In a mass start race all the teams hook up at the same time and then leave their post when the green flag drops. The idea is that you want to be the first team to the corner where the big wide trail funnels into about an 8 foot trail. I was probably a little too conservative trying to avoid tangles and ended up in the middle of the pack. Teams were running side by side with another one ahead and sometimes 2 more right behind. When some of the teams try to pass, dogs are biting out at one another. It is quite a site to see and be in the middle of! Before the race began I had decided the most important thing, even above winning, to avoid at all costs hurting anyone, since this would be my team for the world championships. About 2 miles into the race, you exit the lake and are on a trail about 14 feet wide. That’s where I made my move both days. On Saturday I was 3rd off the lake and planned to chase the 2 lead teams at least through the turn-around point. After the ½ way point I let my team go. At one point while I was trying to get around the other 2 teams we were all 3 lined up – side by side - going down the trail. Finally one of the teams slowed to let me by but the other one wouldn’t give trail. Eventually we managed to pull away although not too far. My team did very well considering how close the other teams were traveling behind us. You have to have super lead dogs for this kind of racing – and I was real proud of Dar and Dewalt for the outstanding job they did. We crossed the finish line first and won the race!
Each day of racing is counted as a separate race, so if you have one bad day, you can make it up the other day. On Sunday we were next to last getting off the lake, someone ran into my leader real hard with their sled so I just hit my breaks and let everyone go by. I figured I would pass them all on the wide trail after we got off the lake. One day of racing wasn’t worth winning and not having my leaders for
Nathan ran the open class with all the yearlings. When we arrived in
The Streeper family put on an incredible race. They did a fantastic job on the trail and were very helpful to everyone. Debby Streeper and her helpers made an excellent dinner for all the racers on Saturday night. On Sunday night we all gathered at the Streeper house for leftover dinner and a recap of the race weekend. Despite the extremely cold weather – we are still glad we came and raced. It was a great experience and really nice to see all the Streeper again. Next stop was