
UPDATE #2 - Q left in the mass start at 12:30pm ADT on April 4, 2019. He arrived at the first checkpoint, Noorvik, at about 6pm ADT after a run of 57 miles. According to Blair, his original plan was to blow through Noorvik and continue on to Kiana which 24 miles down the trail. It looks like he's decided to stay in Noorvik for a least a short rest at this point. And just like that, Q's on the move again - heading out of Noorvik at about
6:45 6:30pm ADT. It's 24 miles to Kiana which should be a roughly 3 hour run. He will likely rest several hours in Ambler and then head out in the early morning hours for Ambler.
UPDATE #3 - Q arrived in Kiana at 9:37pm ADT on April 4, 2019 after a 24 mile run in right about 3 hours. He left Kiana at 1:55am ADT on April 5, 2019 after a rest of 4 hours and 18 minutes. It's 84.7 miles to the Ambler checkpoint which his a pretty long run. It's at least 10-11 hours and there may be some resting on the trail along the way. As of 5:05am ADT, Q is at mile 102 with 60 miles left to Ambler. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q dropped Talese in Kiana. Blair says it sounds like he was just a bit tired and Q didn't want to risk him tiring out on the long run to Ambler. Talese will be headed back to Kotzebue to hang out with Blair and Briar and assist in the planned art projects (that last part might be my speculation). As of 9:21am ADT, Q is 34 miles from Ambler. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q arrived in Ambler at approximately 3pm ADT on April 5, 2019 after a 13 hour run from Kiana to Ambler. He will likely spend at least 6 hours resting and possibly a bit more. Also, Talese arrived back in Kotzebue and was reunited with Blair and enjoyed a meatorade pupsicle. Well done, Talese!
UPDATE #4 - Q left Ambler at 9:08pm ADT on April 5, 2019 with 8 dogs after a rest of 6 hours. He tweeted that he was dropping Wickson and Hunter because they seemed tired and dropping Ebony because she was deeply in heat and it was either her or the three intact males on the team. The three should be making their way back to Blair in Kotzebue today. As of 5:15am ADT, the tracker shows Q resting just outside of Kobuk, but the official standings do not have him checked into or out of Kobuk yet. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q checked into Kobuk at 2:40am ADT on April 6, 2019 and checked out with 8 dogs at 6:36am ADT after just under 4 hours in the checkpoint. He is now headed back to Ambler and as of 7:41am ADT was at mile 202 without about 28 miles to Ambler. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q arrived back in Ambler at about 12:25pm ADT.
UPDATE #5 - Ryan Redington crossed the finish line at 12:34am ADT on April 7, 2019 winning the Kobuk 440 by 14 minutes over Nic Petit. Meanwhile Q left Ambler at 11:52pm ADT (on April 6th) heading to Selawik with 7 dogs on the line. Q said he dropped Xander due to concern about a possible illness. Ebony, Wickson, and Hunter returned to Kotzebue and Blair says they are raring to go again. Q indicted he planned to rest halfway to Selawik for a couple of hours and it appears that is where he is now (5:15am ADT) about 42 miles from Selawik. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q stopped for about 4 hours on the trail and hit the trail again at about 11:25am ADT. As of 12:35 ADT, he's at mile 281 with about 25 miles to Selawik. Blair tweeted that Xander made it back to Kotzebue and she and the Xan Man slept in this morning. UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q arrived in Selawik at 4:26pm ADT on April 7, 2019 with 7 dogs. He'll likely rest a few hours before heading for Noorvik which is 34 miles down the trail.
UPDATE #6 - Q left Selawik at 9:42pm ADT on April 7, 2019 with 7 dogs after a little over 5 hours rest. He arrived in Noorvik at 3:38am ADT on April 8, 2019 with 7 dogs. He stayed in the checkpoint for only about an hour, leaving at 4:36am ADT with 6 dogs (no info on who was dropped). He has to finish by 12:34pm ADT to be within the 36 hour window after the winner and officially finish the race. It's 53 miles from Noorvik to Kotzebue so it's going to be tight. Go Q!!! UPDATE TO UPDATE - Q tweeted that he dropped Willow at Noorvik. He said she was a little lean and didn't want breakfast and he felt it was too long of a run to not have that energy intake.
Q HAS FINISHED THE KOBUK 440 - Q arrived in Kotzebue at 4:16pm ADT on April 8, 2019 after a total run of 4 days, 3 hours and 46 minutes. He was the Red Lantern in the race. Here is a link to Blair's video of the finish. Blair said that the pups were all napping and doing well. This should qualify as Q's second qualifier for the Iditarod.
#KoBucks440 - In the tradition of #Igivearod 2019, we have begun the #KoBucks400 fundraising process. Q has identified local non-profits to support, and the UglyDogs have identified some Donors Choose projects as well. The spreadsheet will all the details can be found here. UPDATE - The KoBucks440 fundraiser raised over $27,000 during the course of the race. The donations were made to the Kobuk 440 itself, local non-profits doing all kinds of good works, and Alaskan schools. Along with the Igivearod, over $140,000 was raised for local Alaska schools and charities during the Iditarod and Kobuk 440.