"Photo Courtesy Of Corina Alexander's Dad"
This race was one of those trail experiences that a musher lives for. Okay, it was also quite a gripping, white knuckle experience. So why was it such darn fun! I swear I closed my eyes as I flung around some of those 90 deg bends at a crazy speed for my big fuzzies and fluffies. Part of the trail was skimpy, but runnable, it was just so incredibly fast and unforgiving. Other parts of the trail was snow covered and brought back warm memories of seasons past when we had received enough snowfall to make all the trails in this area seem like we were living in a true winter wonderland. The dogs were fast and strong, adorned with their usual red bandanas...... our goal was to stay safe, be happy and bring home some great memories from this once again ..... technical and thrilling race! Despite a 'yard sale' type of fall on a sharp right hand bend, I managed to pick myself up, squeal for a second or two as I thought I had broken my hand, dust myself off, praise the dogs for not abandoning me and off we went to complete the course in a blistering time of 1hr 29 minutes taking 3rd place in the 8-dog class.
Our goal is always to have a good experience. I have always tried to set everything up for as much success as possible and by that, I don't mean a race result, I mean happy - healthy dogs that trust me from start to finish. This year has been humbling as my dogs have turned a corner in their ability to get quickly down the trail, pull like crazy and maintain a positive and willing attitude since our fist day of training last September. I have had to learn to handle a bit more speed alongside their power. I'm not so proud as to not admit that I've had a few more tumbles than normal this season, some tumbles are more related to the icy conditions we've experienced, but still, even when dropping team size to 5 or 6 dogs, the experience of speed and power has not seemed any less than a team of 8 or 9 dogs and so, they have made me very aware of adjusting our training to suit the energy of the team and the conditions. It is a great sport to be able to learn constantly, it's never the same, many new experiences as we grow together. Oh and before I forget, many thanks to Marsha Colcord, Corina Alexander and anyone else who has participated in putting together the past two races. A very selfless act to give up time in order for others to enjoy a race.