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In Ruby this morning, Paul Gebhardt: “I’ve never been down to eight [dogs] this early in the race before…”

coming off a short rest in ruby this morning, paul gebhardt is ready to get moving on the trail to galena on the yukon river. Unlike many mushers in this race maintaining full or nearly full strings of dogs, Paul dropped six dogs early in the race due to cramping in their legs.

He’s not sure what caused it. One of three teams with a low number of dogs, Paul feels decent about their performance but says, “I always said 8 dogs can move as fast as 16, but 7 can’t.” If he has to drop one more, he’ll be re-thinking his strategy on racing vs. just making it to Nome.

Looking ahead, Paul expects the run on the Yukon to go well but realizes there may be low snow again on the coast. He’s already mushed over a fair amount of bare trail this year, however, and comments, “whatever the coast has, it can’t be nothing new.”