Monday, January 7, 2008

Tahquamenon 2008My team before the start

My team at the first road crossing 6 miles into the race

My team approx. 12 miles into the race

Larry's team approx. 12 miles into the race
Well, we had quite an ordeal at our first race of the year. To start, it was VERY warm out. It was about 45 degrees, which is very warm for the dogs. Otter was not right from the beginning and wasn't keeping a tight line in lead from the start. After the first road crossing, I took her out of lead and put Odessa upfront with Star. My team was keeping a great pace at this point. About 15 miles in, I had to bag Otter. She wanted to go no further. I don't know if it was the heat or an injury since she just was not herself. The thing that is really unfortunate is there is no dog drop till the last 6 miles of the race, so I had to continue on for the next 20 miles with a 55 pound dog in the bag. I watched as all the magic my team had was zapped away. There were so many hills out there, I was tired from having to push the sled up with Otter in the bag. When I FINALLY got to the last road crossing, I dropped Otter and continued on to the finish. My team picked right back up again after otter was out of the bag. They loped and looked great that last 6 miles. I was very proud of them, even though we now had no chance of finishing in the top 10. We still finished 15th pace with a time of 3:47, which is pretty good considering all that I went through. My finishers were: Star & Odessa in lead, Cowgirl, Duelly, and Fender, Boston & Jackson were my 3 yearlings that did super!!
Larry had quite a race. His team was keeping a very nice pace, till Jersey, one of our yearlings got tired on him. He bagged her for about 4 miles. Then he put her back in the team and she ended up doing a super job for him. After about mile 30, Windows, our 8 year old leader, tired out and didn't want to go any further. The last dog drop was still a few miles away, so instead of going there, Larry turned the team around and went to the 12 dog drop, which was closer, but not one of the 8 dog drops. So, he made it there, dropped Windows and scratched from the race. He still wanted to continue since the rest of the team was still doing well, so he turned his team around and got back to the 8 dog trail. Meanwhile he came up on Tom Clark, one of the 12 dog racers. Tom only had his sled and two dogs, his gangline snapped and his front 10 dogs took off down the wrong trail. So Larry put Tom's dogs in his team and tied a rope from his sled to Tom's and towed him to the last road crossing. He left Tom there with the volunteers and continued on the last 6 miles to the finish line. I expected him to have a huge scoul on his face when he finished with all the had to deal with out there. But, I was wrong, he finished with a smile and was proud of his dogs that finished, even though he ran about 4-5 miles further than he had to to drop Windows at the 12 dog drop and then back -track to the 8 dog trail. He ended up running 46-47 miles instead of 42. I am so proud of Larry for STILL finishing after all that. There is no way I could have done the same thing. Our next race is this weekend if the dogs look good on our Wednesday training run. Hopefully we will have a fun/uneventful race this time!!!

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