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Saturday, January 22, 2011

GOOD RUNNING!!!


training2009/fort.jpg
(picture is the cover of the Fort Nelson News paper)

Hello and good day. Just wanted to give a brief update on how its going for us.

We went on our longest training run of the season, we took our teams 46 miles. Between Jon (our handler) and I we drove 37 dogs in 4 teams, who will make the 32 dogs we will need for the Wyoming Stage Stop Race-
http://www.wyomingstagestop.org/
 
Now I have selected the best 16 dogs we have, i selected carefully and havea balance group of young 2 year olds, and steady race veterans from my winning 2010 team.

Our B-Team, which finished a strong 2nd in 2010 will be piloted by Veteran Musher Aaron Burnmister- Aaron is originally from Nome Alaska and lives in Nenana AK, with his Wife Mandy and 2 year old son Hunter.

Aaron has grown up in the sport, and has completed 8 Iditarods, a few Yukon Quests, and most of the major races on the Alaskan circuit. Aaron will race our teams in Wyoming and Anchorage Fur Rondy.
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all the serious training is done, now we will have a few short runs, today we will be going 15 miles, and give the dogs a happy upbeat fun run and reward them for all their hard work they have done since October 1st.-

On Monday we will load up and head to Jackson, where the race will start on Friday. Their will likely be as many as 20 teams training in and around the Jackson area.

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I am very happy with how this season has played out, all of our dogs are healthy and sound. I am forward to a strong race, and hoping for a repeat 2010 performance.

9:02 am pst 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Let the games begin!!!

Let me bring you all up to speed on what we have been up to for the last few weeks.
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we left home on January 5th, and pointed south for Monatan. Leaving our girls behind, we had to kiss our wives and children, before dad and I left for this trip. It was very hard to get in the truck and pull away from Lina and Alva, but knowing that Lina's mom Maria would eb with her in a few days made it easier.

we drove hard for the first 2 days, and had some minor trailer problems, but arrived in helena Montana, to pick up our 2011 winter racing handler, John Stewert. John is from Scotland, and grew up in the sport of sled dogs, his dad is a very accomplished musher in the U.K.
John has a very good mushing resume aswell, having handled for Egil Ellis and Helen Lundberg in alaska for the 2004 season, the trained and raced with Hans Gatt in 2007, before joing Dog Swingly for the last 2 season, where he raced numerous races, including Wyoming stage stop and the Iditarod.
Zsince joing our team, jJon has proven to be avery quailfied dog man, and has already developed a relaionship with our dogs. he has been running our second string in trainings, ans has become a real asset for our team.
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Once in Montana, we headed for our favorite place, West Yellowstone. and once again it was nice to pull into town, to see all the snow(over 6 feet) but freshly groomed trails.

We begain our high alltitude condtioning that day, and rane the dogs an easy run of 26 miles. we did this distance for a few days before we jumped them to a longer distane of 36 miles. All dogs handled it well, and I have been able to select the final group of dogs wo will race the stage stop for our 2 teams.

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With our training being so good, we deceded it was time to test the dogs in a race enviroment, so we pointed the truck north for a 550 mile cruise to a race in southern bc, called Elkford. it was 2 day 33 mile race. it was very warm +2c both days, and warmer during the day.

we ran 3 teams in the main event 12 dog class, and Dad, John and I all took out 12 very similar teams. The trail was fairly hilly, with a few steep clibs, but generally a nice run.

After 2 days of racing our teams all ran within a few minutes of each other and we finsihed with 36 fresh and happy dogs, the all did a fantastic job and were happy to run on some diffrent trails.  -

Their was other classes to race aswell, so i ran in the 10 dog sprint, it was 13 miles, and a good course, I a few minor issues day 1, but finished strong, and was able to runt eh fastest time of the weekend on day 2, finishing 2nd overall.

we also got to see our rr ace team for next year, as dave and sue johnson were tehir racing our yearlings. The looked great and the dogs did super, he won the 4 dog, 6 dog and finished 3rd in the 10 dog behind me. Its great to see how well dave and sue work with the young dogs, and I cant wait drive them awesome dogs next year.
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after the race we headed south and got back to west yellowstone on monday, and today I trainined the sprint team 12 miles. Tomorrow will be our longest run of the season and we will go 45 miles. it will be our last test prior to the big show in wyoming next week.
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Take care all and please check back often for updates and pictures.

8:25 pm pst 


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