Monday, February 22, 2010
Greenville Maine Wilderness 30 Mile Race
First of all... a huge 'Thank You' to Peg Hendel for coming along to support me andto love and enjoy the dogs. Little did I know that Peg would turn into an excellent handler, though I prefered to call her my Husky Hugger. Within minutes Peg picked up the routine and was right by my side as if she had been in this role numerous times over. A very trustworthy partner loved by me and the dogs.
We had a great ride up with our traveling companions Kim and Kelly Berg. Several stops along the way to feed and water the dogs aswell as ourselves. The lack of snow along route was somewhat concerning and as we pulled into Greenville there really wasn't too much snow around. The air temperature was frigid and the wind was outrageous. There were signs of a fresh couple of inches, but really, they were struggling for snow too. The start of the race was moved from Moosehead Lake to a few miles up the road to a quarry where we could access better trail conditions.
The parking area was somewhat icy and both Peg and I had to step carefully around the dogs so as to try to stay on our feet! I knew for sure that I would take a tumble when it came time to hooking up the dogs to the gangline and sure enough, half way into it.... I fell backwards like a ragdoll. I managed to cup my head with my hand and took the impact of the fall on my upper body with some pulled muscles in my shoulder and chest. The EMT was quickly there and all I wanted to do was get back up on my feet and head to the start line as I was drawn Musher #1 and I only had 15 minutes to go !! I was pretty sore during the race, there was no time to take pain killers..... just had to get on with it.
So, I asked for an ATV to hold the sled and team so we could make it safely to the start line. Peg stepped up and took my leaders and marched us to the start. She was full of confidence and again, Peg just seemed to know what to do and I was happy to let her get on with it. Such a lot of cheering at the start, especially being the first team to blaze the trail though before we could do that and just as the countdown was happening, Tonka decided to take a dump infront of the crowds! Much to everyone's amusement, he didn't care... when you gotta go, you gotta go!
The race was great, it was fast and extremely scenic. Some steep uphills and downhills though it felt more like uphills most of the way. The wind continued to blow strongly which really helped to keep the dogs cool. I had set a goal of 3 hrs 15 minutes for us and couldn't believe that we crossed the finish line in 2hrs 55 minutes. Outstanding for my fuzzies and fluffies. There was only 43 minutes between the fastest and the slowest team.
The dogs loped to the finish, in great shape. Peg, who had done a great job in guiding us to the start line, was now at the finish ready to guide us back to the truck, but first, I had to ask for a few volunteers to sit on my sled so as to slow the team down over the ice.
The cold wind was exhausting at times, it would freeze the water in the food bowls in just seconds and it meant that we couldn't always just hang out with the dogs as the dogs were keen to get into their boxes and we were equally as keen to get into the truck.
Fond memories of a wonderful trip with Peg and friends. The dogs exceeded our goals, we had a great race and enjoyed the town of Greenville once again. Many thanks to Bethany Young, Amy Dugan and everyone who put together this race during a season of not so much snow.
We can't wait to return to Greenville next year and who knows, maybe we'll be able to run the 100 mile race.
Thanks to Peg for her photos.