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.
Jennifer Probert 22:56 total 57:27.7
Trisha Seibold 23:31 58:09.6
Jen Sterling 23:13 58:16.6
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