Monday, January 5, 2009

Green River Classic

WOW! What a great weekend! We had a ball hanging out with our best sleddog friends and even making a few more! BP and the other sponsors from the Pinedale area sure know how to make a race first class! Really, shouldn't it be mandatory to have a heated tent at all races with free Chilli? I say yes! Did I mention it was 25 degrees below zero on Sunday, actually with the wind factored in, it was actually 40 degrees below...let me tell you that is freakin' cold. The thing about cold days like that (which completely amazes me) is the dogs thrive in those temperatures. I could actually see the smiles on their faces as we headed the start line. I wish I could have smiled, but I was afraid it would freeze that way and my teeth would get cold. I do still have a hard time getting my mind around the fact that once it warmed up to 9 degrees below, I was actually too warm and trying to shed some of my layered that just doesn't make sense to me!

My sweet and beautiful little daughter, Allison (9 yrs old), has talked about getting to run the junior race for months now. She religiously checked the Green River Classic website to see if any new junior mushers had entered (she was the only entry right up until the night before). The really funny thing about it was she did realized I was the webmaster for the site ;-) She was determined to win and that she did. Continental Kennel Club had generously donated $500 so that we could host a junior event. The kids entered a 3-dog max class and ran out 1 mile where a volunteer on a snowmobile help turn them around sending them flying back to the finish line. I think Allison was just as happy to make her new friends, Julia and Katrina, as she was to win the race.

Taylor (13 years old) and I each entered the 6-dog class. I thought it best to split my team up between Taylor and I. She took the front 6 dogs and I took the back 6 dogs (of course that left me with marginal leaders). Taylor is as laid back & easy going as the come. She never gets upset and the dogs respond very well to her for that reason. She was able to pull off two clean runs and as Billy Snodgrass advised her, "don't worry about being fastest, just make no mistakes" So that is exactly how she approached her race. Taylor was able to pull off 7th place. The competition was stiff with some top Alaskan teams and Taylor held her own.

My placing was not as good as Taylor's, I had a little trouble the first day with another team. But that was ok...they ran very well the second day--showing a 22 minute difference in time. My two young dogs tired a little toward the end. I normally would not have taken my youngest dogs, but this race has such wide, flat was the perfect experience for them.

The big news of the weekend was Allan's success. He entered the 12-dog class (28 miles) where he was able to pull out a 3rd place, beaten only by Frank Teasly and Jerry Bath. We were all very proud of him because we know how hard he had worked to train his team this fall. In this year's training he has nearly doubled his training miles. The dogs are in such phenomenal condition and in very high spirits. In a couple weeks, Allan is going to see how he stacks up in Mancos at the San Juan Stage race...GOOD LUCK!

Deer Creek sends major THANKS to all the volunteers and fellow mushers for their part in a great weekend!


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