Friday, December 23, 2011
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
9:11 pm pst
I hope this finds you all well, and that your wishes will be granted this holiday!!
Its been a busy few
weeks here. We attend our first race of the season over the weekend. Lina, Alva and I were joined by Jon Stewert, as
we traveled the Alcan to race in Big Lake Alaska.
Jon Stewart is from Scotland, and traveled with us last season,
training and racing our dogs. He is a great hand and very qualified, as he has competed in all aspect of sled dog racing.
He will race with our kennel for the duration of the 2012 winter.
The 4 of left home last Wednesday, we had a good day and stayed in teslin
yukon, the following morning we met up with Dave and Sue Johnson at Jakes Corner where we would have a short visit and
drop some food off. They were doing well,a nd are really happy with our young dogs. They have already competed in a few races
and claimed the top spots.
We drove hard that day and the border at 8 pm. all was going good, when
suddenly their was a major bang hear from under the truck. once stopped and surveyed it was clear that we had a major
problem, as the transmission bell case was missing a 10 inch piece, and we could clearly see that the clutch had piled up....
Luckily I was close to a phone and made a call to get a tow truck, we had the truck pulled into Tok for the
evening. After making many phone calls I put a plan together that would best suit our needs in order to get the truck repaired
and us to the start line in Big Lake.
I called my good friend Aaron Burnmister and he said I could use his truck
and dog trailer for the weekend and would be able to help in any way possible.
So I had the truck towed all the
way to Fairbanks. Lina Join and Alva hitched a lift from a new friend Mary. Jennifer Probert helped us out in finding
a lift for them.
Once in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon, Aaron met up with us and we transfered the dogs to
his dog hauler. Then we headed south to Wasilla. We did stop for an excellent spaghetti feed at the Burnmister House in Nenana.
Huge thanks to Mandy and Hunter for preparing the great meal.
We finally arrived in Wasilla at 12 am. It would
be a short night as the musher meeting would be at 8am. We did make it in time, and everything was ok. the dogs were a bit
shook up, but were healthy and happy to stretch their legs.
The race we were running was the Alaska Excursions
120. its a young race in its 3rd year. Organized by Ryan and Erin Redington. Its a 2 day race, 43 miles per day. 10 dog limit
from a 12 dog pool.
It was a warm day close to aboze freezing temps, and the trail was beautiful, hard and
fsat, with some exciting hills and corners. Its an oput and back trail, so lots of sction with passing and head on passing.
Our dogs run well, and I finished 2nd and Jon finished 4th. we were happy as the dogs performed well, we were
running a group of 2 year olds, who have never run at this distance before , so it was a good experience for them to build
off of for future races.
That night we took it easy and I'm not sure who rested better, the humans or the dogs,
But when we woke Sunday morning we all had a jump in our step. I knew it was going to be a good day as the dogs were happy
and fit, eager to race.
It would be a different run the Saturday as the wind was blowing strong and their was
slight drizzle coming down, but we have seen this type of conditions and knew we could handle it.
I trailed the
race leader, Ryan Redington by nearly 4 minutes, and would need to pass him and open up a wide margin in order to take the
over race lead.
I knew my dogs were up to it, and Once on the trail, the dogs moved beautiful, they
were fresh, fats pulling hard from the start. I did have to control their speed by slowing them down with the drag mat.
This is so important in longer sprint races in order to maintain the teams endurance.
I was running even with Ryan
for the first half of the race. when we entered the loop i could read some signs on the trail that their may be a problem
ahead, as their was several brake marks and snowhook signs, indicating that Ryan was making some stops. It was on the next
open section that I could see Ryan a mere 15 seconds in front of me, I closed on him quickly and made a clean pass, where
i could see he had a passenger in his sled. we were at the halfway point and I knew Ryan would have a long run home.
My team turned for home and ran smooth and effortlessly, they were covering the ground quicky and clearly staying within
thier comfort zone. I closely watched the team and was very happy with performance my young dogs were doing. I was using a
new leader named MAX. he ran so well for the entire race, passing teams, avoiding tricky sections of trails and saving his
blazing speeds for the final miles of the race.
Once I was on the home stretch and clearly out in front, I asked
the dogs if they wanted to race home. I gave them some encouragement with a few brisk whistles, and nearly lost my grip to
the sled as the team surged forward. It was not short lived, as they knew where the finish line was, they built up their speed
and covered the last 2 miles at high rate of speed. looking back over my split times, it showed my fastest 2 splits of the
race were the final 2 miles. both 20 seconds faster then my usual pace. This is a clear indication that the team was not at
all stressed from the longer race and ready for more racing.
At the finish line i took the dogs off the line
and waited for the next team, I was pleasantly surprised when Jon Stewart pulled in behind. He had a great run, and moved
up to 3rd overall. He actually our run my team for fastest day time!! Its not often I get beat, but its an awesome showcase
of kennel depth when your outfits 2nd string can not only race with but can out run my main team. We truly have some
---in the final results I won the race by 6 minutes over Will Kornmuller, John Stewart was 3rd,
Ryan Redington 4th.
Now we would begin the journey home. as we traveled to Healy that night, and into Fairbanks
on Monday, the truck shop got the parts and installed a new transmission, clutch, fly wheel and sleeve cylinder on Tuesday
We loader up and hit the road wendsday morning. 2 full days of driving we made it home last night.- WHAT
its good to be home, Dad stayed and trained our kennel dogs, and was able to put some longer 38
mile runs on them, he is very happy with them and figures we will have some dynamite dogs running this year.-
we got the Christmas tree up, Lina and Alva are wrapping and un-wrapping gifts, and we wait for the day when santa arrives.
we will spend a few weeks at home before we set out on our next adventure.--
in final I would very mush
like to thanks our new 2012 sponsors.
Muskwa Services- Fort Nelson
Big Guns Energy - Fort Nelson
Bridge and Mats- Grande Prairie
Formula Powell - Fort Nelson
Saturday, December 10, 2011
We are alive and doing fine...
8:36 am pst
After a long summer and a great fall, we are on the verge of the
2012 racing season.
I would like to welcome everyone back and will be providining a detailed veiw into the behind
the scenes make up of a World Champiosn Sled Dog team.
On the home front, baby Alva is growing,
walking and talking and has several trips on the runners. She is an absolute joy to be around and is happy and healthy.
Lina is doing good too, she is an all-star mother, who is raising a smart, happy and healthy daughter. Lina is
also running dogs, and has a few outings with the m,ain 15 dog open string. She likes to go fast.
Mom and dad are
doing good, they are both healthy and happy. Mom is enjoying her retirement and is at her finest when her grand-children are
in her presence.
Dad will our work the entire race team, he is still the back-bone of our program, He always the
first to wake and last to sleep, and I am sure he is anxiously awaiting the comeing racing season.
Lasrt but not
least, the dogs, they are doing great, actually better then that, I am very happy but more excited in the direction our kennel
is heading in regards to our breeding and performance standards.
Often asked what seperates us and makes us successful,
and one look over our entrie operation it is easy to see, that our team work, thinking process and open minded approach to
raising and training racings sled dogs is second to none.
Stay tuned updates to come often.!!!