Monday, March 9, 2009

Wow, I can't believe how fast a month goes by. That's how long it's been since my last post.Between racing and working and training I don't think we are even getting much sleep much less having the time to get on the computer.

Since then we have raced in the Raven Electric 10 dog, Chistochina Fun Days 6-dog race and Tanacross.

Nathan & I both ran the Raven Electric. Nathan finished in 6th and I manage to grab 10th. The dogs are still struggling a bit to recover from the long trip across country I think.

The race at Chistochina had to be shortened to just 3 1/2 miles due to bad overflow on the trail. We joked about how funny it seemed to be racing such a short race for a huge purse. They had a ton of snow too. There were 16 teams competing. They had to send the mushers out in groups of 5 teams at one minute intervals since the trail was too narrow for head on passing. I didn't think it was really that big of a deal until I got out on the trail and saw how narrow it was. I also got to see first hand just how deep the snow was if you got off the trail. One of my leaders was a bit far to the left going around a corner and next thing I knew my dog team had totally disappeared. They ended up going in the exact spot a snow machine had gotten stuck earlier. It was a very deep hole. Nathan finished in 4th and I finished 5th. The top 6 teams were all within just seconds of each other. We made good money though. There was a $5,000 purse on the race. We love going to Chistochina, the people there are alot of fun and we always have a great time.

Next race-Tanacross. We had big hopes for this weekend. The dogs were starting to look like a whole team again. I raced the 6 dog and won. I went with "Dar" and "Dewalt" in lead. "Finch" & "Lark" in swing and "Loon" & "Kodo" in wheel. Loon, Finch and Lark are litter mates, so are Dar & Kodo, and then Dewalt has the same parents as Dar & Kodo only he's a year younger.
Nathan ran "Dewalt's" sister's "Makita" & "Ryobi" in lead both days of the 10 dog. Seven of the ten dogs he raced were yearlings. He was in 2nd place only 10 seconds out of 1st place after day one. He had a real bad time trying to get past another team day 1. The other team had a dog of theirs bite out at his leaders as he tried to pass, then actually get ahold of one of Nathan's team dogs. It tore a strip of hide off poor "Shey". Day 2 he had to go with 9 dogs. One of the yearlings "Kai" was limping so he had to sit out. As we waited at the starting line on Day 2 for his take-off I hear someone yell loose dog. Just about then they say "Go" and Nathan's team heads down the trail. The loose dog plows into the middle of his team the proceeds to chase him down the trail biting at his leaders back legs. Oh great I thought. I figured he wouldn't have a very good run after a start like that, especially given the experience the dogs had the day before while trying to pass and being bit at. He ended up falling to 4th place overall. We were really bummed. He was only 12 seconds out of 2nd place overall and less than a minute off 1st place overall. We both really felt like the dogs team was on it and could have easily pulled off the win. Oh well, that's dog racing. It would be nice however if someday we could have just a bit better luck. Or I guess I should say Nathan have better luck. I can't complain at all about my race, it went great.
We'll have a short training run on Tuesday to decide whether or not to head to Fairbanks for the Limited North American Championships. We'll have to rely on some of the other yearlings to fill the spot for Kai and maybe Shey. Looks like Kai may have broken a toe on his back foot, so he'll be out the rest of the year. I'm hoping I'll have my 2 super leaders "Dar" & "Dewalt" back in time for this weekend. If we go I'll race both the 6 & 8 dog classes. Nathan now for some reason thinks he's too big of a guy for racing the 8 dog.

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