Saturday, January 17, 2009
Day one of the world championships was pretty disappointing. The trail was absolutely one of the worst trails we have ever run on. Not at all what we expected for a world class race. I tried my best to keep the team slowed down to avoid injuries since we still have a lot of races left back home in Alaska. The 1st mile of the trail was super, real hard and fast, then about the next 8 miles was 8 inches of sugary powder down the center of the trail. The last part coming home was pretty good too. The edges were hard enough that the dogs thought they could run fast but just about the time you think finally the trail is better they would fall through. Then we had a bit of a finish line disaster. There were quite a few photographers and we were running down the river and to cross the finish line you have to get your dogs to go between these 2 orange fences about 6 feet apart. The only catch is there was nothing to sort of help you funnel into the 2 fences if that makes sense. So my guys decided since this photographer was waving at them, that must be where they were to go and headed straight there. Wrong! I couldn't get my hook to set on the ice DUH! I'm hollering for help but of course no one is going to help. I'm an American not a Quebec musher. So I set my hook the best I could and hoping for the best I jump off and run for my leaders to drag them over to the finish line. Well about then the hook pops and I watch as my dog team crashes into the fence ahead. Now they are in a ball as finally people jump over the fence to help. God knows how many people it took to drag my team backward and over the finish line. It is so disappointing to come so far and this whole event is so disorganized and the trail is so bad. They have known for so long they were holding the race here it's no excuse to have such a terrible trail for a world championship race. They can't use the excuse that the weather caused it because we trained here on Friday on the designated training trails and they were great. I don't know at this point if we will race again tomorrow. We'll have to see how the team looks in the morning and decide if it's really worth the risks to run a such a bad trail. What do we really have to gain from going on? We know we have a super team and lots of races on good trails still too come.