ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Salcha sled dog star Arleigh Reynolds is in the lead after one day of action in the 2011 Fur Rendezvous World Championship Sled Dog Race.
Reynolds and his team sprinted around the 25 mile track in 1:31:45, edging five time champion and winner of the last four consecutive Rondy races Blayne Streeper by eight seconds.
With temperatures in the 30’s as the first teams hit the trail, it was not ideal conditions for fast times.
While taking care of his dogs after the first day’s run, Egil Ellis categorized this afternoon’s race as, "A tough day with warm, humid air; tough for the dogs to work hard in.”
Despite trailing Arleigh Reynolds, Streeper felt good about his team’s effort Friday afternoon.
"My goal today was to get around clean, without any stops. I had a few passes to do. I knew that ahead of time. I have a few young dogs who've never been on this trail. I made a few passes and the dogs feel good, so I'm really happy," Streeper said.
Round two of the Fur Rondy Dog Sled Race begins at noon Saturday.
Teams will hit the trail in reverse order; meaning that first place Arleigh Reynolds will be the last one out on the course. With the leaders beginning in the back, passing becomes an invaluable ability.