Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solstice 100

I realize that this post is a few days over due and I would like to start by apologizing for that, it has been a crazy hectic week. This past weekend the team and I ran our first 100 mile race and had a blast and learned a lot. This was a very fun and relaxed race consisting of two 50 mile runs with a 4 hour lay over between them, the perfect way to start my racing career. I have wanted to race with my sled dogs ever since I was 5 years old and I finally got too, and now I am hooked! It was everything I thought it would be and then some.
The team did beautifully, I am so proud of them. They did the 100 miles in 11 hours and 46 minutes coming in 9th place out of 12 teams. Not to bad for our first long race. Previously the longest race we'd run was the Hamburger run which is about 30 miles long. We crossed the finish line at 3:08 am sunday morning with a happy team of 9 dogs. We started the race at about 11 am  saturday with 10 dogs. I dropped Chupa at the half way check point because her feet were a little sore because of a few splits in the skin between her toes, she didn't let it slow her down though and came into the check point with a tight tug line and wagging tail, but it was in her  best interest in the long run to have her wait with the handlers with the dog truck for the rest of the team to run the last 50 miles with out her.
The trail was absolutely fantastic! it was hard packed and all the over flow was dry on the way out. On the way back some of the over flow spots were a little wet but not enough to be of any concern. 10 minutes after leaving the check point on the second half of the race my wheel dogs went for a little swim in the Chena River after a musher ahead of us broke the ice out accidentally on one of the river crossings. It wasn't a big deal, I stopped the team and they were able to easily climb out. I dried them off the best I could and then put dog coats on them for a few hours. Further down the trail it got to warm and I had to remove their coats to keep them from over heating.  It was -10 f when we got to the check point and +20 f  when we finished the race, a little warm for the dogs which contributed to a slightly longer run on the second half of the race. We did the first 50 miles in 5 hours and 17 minutes and the second one in 6 hours and 29 minutes.
The photo at the top of this post is of my team at about the 20 mile mark on the first stretch of the race, it was taken by Carol Falcetta. You can see some of her other photos of the race by going to this link e=3
And you can go to this link for the official race times and to see how other mushers placed

With only 4 hours of day light on race day this was my
view for most of the race. This was taken during the second half of the
 race. Note the coats I put on the wheel dogs Sierra
and Chaos after they fell through the hole in the ice.

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