Team- Envi & Spyder (start), Asylum, Stanchion, Lyken ( went to lead), Ikon, Shimmer & Brazen
Our first 60 mile race! 40 degrees, no shade, no woods, all open wide sun baked mountains, barely any flat ground, half mile of paved road, and half mile of logging area, all stumps, mud
and NO snow! Now theres a journey!
I knew weeks before the Can-Am that it was going to be an entirely different world for us. Our season had been fast paced and all 30 mile races! In training we ran 1- 40 mile, 1- 47 mile.
Being on the trail for a 60 was going to be a different world for the dogs and myself! But I was determined to Know how or IF we could handle it.
Race day was 35 degree at start, trail was punchy, and far slower then I like or was use to. I had bootied the dogs before take off and listened to all the people that told me to ride the drag for
the first 7-10 miles. By the time we hit 4 miles the drag was over and the booties were coming off. The team I was running did NOT feel like my team. They were not thrilled, already hot, and I
stopped to change leaders ( Spyder out Asylum in). I will absolutely admit I was not thrilled with the race already! I was already stewing, getting cranky, and knew we would be out there for
EVER! As much as I tried not to stew, or get annoyed it was already happening. I passed my good friend Kasey about 10 miles into the race. As soon as I saw her I blurted out "This totally
sucks" ( and probably some worse words then that)! Looked at my leaders and now Asylum was having the same issue as Spyder. Not at all thrilled about being there and the team was right
on him and Envi! At this point...... AHHHHHHH, what the heck, what was I thinking, team hasn't had appropriate training year for this race and were already looking like this. I looked at the
entire team and noticed Lyken. He has run lead, he isn't the smartest, he isn't the fastest, ( is Very fast any place but lead) BUT the boy is all work! He is my largest dog and one who can get
hot fast on warm days. I stopped the team and decided he was going to lead. I figured he would pull everyone, get them to step it up, trot a nice pace and speed wasn't the need for today!
I got back on the sled, pulled the i-pod out of the sled bag, hooked it up and began peddling ( had lost my ski pole early) time for a change & a new attitude.
We hit the check point and team had absolutely stepped it up. And heres comes all the cool parts!
As we headed out of the check point Envi pulled a left at intersection. I didn't have a map, have never run the trail but left didn't seem right. I hawed the team around and headed the
opposite way. Here's where I got nervous. Trail wasn't packed, no prints, looked like no one had been through. So after a 1/2 mile I turned the team around again and figured I must be
wrong. And wait, nope changed my mind, there was a green marker and that couldn't have just been for the 250. Also I don't remember ever looking on the map and seeing us run same part
of trail at any point! Ok so haw around one more time! I was impressed they turned around eac htime I asked, and they did it with out being asked twice!
We came out onto a dirt road and I had to laugh. For some reason they did drop snow for us.........but they did it on the LEFT! Funny since you are to train your team to always stay on the
right. My team could careless snow vs dirt, it was all about staying to the right!
The team was handling everything well. I became even more impressed when we hit the 45 mile mark and the team started loping. They picked up speed and were happy doing so. That was
a great sign.
At about 50 miles Brazen started to seem tired. He began neck lining and I bagged him. With him in the bag I stopped peddling and began running up all the hills with the team. About 4 miles
later Brazen decided he wanted out. He began thrashing around and trying to get out. I was holding his collar down when we finally came to down hill trails in the woods. It was about time. The
team loves hills and generally flies down them. I knew I had to ride the break more then normal because of Brazen but what I didn't expect was massively soft trail with huge drop holes. All of
sudden I lost Ikon. He dropped into the trail and was pulled before he could climb up and out of the hole. Right after him Spyder dropped and then the sled. The sled suddenly fell in and
dropped to the left. From here on I rode the break and still had to hold Brazen in.
Once we got to the bottom of the hill I put Brazen back in the team. He was becoming too difficult to keep in the bag. He did well for a few miles. And then came the logging road! At the
drivers meeting we were told there was a logging road. I didn't expect it to be SO long, with stumps, mud, no snow, and to go on for ever! To make matters worse it was half way into this that
Brazen decided he really did have enough. He pulled his head out of his collar, and stopped! Now how do you stop the rest of the team? Theres no snow to hook down to and NO TREES to
snub off to. I was angry, and out came the angry tone. Thankfully the team was a bit tired and are well aware that when that tone comes out, do NOT make it worse. I slammed the break
behind a root quickly grabbed Brazen, placed him in the bag and then told him " DO NOT MOVE, you stay there until I say other wise". I then zipped him into the bag and away we went!
We only had a few more miles to go and the entire team looked good. I couldn't believe after all we've been through, the mileage, the temps they were still strong and capable.
At the last mile I called them up, told them lets go home and they began running! They came through the finish line looking great. Still strong, energetic and happy! Brazen was still in the bag
and once we crossed the finish line he refused to come out for the vets. It wasn't till I gave him the OK, that he jumped out. He was clear. No issues, no soreness I think he just got tired. We
were complimented by all the officials and vets. They were all impressed at how great we looked. Team finished strong and happy with no issues. They weren't dehydrated, over heated or
exhausted. They looked better then many that crossed the finish line!
Our mph was much faster then it looks. We stopped 100 times which is funny since all season I have been far more competitive and that means NO STOPPING during a race. I easily wasted
an hour out there, but had to, needed to and am still proud of our accomplishment.
Now Wait Till Next Year!
moment before take off!