Monday, January 20, 2014

Darby Dog Derby 2014

This weekend was a blast!  Our local mushing club, The Bitterroot Mushers, had our annual race The Darby Dog Derby.  It was our BEST yet! The trail was AMAZING!  (Thank you SOOOOO much to Lost Trail Powder Mountain and The Bitterroot Cross-country Ski Club for maintaining an amazing trail this season. The teams at the event were top notch (and great people), the spectators were great, we had LOTS of entries into our pee wee competition...I could go on and on!

My team had not run 14 miles yet (we were up to 10).  I had hoped to run 14 the weekend before but we planned our weekend poorly. For multiple reasons (only running 5 dogs in a 6-dog class being one), I figured we would definitely not be in the running for the top spots. I was mostly going into this race as a training run with lots of practice with teams passing (as there were 9 other teams in our class alone).

Flier and Tank were my leaders, Paluk in swing and Tensaw and Isis in wheel.  The weather was beautiful!  Sunny and cold! The dogs did absolutely phenomenal!  I was so proud of how they worked.  We took it easy.  We stopped near Hogan's cabin for a break, and I checked feet.  Paluk's looked a bit sore so I put some booties on her back feet. Soon they were letting me know they were ready to go and off we charged.  It was a bit of a slog up Hogan's run but they took it like champs.  We were leagues behind the rest of the teams by the finish of day 1 but I was very proud of my team.

On Sunday they again did very well though they were dipping a lot.  That's the musher's fault, I didn't water them as much as I should between Saturday's run and Sunday. Still a beautiful day and a solid run.  Isis impressed me Sunday, for being breed by a 'non-sled-dog-kennel" she holds her own and gave me her all!

We commandingly took red lantern but I still feel very proud of my team!

The best part of this weekend was getting to meat Karen Yeargain of Tumnaki Siberians and picking her very experienced and knowledgable brain about training and dog care. I even used some of her training tips on day 2 and the dogs picked up them quick! Not to mention she waxed my runners on Sunday and the dogs very much appreciated the reduced drag! I'm sure that's why we went 2 minutes faster than our Saturday run.

Good puppas!

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