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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Race wins - in majors...

In my opinion - there are 5 major sprint races... Yellowknife, The Pas, Laconia, Anchorage and Fairbanks.

In my opinion a major needs to fill these requirments:

1. minimum 3 day event - weather permitting - 3 days test a dogs endurance and toughness more then a 1 or 2 day event. speed races are tougher then marathons.

2. consisdered the main race or markey event for the region that the race is run.

3. draws different teams from other areas of the country, not exclusive to regional mushers.

4. minimum 50 years of history - the older the better.

5. past and present mushers compete in other areas of the sport, geographical and discipline and are competitve when doing so.


I have great respect for Lombard - why?

He raced outside his own region, traveling 5000 miles one way - to take on the best alaskan teams in the state - not just racing the musher listed, but whole communities and many kennels, when entire villiges would pool their resources and support one team, he would race teams composed of all best the dogs from many teams.

Attla used this benifit for a few years, and always borrowed a few dogs to fill out his team from other top kennels.

Travel is extremely tough for a dog team, to live on the truck for 60 or more days take a lot of commitment and dedication that many mushers will never experience. To be away from their home kennel, where dogs get to be normal, live at their own house, walk around when ever, stretch, lounge and be comfortable.

Ellis has lived in Alaska for most of his wins, never having to travel further then 300 miles to compete, and his longest stint on the road will never be more then 10 days.

Attla also had this advantage once he moved to North Pole early in his career.

The Cooks race The Pas - which is not much farther the a few hundred miles from their home...


So to compare a list of major winners, from past and present is very difficult, when all factors are considered.

In my opinion the results should read:

1 - Attla 18
2 - Terry Streeper 16 (4 with eddy, 12 with Buddy)
3 - Lombard 15
4 - R & K Cook 14
5 - Ellis 13
6 - R. Beck 11
7 - Charlie & Roxy 11
8 - E St.Godard 8
8 - E & A Streeper 8

8:44 am pdt 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a race...

after 3 days of racing, and a a total  mileage of 70 miles, the total separation of the top 2 teams was under 5 seconds. not once during the 3 day event did these 2 teams ever get farther then 20 seconds apart from one another.

The team peformed well, raced hard, but was beaten in the last 1/4 mile. all things considered it was a great performance for the team.

although the team was hurt by injuries--- lost main leader, Heidi Day 1 due to a sore back leg, injured CASPER, main point dog day 1 to a injured back foot, and lost the other main point dog, chelsey on Day 2 to a twisted ankle. plus 3 other dogs who were fatigued from the race. the remaining 12 dogs worked well on Sunday and did their best.

also our second string, drove by Micheal Tetzner did very good, and accomplished their own goal of a top 10 finish. this was the largest team on sunday, and was the first team home on sunday with the reverse start.


at the banquet I talked with some past veterans of this race about their close battles.

Charlie Titus won the 1948 onac by 2 seconds, over Harrold Greenway.

George Attla won the 1975 ONAC by 0.5 seconds over Harvey Drake.

Michi Konno won the 1998 ONAC by 8 seconds over Curtis Erhart, I was 3rd 8 seconds behind him.

also I won the 2003 ONAC by 34 seconds over Egil Eillis.

After this season, of only racing in Alaska, I found out that even the sled dog capital of the world can become boring after some time. we have focused soly on the RONDY and ONAC for the last 3 season, and have won 3 straight WORLD TITLES and 1 ONAC TITLE, finishing a strong second in the other 2.  but when you stay in one place and focus on one race, my interest is lost and the excitement dwindles.

so next year we will try something else. we will challenge ourselves in other races, and compete in different places on different trails, I want to race the STAGE races, like Wyoming and maybe Colorado. then back to Anchorage for the RONDY, only the conditions are good, but if they race is canceled or rained out, we will be ready to race in Canada, in good races like The Pas, and Cross Lake, and Yellowknife.

in other news, our yearling team, drove by Dave Johnson won first place in Taylor BC, beating out 2 top open drivers and a feild of 10 teams. these are the dogs that will be apart of the main team next season, so its assuring to know their ability.

this weekend is tok, but we will not race, as both Terry and I have bigger plans to compete in the village's of Kotzebue and Tanana. I will be a handler for other teams, and spectate along the trail.---\

in other news, Lina got a puppy today, a 6 week old blue heeler, she named SALLY. she is a sweetheart and is a ream character, she will be fun to watch grow.---

we have put together a list of all of our dogs, and will be selling many great dogs of the main team, as well as race winning yearlings. please contact us with your own request.  at-

12:20 am pdt 

Sunday, March 22, 2009



its been a good year.

1st place Enterprice NWT, 1st Place Fort Nelson, 1st Su Valley, 1st Willow Championship, 1st Exxon Open, 1st Fur Rondy World Championship, 1st Tanacross Race.

and now after 2 days of racing in the OPEN NORTH AMERICAN,  1st place.

The run started well, the skis were waxed perfectly, all 15 dogs running good from start. after a good 10 miles, the team took a break for the next 7 miles, and well for the final miles.

I will run 12 dogs on sunday, and it will be the best 12 dogs we own.

with the reverse order I will be able to let my dogs chase, and you all know what its like to chase, my team has now led the race for the last 35 miles, no scent, no teams  no chase. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.

I have yet to give the team a push, with weak front ends for the final miles both days, the rear of the team is strong, and will give me the power to come home on sunday. 

I need 1 more clean day of racing with no stops. I want to save my best for last.

12:59 am pdt 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 1 of the 2009 ONAC is in the books....
cominhome2009onacrampdayzzzzz1.jpg  space
and I am very pleased with the run today, the team run vey easy, and i was using the mat for the entire race. i had 1 clean pass with heather hardy, and passed a bull moose on the slough, thankfully no issues with him.

i did have a minor glitch, when on the way home at 19 mile, Imy sled hit a snow bump, and knocked my left snowhook out of the holster, i tried to retrieve it, but it set itself in the trail and brought my 18 dog team from 19 mph, to 0, in 10 feet. i repostitioned the sled, and pulled the hook, thankfully it was not worse.

after the run, alll dogs looked fresh, and calm, a good sign of things to come over the next 50 miles.

I did have 1 point dog limping afterwards, so I will leave him off, as well as a wheel dog who worked well, but i dont like a single dog when running on a good trail, with a large team. I have rearranged the line up and feel good about saturdays run. hopefull I will keep the speed teams behind me for the reverese start on sunday, where i prefer to go out last.

On the second team, Micheal Tetzner, drove a clean conservative race. he used lots of matt pressure, and guided the team to a strong steady run. with a lots of race left, he will move up the standings by sunday.

One great thing about the run, was how well the skis slid, no doubt a great wax job can make a good run, better. And today this was the case, as their was no resistance on the skis today.

I hope everyone enjoys the race coverage, and all my competitors can have clean fast runs. Good luck, and be safe.

1:27 am pdt 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One day to go....


On the final day prior to the ONAC, the mushers met at the ADMA club for race briefing and rules discussion. After the meeting we met again downtown, to go for the teail veiwing. The river and slough has had some recent work done witht a snow cat- and is rough, but will be good after some paces with a leveling drag. once into the creamers dairy area, at 3 mile, the trail turns into the speed hiway, this club is know for. 12 feet from edge to edge, as hard as snow can possibly be. the snow gos- hardly made a mark in the trails.  even the 3rd day extension is in very good condtion. To call this trail fast would be an under statement.

Today we also looked at the runners and wax we will slect, as Micheal Tetzner is the wax man, and has prepaired 4 very fast sets. he has a great knowledge of the skis and condtions, and has selected the best combintation. After  trying the skis it is clear he knws how to wax very well all skis are slick and in great shape for the weekend.

We fed the dogs at 3:30, as we have all week, this will give the dogs plenty of time to digest and process the food. they will be clear of all excess weight prior to the start of the run. they all feel well, and are in great shape, the tema is ready to roll, but I wont make them peak till sunday. when the race will be decided.

I have spent some time plainnng race strategy, and have studied track times and speeds from previous years. it will be super fast, and the record time from last year should be beat. in years past I have always run this race with the goal of winning. it has worked 2 times, but 4 times i have finished 2nd, and 1 time 3rd.  this year the plan is to have 3 good clean runs, and let the standings play themselves out. starting on day 1, i will ease the team started, and once to the club trail. i will try and hold the teams average, without running to fast. being team #2, I will set the bar for the following teams, a fast clean run is whats needed to do well here.

My team is ready and so am I, Terry , Lina, and I, have planned the whole winter around this race, and getting the team in the best condtion to do well. and we have done a very good job. The dogs are at the best,and this is the best team our kennel has ever had.

I wish all me competitors the best, with clean fast runs.  good luck, and enjoy the race.

11:02 pm pdt 

Race day!!

Lots of excitement today. as we volunteered a team to run in the annual Jeff Studdart passenger race. the race is a fun event where teams of 2 mushers must weigh in, to determine the amount of dogs to be used. 40lbs = 1 dog.

Today I was paired with the representative of GCI, who was racing in his second ever run, as he tried last season. We were 2 of the biggest mushers, next to the NFL football players, who were also taking part in the activities, as 4 pro football athletes are in Alaska to visit some of the military bases, doing talks and appearances. so our team got 12 dogs, 4 from our kennel, and 8 i would use of Curtis Erhart's, as well as a sled he would lend me to carry the passenger tot he turn around point, where the rules require the switch between driver and passenger. we left first and had a good run, all dogs did very well. it was challenging to turn the corners and speed down the hill, as the sled with passengers was well over 500 lbs combined. I was a scared on a few turns, and used a lot of power to steer the sled to avoid trees and snowbanks. fortunately we had a clean run. Not so for some other teams, as 2 drivers would need to be hospitalized after the race, when Amanda Byrd broke her ankle during a crash. resulting in a lost team, but she was able to run after the team to retrieve it before any dogs were hurt. she is one tough cookie.  next Lynn Orbison also had a spill, resulting in a broken sled and a pulled back muscle, she would need to see a specialist after the races.

Then tonight we had the draw. 18 teams signed up, most have raced the Rondy, but some new faces were in town. With a large field, I really wanted to have a top seed, as it's so frustrating going out in the back, and having the trail deteriorate, and make many passes on the day. But fortunately I got #2, which makes for the first time I will ever be happy with #2.
We also will be helping out a friend with dogs, as Micheal Tetzner will drive our b - team. He arrived on Saturday and trained with us on Monday. he is really excited to race, as his season in Europe is finished from the warm weather. Joining him, as his handler is a new gentlemen to Alaska, Nikki, from South Korea, arrived today, and is super excited to see the sights of Alaska. Nikki has a kennel in Korea, and is living his dream being in Alaska.

Micheal drew bib 5, and will start from our truck which will make it very easy to get both teams to the line for their start.

also after the draw, they held a calcutta, which is basically gambling on the final times of the dog teams. We always take interest in this, and bought a few teams. I was seeded as Scratch, which means the favorite to win, the handicaps the other teams were very big, making it not likely that i will beat all of them, so we bought Jack Berry with 38 minutes, Jason Dunlap with 20 minutes and one other who i am forgetting. This adds some excitement to the event.

Tomorrow we will have a drivers meeting, and then a trail viewing.

I want to congratulate my friends Lance Mackey, for his 5th straight 1000 mile race win.

Sebastian Schnuelle for his awesome season, winning the Quest and taking 2nd in the I-rod.

and also to John Baker for braving the weather across Norton Sound, to become this years 3rd place finisher. 

Great job guys!
12:58 am pdt 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The temps are cold, and the trail is fast, and the cards are being played for the hand billed as "THE GRAND-DADDY OF THEM ALL" This weekend the fastest Open mushers will hook their teams and compete in the 60th running of the Open North American.

Mushers will drive their teams of as many as 20 dogs, at top speeds of 30 mph and average speeds of 20 mph. This years conditions are perfect, and speed will be the main ingredient for the top teams that will seperate themselves.
Wednesday will be the drawing for start postions, likely 15-17 teams will line up for Fridays first heat. The trail is 20.3 miles in length, and 28 miles on sunday.

12:40 am pdt 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 3 LNAC

After 2 days of racing and fast times, today should deliver some exciting finishes. With only seconds seperating the top 3 teams in both the 6 and 4 dog class. The eight dog appears to be a run away, with a large lead set.

It's cold today, -34 at 8 am, light wind, but clear sunny skies, yeaterday I beleive the high was -10c, and yet I still managed to get a tan on my face, from all the sun at the track.

All mushers are saying how nice the trail is, smooth and fast, perfect for fast running.

2 people in the room while I write this are sharing their turns of coughing and hacking, as both are deliing with sore, irritated throats. Hopefull they dont worsen too bad as I sure hope they dont get me sick!!!!!

9:58 am pdt 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Good days.

March in Fairbanks, 2 words - good days.  Sunny, blue skies, -10c. awesome fast trails. Possible the best in the world. Absolutely perfect, 12 feet wide, smooth, hard and fast. A mushers paradise.

Today was day 1 of the limited and some fast times were turned in. Lina raced the 4 dog class, and had a very good run, she had to make 2 passes, and was till only a few seconds off the lead position, I look for her to gain over the next 2 days.

We had to leave after the 4 dog, as i needed to run the open teams at North Pole. I took the first team 16 miles, and the other 12. both runs were good, and the dogs are feeling very well. now they get 2 days off, and 1 last run at North Pole on Monday, before the race next weekend.

We have been following the Iditarod, and its cool to see the gps tracking, and race video. It's a real good race this year, lots of good teams, and one lance mackey. It's a long race, but there is lots of drama that unfolds.

Looks like their may be over 20 teams to start the ONAC, with a few more Canadians coming. Will be fun too see of them for the first time this season. I hope they have safe, easy trips up the highway.

12:37 am pdt 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tanacross Day 2

Sara here. I just spoke with Bud on the phone and he was able to give me a few unofficial times and final placing order.

10 dog day 2 times:

1. Buddy - 30:06
2. Lina - 30:44
3. Jennifer - 31:02
4. Nathan - 31:06
5. Dori - ?

10 dog overall:

1. Buddy
2. Jennifer Probert
3. Lina
4. Nathan Sterling
5. Forest Seibold
6. Dori Hollingsworth
7. Trish Seibod
8. Evelyn Better
9. Dave Johnson
10. Isreal Silas
11. Deb McRath
12. Tom Denny
13. Mari Ho-Rattio

6 dog Overall:

1. Jennifer Sterling
2. Lina Gladh        
3. Jennifer Probert       
4. Dave Johnson      
5. Roy Denny           

Lina had the fastest day time in the 6 dog today but it wasn't enough to take first overall.... missed it by 3 seconds!

6:28 pm pdt 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tanacross Day 1

light wind from north west, -10c, sunny, trail ok, some drifting and soft edges.

10 dog-

jenn probert- 2959
nathan sterling- 30.09
bud streeper      3015
lina gladh          3023
trish seibold       3044
forest seibold     3053
evelyn beeter     3112
dori holingsworth  3119
dave johnson-      3240
isreal silas           3254
deb mcrath          3300
mari hoe rattio     3314
tom denny           3641

6 dog

jennifer sterling-  2008
lina glad             2013
jen probert          2029
dave johnson       2113
roy denny            2254
agnes denny        2308
caryol johnson      2309
isreal silas           2322
bernie paul          2338

6:55 pm pst 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

6:23 pm pst 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

7:36 pm pst 

What a RACE!!!!

Well if you never heard, it rondy_117.jpgwas a 3 day thriller in Anchorage- Bill Kormuller ran an incredible race, and separated himself from the field by over 2 minutes going into the 3rd day. He did runa  great 3rd day, and completed a perfect rondy, not having to make a single stop, but the third day belonged to us, STREEPER KENNELS, and we completed what is said to be "THE GREATEST COMEBACK WIN IN RONDY HISTORY" to win by the narrowest of margins, just 9 seconds!!!!

it was a great race, awesome trails, all musher's finished, and many with large dog teams, I ran 18 dogs Friday, 17 Saturday, and put together 16 for the final run Sunday. I was led by Myia and HEIDI for the final 2 days. all dogs ran great and were not even tired at the finish. This marks our 6th straight season winning the world sprint title- 03' laconia, 04' rondy, 05 the pas, 07-08-09 Anchorage fur rondy.

Lina completed a very strong race herself, finishing 10th place in a strong field, she mad no mistakes, and had only minor stops for the 75 mile race, and placed as top female, and completed her rookie year very well.

we are now in Fairbanks. and will race in Tanacross this weekend. we will race our rondy dogs against some of the best limited class teams in the country. last weekend our teams ran 75 miles, and our competitors raced 2 heats of 3 miles. 

we trained all dogs today at north pole, we went 6 miles, and all dogs look great. every year the rondy seems to be easier and easier for them.

we will drive down to TOK on friday, where we will stay for the weekend.

7:13 pm pst 

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