Saturday, January 10, 2009

Change of Pace

A lot of bad ass climbers have been posting here, and I'm not quite sure how dog mushing in Alaska fits, except the dogs are pretty bad ass too and we are out working hard every day.

Last time I posted we were still training in the mud and running short miles. Since getting snow and hitting the sleds, training has been relentless. Last weekend we ran the 200 mile Knik race. 30 below at the start didn't feel too bad, but it was a tad chilly after dropping into the river basin where temps were a good 20 to 30 degrees colder.

The dogs were working and happy; I was essentially motionless on the sled, and definitely ready for a break at the halfway point. The race requires a 6 hour layover, and the dogs rest the entire time. After feeding, massaging, and bedding down the team, I had time to eat and nap a few hours before I had to be back up to feed again and get ready to run back.

Lots of teams had problems with frostbite and others weren't prepared for the long miles. My young and inexperienced dogs looked great at the finish, and we placed a solid 14th out of 37.

We're looking at miles and miles more training (150 or more per week), possibly a 300 mile race in a week or two, and then Iditarod (over 1,000 miles) in March. My camera doesn't seem to work when it's this cold, so now dog pix for now.