Thursday, 28 January 2010
Aviemore Sled Race
Last weekend was the 27th annual Aviemore sled dog race. Mum, dad, me and Skye have been many times as spectators but this was the first time as competitors.
Dad went up on the Wednesday with me, Skye and Talia (mum had to work) to try and get some extra training in with my partner Blue and to help with flattening of the trail. We had fun being as naughty as we could in the caravan so that by the time mum arrived ob Friday afternoon dad was close to a nervous breakdown hehehee.
Friday night was the mushers meeting and a mushers market where mum bought me a lovely new purple running harness. Afterwards mum and dad went off to a friend's caravan for drinks!
Saturday was day one of the race and this year is extra special as it is the first time weather conditions have allowed the race to be run on sleds in 15 years. Mum volunteered to marhsall in the morning so was able to see how many people fell off at the bend after the first big hill hehehe. She gave dad a few tips on how to approach it after watching lots of the other teams.
My first run was Saturday afternoon, I had a fabulous time the snow and trail were lovely on my feet and we were able to go fast and scare dad hehee. We finished in 19th place in a class of 37 teams. Mum and dad were very pleased with that for our first sled race and first race as a 2 dog team. Blue my partner is a very nervous dog he was scared of the loudspeaker system and of spectators on the trail. Dad also told mum that I was still doing the lions share of the work.
Sunday brought a bit of a problem, it turned out that Blue seemed to have pulled a muscle on Saturday and was unable to run on Sunday :-( Mum and dad were very disappointed. We had lots of offers of another partner if the organisers would at least let us still have a run (you are not allowed to switch dogs so if they let us we would be a disqualified team). The organisers very kindly agreed to let us run the trail even though we would be disqualified.
Dad decided to run me with Yukon who I have trained with in the past. He is 10 and retired from racing but a good steady dog and usually is used to help train other dogs up. Dad was offered faster dogs but thought it was not a good idea to run me with a strange dog in case we did not get on.
We surprised everyone by running the course in roughly the same time as Saturday which considering Yukon usually tires after a couple of miles was really good ( I think he was just scared I wold bite his bum if he didn't run well with me).
Dad said we learned a lot over the weekend mainly that they need to find a running partner of the same level as me as I am carrying my partners at the moment. On paper Blue should be a better runner than me he is from pure racing lines whilst I am racing lines on my dad's side but show dog on my mums side. People are very surprised how well I run for such a petite dog so the search is on for someone as hard working and fast as me!