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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Final runs and RONDY DRAW!!!!!

RONDY2009/linaout.jpg


we have a new computer and I hate it. Ive written 2 lengthy post this week, only to have my browser refresh, causing me to lose my work, so for the 3rd time I am updating, and hopefully ill be able to save it prior to losing it..... so if your reading this then it worked.

Yesterday we had our final training runs prior to the race. The track was very busy with 10 or so trucks, and at least 6 Rondy teams. Jeff King met us their and took his team of 18 dogs for a fun run of 14 miles. Terry and I give Jeff the instructions and speed limit for which he is to run the team. Basically I tell him you cant go to slow, and keep the team around 17mph. he set out and like clock work he was back 49 minutes later, he was happy with the team, and we discussed some options for setting the team up. He was impressed with his front end, all of which have raced and won this race for me in the past. After checking his GPS I was very happy to see that he averaged 17 mph for the 14 mile course, perfect, and his team will surprise alot of people this week with HIS and their ability.

Next I would harness up my 20 best, its a well balanced team of past champions and 2 year old rookies, but the team has 18 dogs who raced in Wyoming so the are all well conditioned. The team off very hard, and I needed to stand on my mat with both feet for well over 1 mile. The trail is perfect and should be fast come race day, its flat, smooth and hard, but not icy, perfect for dogs feet. The team ran smoothly and were charging the entire way, all dogs contributing and holding their side of the line. I get the most satisfaction watching me teams near race time, you get a preview of whats ahead, b ut also get to see what their capable of. I strongly believe that you win the titles on race day, but earn the in training.

Last nite was the  draw, and their will be 25 musher's to start on Friday, one of the largest fields in the last 20 years. The large field adds excitement and possibly some drama, as this trail is not a continuous loop, we run 7 miles of common trail, then a 12 mile loop, then the 7  miles home. so their will be some head on passes, with some tricky sections where passing head on will be done blind and in some narrow areas, thus creating the likelihood of tangles and crashes.

So what you want to do , at least the first day is draw in the middle of the field, which will allow you to avoid these problems. I was the first to sign up so I got my choice of all numbers, I pulled staring number 12. right in the middle, and a huge relief was already lifted, now I would wait and see where the chips fell, and what positions my competitors would get. 1 by 1 the spots filled up, some good some bad, and finally the draw was done, fortunately I will have all of my rivals setting the pace ahead of me so I will be able to monitor their speeds and times, and I have some teams in front of me who I will likely pass. all in all the draw was good to me.

Today we are relaxing, and will massage dogs, as I have my ace in my sleeve with my good friend Lin Neumann here, she is a registered dog theiripst and is very good at locating ailmenst and soreness in dogs, we have spent some timne together and its fun watching the dogs crowd here when shes is around, almost saying "me me, do me next!!!"

Tomorrow is trail day, and we will check the trail, and do a drivers meeting, but from here to the race its pretty relaxed, everything that needs done is done, and whats not, its too late.

below is the draw, and Ill will add a new post before Friday with info on how to follow the coverage, as their will be live streaming radio results, and this year top teams will carry a gps that connects to the web, for live tracking and speed monitoring fo their positions. pretty cool!!!!

RONDY TIME!!!!!--

Rondy startorder:

1. Brent Beck
2. Egil Ellis
3. John Erhart
4. Ed Wood
5. Heather Hardy
6. Ken Chezik
7. Arleigh Reynolds
8. Bill Kornmuller
9. Jack Berry
10. Shane Goosen
11. Michael Tetzner
12. Buddy Streeper
13. Courtney Moore
14. Jason Dunlap
15. JP Norris
16. Jeff Conn
17. Gary Markley
18. Nils Hahn
19. Eddie Dayton
20. Marvin Kokrine
21. Randi DeKuipers
22. John Hansen
23. Nathan Sterling
24. Jeff King
25. Will Kornmuller.

10:45 am pst 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Abchorage ALASKA

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Pic from 2009- this year, im going to hold up 1 more finger/



We are now in Anchorage Alaska-

we left Salt Lake city Utah- last Sunday- and drove 3000 kms north to Fort Nelson , where we spent 3 days, before departing to Anchorage- another 2000 kms. so we have been on the move.

We are now at the Holiday Inn, and will be here for the next few weeks.

RECAP-

The stage race was a big success, not only did our teams and dogs do very well, the whole event was really well run and all mushers and spectators were very happy with the event. It was a challenge competing in an 8 day race, running different trails every day, then traveling to a new location after the run.

Lina and I both had good teams, I have to admit, I was a bit surprised/happy to have here do so well, she was running a young team with young leaders, but managed them well and got them to perform very well.

Actually both teams were very young- with the starting 32 dogs we ran 19 - 2 year olds, 8 - 3 year olds. 23 males and 9 female-

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So we left Utah on Sunday and drove north, we trained a 15 dog team of spares, and Rondy hopefuls at Don Cousins trail, This is a great trail, smooth and hard, the dogs ran great and went 20 miles. afterwards we had lunch with Don , then continued north.

We had some time, so we stopped in and seen Sam and the boys, and they are like weeds, growing evrytime we see them, we couldnt stay long and exchanged hugs and good byes, and pulled out of their yard for the last 250 miles.

we got home that evening, and were very happy to see how good everything looked, the yard was level, freshly dragged, and clean, the yard dogs looked very good, healthy and happy. its always a relief to see them and how well cared for they have been. This season we have been fortunate to have 2 hard workers, Both Ariane and Manuel are doing a great job!!!!
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Everyone was up when we got in, and mom had the house smelling like always- home made food!!!  we had some food, and exchanged stories. I think we all had a great sleep that evening.-

We trained a few days at home, very short 8 mile run, trying to get some speed back in the team, the cold weather and hard trail instantly adds horsepower, but the big power comes when you hook the large open team together, I have been running 1 x20 dog team and 1 x 18 dog team, this will form the main team for rondy, aswell as the team we have that Jeff King will run.

2 runs at home and the dogs are running very well. the speed is coming back and the uniformity of the large team is moving well.
----

we left home on early Saturday morning, and drove hard all day, covering nearly 800 miles before we stayed near Klaune. We crossed the border in the morning, an Had to go through Fairbanks to get food, and drop off a sled.

we were able to get to Telketna by 10 pm, and got a room.

Yesterday we got up early and went to Bill Kornmullers, we had some food for him and visited briefly before we headed to Anchorage, as we got closer to the city, the temps rose, and we seen it hit +7c. Once in the city we hit the car wash, as our truck was a light brown, I painted it back to green and gold, and we headed to Tozeir track.

Once their we met with the trail boss, he said everthing was good to go, so I hooked up a 20 dog team and ran the 14 mile trail. all dogs did great and only a couple of dogs looked up at the tunnels, but no issues and they ran a smooth strong run.

Next I ran my main team, 18 dogs strong, and again the dogs performed great, no problems with bridges or tunnels, and all dogs wanted to go faster. Their average speed is coming up and the speed is coming back. once finished I let all dogs loose and they are not even panting, and it was +5c.

----

We have today off, and will meet with Jeff King tomorrow, he will run his team tomorrow, 14 miles and i will go afterwards. all looks good, its great to be back on faster trails, and running bigger teams.
---

I keep alot of records, nearly 50 pages for the stage race, and will use these for future references. I also have records for the last 6 years, nearly every training run and 1 mile split. I use these to gauge my teams strengths and weakness.

Last year on this day we ran the same trail at Tozeir, and my times are very similar. I am very happy with how the dogs look and feel, and actually think we will be better then years past.---

hope this finds you all well.

TTYL.

5:08 pm pst 

Friday, February 12, 2010

LEAP
LEAP- is a new product we have been using this race season- it aids in recovery, stress and injury- we used it on the main teams in wyoming and were very happy with the results- 2 ML per dog per day- and it can be added to their food-
visit their site below for further info-

www.opn-usa.com/

training2009/OPN_side_01.gif
8:39 am pst 


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