Thursday, March 26, 2009
Race wins - in majors...
8:44 am pdt
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
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
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
Attla used this benifit for a few years, and always borrowed a few dogs to fill out his team from other
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
What a race...
12:20 am pdt
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
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.
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
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.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
12:59 am pdt
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.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
1:27 am pdt
Day 1 of the 2009 ONAC is in the books....
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.
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.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
One day to go....
11:02 pm pdt
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.
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.
12:58 am pdt
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
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.
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!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
12:40 am pdt
BRING IT ON!!!!
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, March 15, 2009
Day 3 LNAC
9:58 am pdt
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.
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!!!!!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
12:37 am pdt
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
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.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
6:28 pm pdt
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
Lina - 30:44
3. Jennifer - 31:02
4. Nathan - 31:06
5. Dori - ?
10 dog overall:
2. Jennifer Probert
4. Nathan Sterling
5. Forest Seibold
6. Dori Hollingsworth
8. Evelyn Better
9. Dave Johnson
10. Isreal Silas
11. Deb McRath
12. Tom Denny
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!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Tanacross Day 1
6:55 pm pst
light wind from north west, -10c, sunny, trail ok, some drifting
and soft edges.
jenn probert- 2959
nathan sterling- 30.09
lina gladh 3023
forest seibold 3053
evelyn beeter 3112
dave johnson- 3240
deb mcrath 3300
mari hoe rattio
tom denny 3641
jennifer sterling- 2008
lina glad 2013
jen probert 2029
roy denny 2254
caryol johnson 2309
bernie paul 2338
Thursday, March 5, 2009
6:23 pm pst
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
7:36 pm pst
What a RACE!!!!
7:13 pm pst
Well if you never heard, it was 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
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.