Monday, February 22, 2010

Time Flies

Can't believe it's Rondy week already. One last training run Tuesday before the big race. Dogs are looking pretty good. Most are finally over being sick. We are really getting excited about the race. It will be fun to see how the dogs do.

So, this has been a tough month for us. We lost our beloved Fancy earlier this month. She was just shy of 16 years old. She had a great long life and will always be one of the greatest lead dogs to ever live at this kennel. Almost every dog here is related to her. Our best leaders right now are her pups. She will be dearly missed forever. We also lost another old guy, Fancy's son Spencer. He was my limited class leader for many, many years. We'll dedicate this Rondy race to them!

The draw is tomorrow night so we'll find out how many teams will be there for sure. Since it's our Rookie year we go out at the back of the pack-bummer....... Looking to just survive all 3 days, we don't really care how we place just want to finish the race. We'll try to update the blog but life gets pretty busy with work & dogs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another race weekend down

We went and raced at the ASDRA trails in Anchorage again this past weekend. I had higher hopes for my 6 dog team but after loosing my leader to an attack from another dog team while training during the previous weekend. My leader will be ok, she's just out for awhile with stitches in her left flank from another teams dog grabbing her in a pass and ripping her hide off (ouch!!!!). Although, I must say she's becoming quite accustom to life in the house. Hopefully she'll continue to heal up and be back in time for Exxon weekend. So, I had to beg for my previous leader back from Nathan's team. Lark is her name and she has done very well in lead for us for several years now. It was strange for her to be racing in the 6 dog class again after training her 20 miles. She didn't believe we were only going 6 miles til we hit the poleline coming home then she turned it on. A few short runs and she'll be good to go. The 8 dog class went pretty good. I was hoping to beat the german musher but I had one of my 5 yearlings in the team holding back a bit. She'd been training with the open team but boogered her feet up racing in the Eagle River Classic so we pulled her back to the 8 dog team. She doesn't care much for running high speeds with all 4 feet bootied. Lesson well learned! The open team is progressing quite nicely. We are very pleased with all the dogs. There are so many young ones that are looking so good that we'll have for many years to come. The plan this first year in the open class is to just do the best we can and learn as much as possible. We've been racing with different leaders at each race to make sure we have several with plenty of experience especially at the Anchorage trails which is where alot of the Rondy race is. The team finished 4th in this past weekends 14 mile race. We had Nora and Makita in lead. Nora is the mother of most of the yearlings we are racing this year. Makita and her sister Ryobi are 2 of our very best leaders. Ryobi should be in the Rondy team but pulled a groin muscle at the Orville Lake race the beginning of January and is just now able to do some short training runs. Our hope is quickly diminishing that she'll be able to make the Rondy team.
We got the rest of the pups harness broke this past weekend. We have 2 litters only about 10 days apart in age so that makes things really convenient for harness breaking them. One is out of Zeus and Nora and the other is out of Makita and our super yearling Guardrail. All the pups did really great and it will be so much fun to watch them grow.
Our newest little pup "Jingle" born in December is sure growing fast. She's 7 weeks old on the 27th. She's an only pup and definitely getting all the nutrition she needs since she weighs about 12 lbs now. She's going to stay at my mom's tomorrow while we get her mama out training. We've been taking her with us but she's getting to be a handful because she doesn't like being in the dog box for hours on end while were training all the teams.
That's it for now. Happy trails to all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

well i have spent the last week out every night late putting in a trail since we got a 2 foot dump starting last Tuesday. We double sledded on Saturday and Sunday 12 miles at chugiak and the trails are assume. if you want to come see a nice trail come here next weekend well be racing there on Sunday. dogs are doing pretty good right now and are ready to go way farther. maybe on Thursday well go out to john and heathers and do 17 miles. still trying to see if were going to have enough to make rondy this year but only time will tell. it was a long day on Sunday we trained 50 dogs of the truck, we broke some pups and they all just stood there in the lines like they been doing it for years. no jumping around, getting all tangled no biting or playing with there sibling next to them just right t0 business sot that was very impressive and fun to see the future of SRK run.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday 12-14

Well the summer went by like that and I(Nathan) finally got a day off work, well at least half a day. We've been running dogs pretty regularly since Oct 1st but the weather hasn't cooperated. Warm all fall and now no snow but maybe that will change this week for us. All the dogs are still running on the 4-wheeler but they are doing 14 miles and doing it well. This year has been one of the hardest years for us so far when it comes to training. We are training 42 dogs off the truck, 3 to 4 times per week. Due to noise restriction where we live, we have to get up at 6:30 get water ready and go out at 7 and water dogs and clean up poops, then we come in and eat our breakfast, get the rest of the last minute stuff ready and load the dogs on the truck at 9 am and leave the house 9:30 to 10:00. Drive over 1 hour just to get to the place we go to train, train all day get done around 5 pm, drive home feed and finish chores get back into the house around 8pm. We do this Tuesday, Thursday and on the weekends. The other three day we both work all day and on Wednesdays we have to go back to work till 1 am. It would be nice to get on a sleds soon so we can go farther.
We went and raced Montana Creek track last Saturday but we didn't go back on Sunday. The club did a pretty good job getting a trail in for as little snow as they have. The trail was very rough and it fell apart pretty quick so when Jen came back from the 6 dog we decided we'd go ahead and run the rest of the teams but we'd have to keep themslowed down withthe mat. It was also crazy getting the teams out since they had very little time in between classes. We both got back in the 8 dog class and before I even got in there were open teams already hooking up. We had less then 10 min to un- hook 14 dogs (Jen raced 6 in the 8 dog class), drop 12, turn the sled around, change lines, harness and hook twelve up and get to the line. It was also a bummer to see the purses getting cut and the fee's going way up, its going to make really hard for people to come up there and race multipul teams. But other wise we were happy with all the yearlings and the young 2 year old leaders that raced their first race in lead. All the dogs are healthy and happy and are as eager as us get to sleds and do something different. We had a litter of pups born about a week ago, there was a whopping 1 pup in the litter. Sure is going to be an expensive pup having her now when the weathers been around 0 F . Hope everyone has a good start to the season and a merry Christmas. Here are some pictures from this year. Jen and her nephew being silly after the 2009 Easter race at chugiak. Us with Ryobi (lead dog) right after Jen won the 2009 8 dog Limited North American. We made it away twice this summer to go fishing. Once at my parents cabin on the Kenai river and dip netting on the kenai the other time and we got a lot, hopefully enough fish for us this winter and into next
summer. And the new lonely pup born December 9th, her name is "Jingle".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 3 Limited North American

The morning started with a beautiful sunrise as we headed off to our drop spot. The sky was incredible. As we dropped and watered the dogs I watched closely for any hint of soreness or injuries. The dogs are all incredibly happy and full of energy. The yearlings especially are running around like crazy maniacs. More than once I found myself in a situation begging them to not be so rowdy for fear one would crash into the other as they raced around the parking lot chasing each other. Everyone gobbled up their breakfast and looked fine for another day of racing.
Day 3 was a great day for us. In the 6 dog class we posted the second fastest day time, unfortunately we missed 2nd place overall by just 7 seconds. We're happy with 3rd though. I put my "big boys" (Dar & Dewalt) up in lead today. Day 1 & 2 leaders would have done just fine too, but I figured since the big boys had been leading in the longer mileage races they may be better suited for the final day of this race. They obviously did a superb job of bringing it home today.
It was quite a bit colder today and the wind was really ripping at times. The big question for the 8 dog race was what to do with the goofy yearling that played around biting at her brother the first 2 days of racing. My choices were, drop her, drop him or leave it the same. I decided to go with dropping him. Not because he was unable to run, I thought there might be a slight chance he'd get more tired than her because he works so unbelievably hard the whole time he's running. With the longer mileage we had to run I figured it would have been bad to have her nipping at him even longer. Turns out I made the right choice. Everyone in the team ran perfect! I noticed a bit less power without the big guy "Dukker" especially on the final uphill climb coming home. The wind was blowing so hard at one point coming across the field just before the finish, a gust caught my sled, blew it almost over and as I scrambled to keep it upright I was blow literally off the trail into the deep snow. I had looked at my GPS at the lower part of the field and knew if we could keep the pace up we'd have one of the fastest times ever for this class/mileage. We crossed the finish line and had done it. The second best time ever for the 8 dog class running 12 miles! Now all I had to do was sit tight and watch as my competitors crossed the finish line to see if we'd managed to hang on to the top spot. I have to admit it was a bit nerve wracking. I was pretty sure if we could stay in front of team #2 we'd have the win. Second place was in and we'd beat them. Now all I had to wait and see if we could win the day time too. Yep, we did that too. In fact our team was the only team under the 37 minute time. I grab "Makita", scooped her up in my arms and gave her the biggest hug. She's one super dog. Her sister "Ryobi" is just as good but she's bigger so she'd have been harder to scoop up. Then just as Nathan & I are jumping for joy (literally) Our good friends, Terry & Buddy Streeper and Lina Gladh show up with the Champagne. Buddy snapped a few shots of Nathan & I with the leaders, hopefully they'll turn out and we'll post them when we get home. It was nice to know others recognise how hard we've worked for this. I called home to mom next and she's just as excited as us.
We enjoyed a nice dinner with friends and we'll pack up and head home in the morning. Everyone trying to talk us into flying back up next Sunday night for the banquet, we'll have to see if we can find someone to feed for us.
Looking forward to the Tok Race of Champions in 2 weeks. Can't wait to see how fast the dogs can go where there isn't a big hill at the finish. The plan is we'll both race the 8 dog and I'll race the 6 dog. Here's the final times for the top 3.
6 dog
Jennifer Probert 22:56 total 57:27.7
Trisha Seibold 23:31 58:09.6
Jen Sterling 23:13 58:16.6

8 dog
Jen Sterling 36:45 total 1:39:24.8
Christian Taveau 37:08 1:41:21.6
Trisha Seibold 38:05 1:42:33.9

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 2 Limited North American

It was a little colder today. Temps were about -1 for the 6 dog race and warmed up to a whopping 3 degrees for the 8 dog. All the dogs looked great this morning so everyone will go again today.
We'll make some minor adjustments to the gangline for the 8 dog to see if we can keep the yearling that goofed off yesterday from biting so much at her running mate. I contemplated just dropping her but she ran great. With it being a 3 day race sure will be nice to have them all to chose from the last day. I ran both the 6 & 8 dogs teams with all dogs in the same positions as the 1st day.
The 6 dog actually went a little better with slightly cooler temps. We ended up with the 4th place day time but have managed to hold on to 3rd overall so far. I'll post the top 5 again at the end of the post.
The 8 dog went super. The dogs were absolutely flying. I don't think we've even come close to how fast our super leader "Makita" can go. She just eats up the speed, the faster the better for her. Had about the same amount of trouble with my goofy yearling again even with the minor adjustments to the gangline. I'll drop either her or her brother tomorrow, and just run a single position in front of wheel. All the others ran great and looked good at feeding time tonight. It will be interesting to see how they do with the longer mileage tomorrow. We'll be going 12.1 compared to the 10.6 we ran the first 2 days.
A big pat on the back to the trail crew up here. The trails are the best we've run on all year. It's so much fun to go so fast. The dogs are really enjoying it too.
I think it's supposed to be colder yet tomorrow. Sure am glad it's not hot like it was for this race last year. We'll update again tomorrow with how the final day goes.
Here's the top 5 for both classes:
6 dog
Jennifer Probert 17:08.4 2 day total 34:31.0
Trisha Seibold 17:21.6 34:37.8
Jen Sterling 17:24.0 35:03.9
Kris Rasey 17:21.1 35:33.9
Amy Gjestson 17:48.4 35:55.2

8 dog
Jen Sterling 31:14.3 2 day total 1:02.39.1
Christian Taveau 32:18.2 1:04.13.3
Trisha Seibold 32:20.4 1:04.28.6
Egil Ellis 32:16.1 1:05.24.2
Amanda Byrd 32:36.4 1:05.50.7

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 1 Limited North American

I had real good draws in both classes today for my start positions. The six dog team took off like a rocket. We're in 3rd place after day 1 so we're really happy with that. I ran Kodo & Lark in lead today. In team were Finch & Dewalt and Dar & Loon were in wheel. Tomorrow it may be quite a bit colder or so the forecast says. It seemed hotter than what they showed for temperatures today. It was a beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. We'll plan to have the same leaders for tomorrow, then Dar & Dewalt will take over for the longer run on the final day.
The 8 dog apparently went much better than it seemed to be going while I was out on the trail. They dogs were moving along really nice but one of my yearlings was being quite a stinker. She was biting at her brother most of the trail. I was a bit nervous taking her but we're trying to be sure all the yearling get good race exposure this year. I saw the team ahead of us before the 10 mile turn, but we couldn't quite catch them for awhile. One of the leaders was holding back a bit, which is quite unusual for her. The team had a really bad experience last weekend in the Tanacross race. The team they had to pass had a dog in it that bit out at them as they tried to go by. We did end up getting by the team ahead of us. We had a great musher to pass, she did a real good job letting us by, which was great for the dogs to have a good passing experience. Coming up the hill on the way home is brutal though. It seems like the dogs slow down so much. I couldn't decide whether it was better to pedal or duck down to stay out of the wind, so I did some of both. We crossed the line and my super handler (Nathan) said we did great. Come to find out we're in the lead. We wanted to finish in the top 5 for this race, so looks like we're in a good position to do that. There is still 2 days of racing to go so we'll have to wait and see how our yearlings hold up. We'll probably have to stretch out the line and run a 10 dog string to separate the silly yearling that was biting at her running mate. Here's the top 5 times for the 6 & 8 dog.
6 dog
Trisha Seibold 17:16
Jennifer Probert 17:22
Jen Sterling 17:39
Amy Gjetson 18:06
Greg Selletin 18:10

8 dog
Jen Sterling 31:24
Christian Taveau 31:55
Trisha Seibold 32:08
Egil Ellis 33:08
Amanda Byrd 33:14