Welcome to the blog of a teen and her life with 9 dogs!
These ramblings are best read with a hot cuppa' coffee in your hand and warm slippers on your feet.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kinross Classic Results

The results are in!

We placed 5th out of 9 teams in the 4-dog sport class!

The weather was great both days, the trail was fun and the dogs ran awesome. Char got to run in lead with old man Jacob for the first time in a big race. She did pretty good...the trail was slow the first day though so she kind of got bored with the slow pace and got distracted by things on the trail. Char definitely doesn't like to go slow!

Overall it was a great weekend. There is nothing like time spent with great people and sled dogs ~ Nothing can quite compare!

It looks like the Kalkaska Winterfest next weekend will be a go so we'll be heading down on Friday! We're gonna make sure the racing season of 2012 goes out with a bang!

(here are some photos from the weekend)

Sydney soaking up the morning sun at the race site.

My team and I on the trail on day 2.

My friend Mandy and her 6 dog team coming out of the chute.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Kinross Classic Sled Dog Race: A trip down memory lane

Guess what?

**gasp** we have a race this weekend! Finally one that isn’t cancelled!

Tomorrow we’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn (drinking lots of coffee) and heading up to Kinross, MI to run in our 2nd to last race of the 2012 season.

The Kinross Classic is kind of a special race for us as that’s where I ran my first “real” race 2 years ago in 2010. (Sure I ran kiddie races when I was little but this was something that I had worked towards.)

I had just gotten Jacob and Salsa, my first Alaskan Huskies, about a month before the race and I ran in the 3-dog junior class with those two in lead and Ellie, my German shepherd, in wheel.

Although I had been preparing for this for 4 years, I don’t think you are ever truly prepared for your first race. I made lots of mistakes ~ the one that I remember most is wearing too many clothes. It was about 32 degrees and I was all bundled up in my new parka and snow pants, hat, gloves, neck gator, and UnderArmour while my competitors were dressed in jeans, sweatshirts, and running shoes. I would’ve fit right in if I was running the Iditarod but for a sprint race? My attire was definitely overkill.

The first hill I had to help my team on I thought I was going to die. I was probably slowing the dogs down more than I was helping them in my abominable snow suit. It was probably about 102 degrees F under my coat and I felt like I was having a heart attack.

I still had 3 more miles to go.

After I thought I would never live to see tomorrow, we finally crossed the finish line and I took every piece of winter gear off and threw it in the truck.

Needless to say I learned my lesson…the hard way. The next day I took note of what my competitors were wearing and did likewise. lol

At the end of the weekend we came in last place. I didn’t care though; I was finally living my dream, a dream that took 4 years to happen, and I was living it. You couldn't have brought me down off of cloud 9 for anything.

I learned a lot at my first race…stuff that I still put into practice today and probably always will. That’s the thing about this sport; you can read all you want to from books, the internet but you will never truly know how to do it until you do it. You learn by doing in this sport, by trial and error.

Your mistakes and screw ups teach you and mold you and your triumphs make it all worth doing.

That first race cemented me into this sport...no, lifestyle, and I don't think I could get out now if I tried.

I'm in it for good, for life. ~

Happy dogs and a happy musher coming across the finish in the Kinross Classic, 2010.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"When life seems to be at a stand still, create your own momentum!"

Well, there’s not much to report on this end.

The temperatures and lack of snow cancelled the Mackinaw Mush…again.

We were really hoping to run that race as it’s the one that started this whole thing for me. Six years ago today, while standing on the sidelines at the starting chute, I was bitten by the mushing bug.

Many years before that, when I was 3 and 4 and 5 years old, I ran in the little kiddie race they had there which was basically a 100 yard dash.

I used someone else's dog and someone else's sled of course and I had a blast! I still have one of the little trophies they gave away to each kid who ran.

Sigh** Oh well, maybe next year. I’ve said that a lot this past month…”Maybe next year…”

Ok, enough of the depressing stuff…we all know there’s a bright side to life too.

Today we ran a fun race with some friends of ours up North since the other race was cancelled. I don’t remember what we placed but we ran about 5 miles in 19 something minutes. Placings and times didn’t matter though—it was just for fun. And it was! Lots of beautiful trails, hot dogs (the kind you eat…hehe ), and regular musher camaraderie.

Fun times!

I also got to take Sydney (AKA Rory the new dog…I changed her name to Sydney) for a run (her 2nd time in harness with me) and she did superb!! I took her out with 3 of my friend’s dogs as I had already raced mine and she never slacked off the line once. She looked like she enjoyed herself as well!

Part of me wants it to be next fall already so I can start seriously training her with the team. I think we have a star on our hands!

The other part of me wants it to be next weekend already! Since we have had such a lack of a racing season, we’re thinking about traveling to Wisconsin next weekend to the Three Bears race. This would be our first out-of-state race!

Provided they have snow of course. Haha

Well after racing today and rearranging the dog yard when I got home—I’m ready for a shower!

Remember: THINK SNOW!