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In Anvik: Aliy Zirkle, Running Her Own Way

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen

Aliy Zirkle doesn’t like to let her run/rest schedule be dictated by checkpoints.

If she wants to run her dogs for 9 hours and the next checkpoint won’t appear until 12 hours, well, then she’ll just camp out on the trail. It’s beautiful on the trail, Zirkle says, and besides, you don’t get distracted by talking to other mushers or vets – or, for that matter, reporters.

When she was in the Anvik checkpoint, however, Zirkle happily caught up with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen.

The two talked about her dogs’ performance, her strategy for the team as she heads up to the (Norton Sound) coast, and the advantages and disadvantages of this year’s fast, “perfect,” “highway”-like trail:

As of 9:45pm Friday, Aliy Zirkle is in 18th position; she departed Anvik at 7:47pm with 11 dogs.