Thursday, February 7, 2008

Family FunMom, Dad, Ana, Makenzie & Maddie enjoying the dogs

Windows & Koyuk

Last weekend the whole family came over to run dogs with us. First I took the race team on a 29 mile run to prepare for our upcoming race next weekend. Then, Makenzie ran Windows & Koyuk on a 3 mile run. My dad was next and he ran a 5 dog team on the same 3 mile run. Maddie & Ana stayed in the kennel and made "snow castles" with Grandma. It was a really fun day. It is nice having other people get to have as much fun with the dogs as I do. My team on Saturday was: Star, Tefa, Odessa, Cowgirl, Zoey, Lilly, Fender, Jackson, Gibson, Boston and Duelly. It was a nice run when we were going in the right direction. I have been giving Star a break in lead, so I had to rely on Tefa & Zoey to make the turns. Well, they turned me the wrong way 4 times and it was very hard to stop 11 dogs. When we finally did get them stopped, we had to hook the snowhook to the snowmachine, turn the whole team around, then untangle them. We also had to stop and wait for a TON of snowmachines that day. They were out in full force. Sunday we went on a 20 mile run and FINALLY everything went smoothly. This time Tefa & Zoey got every command. No tangles or anything and we only had 4 short stops. We averaged just over 13 mph, which is a pretty good time. The dogs were moving along nicely. We do have a couple of injuries in the team now though. Jackson, a yearling has a sore shoulder. He looks fine now, we will be running him this weekend to see if he is healed. We got more rain this week, which turned the kennel into a skating rink. When I went out to feed the other day, Tefa was holding up her back leg. She has a swollen toe most likely from playing with her neibors in the dog yard and falling on the ice. So now she won't be part of my Midnight Run team and is in the house recouperating. Next weekend is our biggest race of the year, a 90 mile 8 dog race called the Midnight Run. The first leg is 49 miles through some very tough terrain up and down very steep hills. It was this section last year that I went over a cliff climbing Marquette Mountain and lost my team. It was very scary!! I heard they re-routed this section, let's hope so!! After the first leg we take a 5 hour layover where we bed the dogs on straw so they can take a well deserved break. Then, the final leg is around 42 miles of much gentler trail (thank god!) to the finish line. It is a physically & mentally tough race. I am looking forward to having a clean, safe run this year. I always learn so much every time we race it. So, now we are just keeping the dogs in shape and happy till race time. Last night we did an 8 mile fun run. Tonight we will go 15. Then this weekend we will do a couple of 20's, then one short run next week, then off to the race!! We will keep you updated.


Billie said...

I loved the family pictures. I would have to say though, I didn't imagine your mom getting in the snow. I always thought of her as strickly a snow bunny....then again I do remember her snow skiing. Great post Joann. I can't wait to here your updates from the race. I hope you do great and have a fabulous time. Miss you.

Billie said...

ooppps I ment a SUN BUNNY!! hee hee