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I’ve got a new forum for my race blog, with my take on what’s happening in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, and maybe even Denali Doubles. Here’s the link…
Heads up: I have a new article posted on the Momentum dog food web site, \Dr. Tim’s Pet Food Company – Champions’ Corner, or short url: http://bit.ly/3SwTsk. There should be more articles coming over the course of the winter. Parts of them may be posted right here as well.
The article is part of a mini class I may be teaching here in Kasilof, talking with newer distance mushers about camping on the trail and then giving them an opportunity to practice while I am with them. The whole point is to go over the fundamentals of caring for dogs when you are by yourself, being efficient, and gaining confidence so you can pull over whenever it is right for the dogs to have a big meal and take a nap.
Mushers who’ve gained skills in running long distance often come from backgrounds where winter camping is foreign and a little intimidating.
A big thank you to Mike and Lori for the hard work handling the dogs and me over the past couple of weeks. They got worked over in this race, which requires a lot out of the handlers. And they turned this blog into a handlers’ blog, which by the way happened to spike way up in hits while they were making their posts.
Veteran Iditarod and Yukon Quest musher Bill Pinkham stopped in recently, introducing his wife, Jodi, to area dog kennels on the Kenai Peninsula and other areas in the state. Bill and Jodi had been married two weeks. You might remember that Pinkham proposed to Jodi from the podium of the 2008 Yukon Quest finishers’ banquet.
Last year, I drafted a basic 12-day Iditarod schedule for a couple of teams that wound up running near the back of the pack. It was nothing more than a simple goal, a framework to hang a journey on. I thought I’d post it here for anyone who thinks it might help.
This schedule is not for those hoping to finish in the money. You don’t get to Nome in 12 days and expect much of a paycheck. But here’s what the schedule does: It helps a rookie, for example, see how to manage his or her time in a way to make the best use of daylight. And it helps them see the need for predictable run times and predictable rest times — critical elements for the dogs’ attitudes. Once those dogs can bank on the fact they run run about six hours at a pop, it eases their minds as the journey progresses. They can also bank on a nice long rest between those runs.
This year was a little different for me. I had to give up my usual self-serving pleasure from racing my own dogs. Instead, I leased out the bulk of my team waaay back in July, then leased virtually the rest of them after completing the Tustumena 200 at the end of January. The reason was simple, small and wound up weighing six pounds and 10 ounces.