Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tahquamenon 2010
1st & 2nd Place!!!
Ana with our trophies

Me with George, my 2 year old super star leader and Larry with "little Tiny Tefa", his super leader that almost caught the main team!!

Larry & Tefa

me and Georgie

My team finishing the 43 mile race

Larry's team finishing the race

Larry's team at the last road crossing, 5 miles from the finish

Me with my main leader, Zoey before the race

Tefa during hookup before one of our last training runs before the race

Larry's team before one of our last training runs. Tefa & Boston in lead.

my team on one of our last training runs before the race. Zoey & George in lead.
We had a very successful first race of the season!! It is always this race, that sets the bar on how our team will do the remainder of the season. We definetly started with a bang! I was VERY nervous, as always, the entire week before Tahquamenon. The dogs were more than ready, we have done everything we could do in training. Nothing left but to race and see what happens. Race day was VERY cold, -17 degrees!! I never start a race with big mitts on. I am always afraid of losing the team if I get drug and cannot hang on. Well, in the first 2 miles my hands were numb, forcing me to put them on. The team was FLYING!! I was on the drag pad for about half of the run, trying to get George, my 2 year old leader, to calm down so he wouldn't tire out the entire team. I was hanging on for my life around all those tight twists and turns. It was a lot of fun though! I started the 8 dog class first and only had to pass a few 12 dog teams that started before me. George did NOT like going past the sleds. Zoey had to drag him past. A couple of times, George put the brakes on and balled up the team. One pass, I had to lead him half way past one of the teams. After that, things went smoothly. The last 5 miles, I had to take my main leader, Zoey out of lead. She was letting the swing dogs catch up, which is VERY unlike her. Prophet ran lead with George the rest of the way and did a wonderful job. We ran the 43 miles in 3:01 and some change and came in first place!! I cannot belive we ran it that fast! Larry had a SUPER run, only stopping twice out there. His team, with Tefa and Cowgirl in lead, passed teams flawlessly. His team ran it in, 3:03 and some change, only 2 min, 45 seconds slower than me with the B team!!! If I would have had any more trouble out there, he would have beaten me! We are so proud of the dogs for racing their hearts out and giving us our 1st & 2nd places.
Next up on the race schedule, less than 2 weeks away is the Beargrease 150. Larry ran it last year and got 4th place and "rookie of the year", while I had a terrible bout of bronchitis. My main leader, Zoey will be out for this race with a sprained toe. I am VERY disapointed, but Larry's super leader, Tefa will take her place leading the team with George. Hopefully Zoey will be able to resume training after we get back. I was really looking forward to racing it this year, since I had to miss out last year. On our last long run of the season this past Sunday, 5 miles into our run, we were turning off of a plowed road, onto a snowmobile trail. Tefa was turning me the correct way, George pulled the team the opposite way. Trying to stop the team, I slammed both feet onto the brake. In the same moment, Tefa pulled George the correct way, causing me to lose my balance, fall and get drug. In the process, I fell on my knee, and hyper-extended it to the side, hearing my knee pop in and out. It hurt so bad, it felt like I broke my leg. My dad (who was following our teams on the snowmachine), dove in the middle of my team to stop them. I righted the sled and hooked down for a few minutes, until I got the feeling back into my leg. I stretched it out, then continued on for the remainder of the run, 38 more miles. My leg was sore, but I was still able to control the team. When I got back to the kennel, I was trying to put a wrist wrap on one of our craziest dogs, she went between my legs, out to the side, I slipped on the ice and did the exact same thing to my knee, hearing it pop in and out again!! This time it really hurt and I could barely walk all night! This is so disapointing because I was really looking forward to the Beargrease this year. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to assess the damage. It is getting a little better each day. I HOPE I will be fine by race day. If not, Larry will be piloting the team for the 2nd year in a row.

1 comment:

Mancelona Woodswoman said...

Congrats to both you and Larry on your amazing Tahq runs!

Love your pictures!!

Hope your knee gets better soon Joann. You and Larry will need to start flipping coins to see who runs at Beargrease. :) Default by injury isn't any fun. Hang in there.