Monday, November 1, 2010

The New Trail

We've only ran the trail loop around my farm this season. A couple of loops would give us two to three miles. It was time to find a new route.


There is a long 'rails-to-trails' path that is 50 miles long, between two major cites, and passes by about 20 miles from home. Last Saturday, I decided to check it out.



This portion runs down and along the river. High winds had knocked down several trees, and the floods of '08 took out a bridge over the river, leaving this portion fairly untraveled. There were trees we could go over, under and around. As I scouted it, it became apparent that without significant tree removal, I could only go about a mile-and-a-half before having to return to the trailhead. But it would be a start on this new trail!


Sunday, I loaded the dogs in the daylight, and took off. For Maggie and myself, it would be the longest trip with the dog boxes. Nearly half an hour.


We hooked up and headed out. The weather was in the upper 30s, the sky clear. A beautiful day in the woods! Almost immediately, a young buck jumped onto the trail, turned and saw the dogs heading directly at him, so he took off. Ellen was VERY interested, but the command of "On by", plus the fact that Nick would rather run than chase deer, kept us on the path. We went around obstacles flawlessly. The first time I turned the team around, we had a major tangle! But otherwise, no troubles. We ran back to the truck, and didn't want to stop - we were just getting warmed up! Nick and Ellen looked at me, and I said, "Straight ahead!", so we went across the road and headed into uncharted territory!


This segment was fun, although I knew that there was a large tree blocking the trail near the next road crossing. But I figured if we could add a mile or so (round-trip), then it would be worth it. As we approached the tree, I saw that we could get around it, as long as I didn't dump the quad into the ditch. "Easy!", is an important command, and the dogs know it well. Nice and easy and slow - no problem! The next road crossing - "Straight ahead!" and we kept going.


I knew that the next crossing would be in town, and I was thinking we'd turn around well before that. We came to a large clearing, so I pulled over and gave them treats and a drink of water. But they were raring to go, and so we continued down the trail. It was humorous to me that we ALL were leaning forward, trying to see what was around the next bend, time and time again. I kept telling myself that it was time to return, but we were all so motivated to see where this trail was taking us. Finally, we came to the road crossing at the edge of town. I thought we'd go across and turn around in a parking lot, but the leaders were unsure about the road, and there was a car coming. I knew they were getting tired, so I decided it was time to return to the truck. This time, as I turned the team, I made sure to grab Alice and Maggie, the middle team, and keep them from rushing ahead and tangling the team. Success!


Drinks and treats around, and then we headed for the truck. A little slower going, but no issues to speak of. Then we were back to the truck, getting unhooked. The GPS read 6.05 miles. The girls went in their boxes, Maggie and the boys hung out at the trailer, eating grass. Nice and leisurely time packing the gear and loading the quad, finishing up with my pal Browning hanging out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Training 2010 Report

The Season Has Begun!

Fall training has started at Mushing Loon Kennels. We have several short runs under our belts, as the weather has allowed. Still running the mile loops around the farm, but we hope to get out and travel a bit real soon.


The dog boxes are now completed. For this morning's run, I decided to load the dogs for the short, 100 foot drive across the farm. Everyone understood the process - except for the puppy, Maggie. She was mad to be put in a box when she really thought we were going for a run!


The box works great for a staging area, prior to hook-up. And for Maggie, it can double as a band stand!

Today's run was the best of the young season. We are settling into a groove. The leaders and I are beginning to understand one another. It is a learning experience, mostly for me! But there is quite the feeling of oneness when calling out a command, watching the dog turn the right way, look back for confirmation, and then gleefully charging down the right trail! We DO speak the same language!

The musher is the weakest link in this team. I have more to learn than the dogs. They know how to run, I am learning how to drive them. I switched dogs around today while stopped on the trail - a first for me! I put Alice up next to her brother Nick, so they could run together. And while they enjoyed being side-by-side again, I had forgotten how easily she can control him! We stopped before going on the road, as there was a truck in the distance. Alice pulled Nick and the team to the road in the opposite direction, apparently telling them, "Hey guys, if we go this way, we can go home!" I got them back and put Ellen back up front with Nick. She had been complaining the entire time she wasn't in lead anyway. And I knew Alice doesn't like the pressure up front. It turns out that Ellen pacing us, with Nick who just wants to GO! is the best formation for us.
It was time for another rookie mistake. I'll just turn the team around on the trail by hand. I started leading the leaders past the stopped team. Oh, they didn't know they were supposed to wait and go in an orderly manner! I've seen tangles before, but this was my first one that involved the entire team! But that was soon fixed, and we were off. Lessons learned by the rookie musher again.


Then it was over and we were done. Trying to keep it short, so they all want more. Just over 2 miles today. They are getting stronger each run - it is fairly hilly here, and they have to pull me and the motor-less quad up the half-mile hill to the farm. Stronger and faster, longer and farther, these are the things that give us joy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Iditarod Update #26 - Dan Kaduce Rookie of the Year

Dan Kaduce is the 2010 Iditarod Rookie of the Year.

Teams keep crossing under the burled arch.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS as of 6:30am ET

FINISHED
1. Lance Mackey (49)
2. Hans Gatt (20)
3. Jeff King (15)
4. Ken Anderson (51)
5. John Baker (8)
6. Ramey Smyth (21)
7. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
8. Dallas Seavey (41)
9. Hugh Neff (56)
10. Mitch Seavey (19)
11. Ray Redington Jr (9)
12. Zack Steer (47)
13. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
14. Martin Buser (37)
15. Jessie Royer (6)
16. Aliy Zirkle (50)
17. Sven Haltmann (42)
18. Sonny Lindner (44)
19. Paul Gebhardt (7)
20. Rick Swenson (57)
21. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
22. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
23. Cim Smyth (3)
24. Jim Lanier (43)
25. Bruce Linton (65)
26. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
27. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
ON THE TRAIL
28. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
29. Thomas Lesatz (62)
30. Gerald Sousa (48)
31. Robert Nelson (32)
32. Jason Barron (71)
33. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
34. Matt Hayashida (12)
35. Allen Moore (54)
36. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
37. William Pinkham (40)
38. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
39. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
40. Cindy Gallea (39)
41. Blake Freking (11)
42. Sam Deltour (66)
43. Art Church, Jr (24)
44. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
45. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
46. Lachlan Clarke (63)
47. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
48. Billy Snodgrass (70)
49. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
50. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
51. Trent Herbst (60)
52. Scott White (13) {R}
53. John Stewart (69) {R}
54. Ross Adam (18)
55. Celeste Davis (58) {R}
56. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Iditarod Update #25 - Top Ten Nearly Decided

Mitch Seavey looks to finish 10th, just ahead of Ray Redington Jr.

Rookie Dan Kaduce is in White Mountain with a substantial lead over the other rookies.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS as of 6:30am ET

FINISHED
1. Lance Mackey (49)
2. Hans Gatt (20)
3. Jeff King (15)
4. Ken Anderson (51)
5. John Baker (8)
6. Ramey Smyth (21)
7. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
8. Dallas Seavey (41)
9. Hugh Neff (56)
ON THE TRAIL
10. Mitch Seavey (19)
11. Ray Redington Jr (9)
12. Zack Steer (47)
13. Martin Buser (37)
14. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
15. Jessie Royer (6)
16. Aliy Zirkle (50)
17. Sonny Lindner (44)
18. Sven Haltmann (42)
19. Paul Gebhardt (7)
20. Rick Swenson (57)
21. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
22. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
23. Robert Nelson (32)
24. Bruce Linton (65)
25. Jim Lanier (43)
26. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
27. Cim Smyth (3)
28. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
29. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
30. Thomas Lesatz (62)
31. Gerald Sousa (48)
32. Jason Barron (71)
33. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
34. Matt Hayashida (12)
35. Allen Moore (54)
36. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
37. William Pinkham (40)
38. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
39. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
40. Cindy Gallea (39)
41. Blake Freking (11)
42. Art Church, Jr (24)
43. Lachlan Clarke (63)
44. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
45. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
46. Sam Deltour (66)
47. Billy Snodgrass (70)
48. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
49. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
50. Scott White (13) {R}
51. John Stewart (69) {R}
52. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
53. Trent Herbst (60)
54. Ross Adam (18)
55. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
56. Celeste Davis (58) {R}


SCRATCHES
Kirk Barnum (34)
Pat Moon (17) {R}
Michael Suprenant (30)
Zoya DeNure (5)
Karin Hendrickson (23)
Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
Karen Ramstead (29)
Justin Savidis (10) {R}
Linwood Fiedler (2)
Tom Thurston (68)
Warren Palfrey (27)
Ryan Redington (25)
Judy Currier (72)
Emil Churchin (53) {R}
Hank Debruin (45) {R}

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Idiarod Update 24 - Lance Mackey, Champion!

Congratulations to Lance Mackey, the 2010 Idotarod Champion!

Record setting 4 years in a row.

Iditarod Update #23 - Almost Nome

Lance passed through the Safety checkpoint at 11:41 Alaska time. 22 miles to HISTORY!!!!!!!

Iditarod Update #22 - The Road To Nome

Lance is maintaining his speed at or around the speed of Hans. Jeff is running nearly the same speed. Lance is 40 miles from becoming the only musher to win the Iditarod 4 years in a row.
Ken Anderson will leave White Mountain just over an hour ahead of John Baker and 2 hours ahead of Hugh Neff in the race for 4th. Ramey Smyth, holder of the fastest time from Whote Mountain to Nome, will leave shortly after Hugh.
Mitch Seavey will leave the checkpoint 16 minutes after his son Dallas, as they race for 9th & 10th.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS as of 1:00pm ET
1. Lance Mackey (49)
2. Hans Gatt (20)
3. Jeff King (15)
4. Ken Anderson (51)
5. John Baker (8)
6. Hugh Neff (56)
7. Ramey Smyth (21)
8. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
9. Dallas Seavey (41)
10. Mitch Seavey (19)
11. Ray Redington Jr (9)
12. Martin Buser (37)
13. Zack Steer (47)
14. Aliy Zirkle (50)
15. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
16. Jessie Royer (6)
17. Sven Haltmann (42)
18. Sonny Lindner (44)
19. Robert Nelson (32)
20. Rick Swenson (57)
21. Paul Gebhardt (7)
22. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
23. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
24. Cim Smyth (3)
25. Bruce Linton (65)
26. Jim Lanier (43)
27. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
28. Gerald Sousa (48)
29. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
30. Thomas Lesatz (62)
31. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
32. Jason Barron (71)
33. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
34. Matt Hayashida (12)
35. Allen Moore (54)
36. William Pinkham (40)
37. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
38. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
39. Cindy Gallea (39)
40. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
41. Blake Freking (11)
42. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
43. Lachlan Clarke (63)
44. Art Church, Jr (24)
45. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
46. Billy Snodgrass (70)
47. Sam Deltour (66)
48. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
49. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
50. Trent Herbst (60)
51. Scott White (13) {R}
52. John Stewart (69) {R}
53. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
54. Ross Adam (18)
55. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
56. Celeste Davis (58) {R}
57. Hank Debruin (45) {R}

Iditarod Update #21 - Final Break

Lance is finishing his 8 hour stop in White Mountain

Lance arrived at the final mandatory stop 2 hours ahead of Hans Gatt, who was followed 30 mins later by Jeff King. Barring trouble, Lance should finish 3-4PM Alaska time (7-8PM ET).

Dan Kaduce has a 4 hour lead over Michael Williams, Jr for the Rookie of the Year race as he approaches Koyuk.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Iditarod Update #20 - Mackey Maintains Lead

Lance Mackey maintains his first place by nearly 2 hours, at 12 miles in front of 2nd place team Hans Gatt, who passed Jeff King in Elim. Jeff left after an hour and 15 minutes. Hans is moving almost one mile per hour faster than Lance, the rest times will be the difference.

Ken Anderson, Hugh Neff and John Baker are racing within an hour and 15 minutes of each other.

Iditarod Update #19 - Lance On the Home Stretch

Lance Mackey just blew through Elim, he's now less than 46 miles to the mandatory 8 hour rest in White Mountain.

Jeff King continues to hold his slim 2nd place over Hans Gatt. Ken Anderson and Hugh Neff are fighting for 4th place.

Rookie Dan Kaduce left Unalakleet nearly 3 hours before the next rookie, Michael Williams, Jr.

Rookie Emil Churchin scratched. Rookie Hank Debruin is the only team not yet to Galena.

Iditarod Update #18 - King Follows Mackey

Jeff King leaves Koyuk 2 hours behind race leader Lance Mackey. At this point, it is doubtful anyone else has a chance at the win, unless something big were to happen at the front.

Rivals

Notes about the Mackey - King Rivalry from Kyle Hopkins - adn.com:

While Mackey said the rivalry between them isn't personal, he also said the two champions have traded verbal barbs at checkpoints over the past few years and that King made "a nice smart comment" to him this year in Ruby.

“We do it to each other. We jab each other and make the other one think about the other one for the next day or so," Mackey said while unpacking gear to feed his dogs. "If ... I’m thinking about Jeff, then I’m going to be taking away from my racing performance and focus on my team if I’m sitting there thinking and worrying about him. And vice versa."

Mackey wouldn't say what King said to him. “It was uncalled for and all it did was fire me up a little bit," he said.

Mackey started the verbal duel himself in 2007, he said, when he asked King if "he was scared yet" at a checkpoint. Last year, King made the same comment to him, he said.

I asked him about the rivalry with Mackey. He said it exists, but "There's not too many guys I'd rather be racing against." What did he say to Mackey in Ruby? "Same thing I said the last couple years, which is: 'Are you worried yet?'"

Iditarod Update #17 - CORRECTION!!!!!!

The GPS standings and miles are incorrect, due to the path of the trail. LANCE WAS FIRST INTO KOYUK! He led Jeff by about an hour an 15 mins.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS as of 10:20ET
1. Lance Mackey (49)
2. Jeff King (15)
3. Hans Gatt (20)
4. Hugh Neff (56)
5. Ken Anderson (51)
6. John Baker (8)
7. Mitch Seavey (19)
8. Ramey Smyth (21)
9. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
10. Aliy Zirkle (50)
11. Dallas Seavey (41)
12. Ray Redington Jr (9)
13. Sonny Lindner (44)
14. Zack Steer (47)
15. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
16. Jessie Royer (6)
17. Martin Buser (37)
18. Sven Haltmann (42)
19. Rick Swenson (57)
20. Robert Nelson (32)
21. Paul Gebhardt (7)
22. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
23. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
24. Bruce Linton (65)
25. Cim Smyth (3)
26. Gerald Sousa (48)
27. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
28. Jim Lanier (43)
29. Jason Barron (71)
30. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
31. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
32. Thomas Lesatz (62)
33. Matt Hayashida (12)
34. William Pinkham (40)
35. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
36. Allen Moore (54)
37. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
38. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
39. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
40. Cindy Gallea (39)
41. Blake Freking (11)
42. Lachlan Clarke (63)
43. Billy Snodgrass (70)
44. Art Church, Jr (24)
45. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
46. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
47. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
48. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
49. Sam Deltour (66)
50. Scott White (13) {R}
51. John Stewart (69) {R}
52. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
53. Trent Herbst (60)
54. Ross Adam (18)
55. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
56. Celeste Davis (58) {R}
57. Hank Debruin (45) {R}
58. Emil Churchin (53) {R}


SCRATCHES
Kirk Barnum (34)
Pat Moon (17) {R}
Michael Suprenant (30)
Zoya DeNure (5)
Karin Hendrickson (23)
Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
Karen Ramstead (29)
Justin Savidis (10) {R}
Linwood Fiedler (2)
Tom Thurston (68)
Warren Palfrey (27)
Ryan Redington (25)
Judy Currier (72)

Iditarod Update #16 - Swapping the Lead

King Out in Front Past Koyuk

According to the GPS, Jeff King has a 6 mile Lead over Lance Mackey. The Official Standings show that Lance led Jeff by an hour out of Shaktoolik across Norton Bay, Hans 90 mins later.

Dan Kaduce haad a 3 hour lead out of Kaltag over Michelle Phillips and Michael Williams, Jr.

In the back, Emil Churchin is heading towards Cripple, the rest are in Ruby and beyond.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Iditarod Update #15 - Moving On

Lance is out of Unalakleet after a 6 hour rest. Jeff left 30 mins later, after less than 4 hours rest.

Iditarod Update #14 - Lance First To Coast

Mackey Arrives in Unalakleet 3 hours before King

Lance Mackey gambled to take the lead by blowing through Kaltag and getting out in front of Jeff King. His gamble won him the Gold Coast Award for being the first team to the Bearing Sea Coast town of Unalakleet. Jeff King arrived 3 hours later. Hugh Neff and Hans Gatt arrived around an hour later.

The back of the pack are all out of Cripple, wiht the exception of rookie Emil Churchin.

The rookie race shows Dan Kaduce into Kaltag with Michael Williams, Jr a half hour later.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS as of 1:30 ET
1. Lance Mackey (49)
2. Jeff King (15)
3. Hugh Neff (56)
4. Hans Gatt (20)
5. Mitch Seavey (19)
6. Ken Anderson (51)
7. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
8. Ramey Smyth (21)
9. John Baker (8)
10. Aliy Zirkle (50)
11. Zack Steer (47)
12. Sonny Lindner (44)
13. Dallas Seavey (41)
14. Jessie Royer (6)
15. Martin Buser (37)
16. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
17. Sven Haltmann (42)
18. Ray Redington Jr (9)
19. Rick Swenson (57)
20. Jason Barron (71)
21. Paul Gebhardt (7)
22. Robert Nelson (32)
23. Jim Lanier (43)
24. Cim Smyth (3)
25. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
26. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
27. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
28. Gerald Sousa (48)
29. Bruce Linton (65)
30. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
31. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
32. Thomas Lesatz (62)
33. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
34. Judy Currier (72)
35. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
36. Allen Moore (54)
37. Matt Hayashida (12)
38. William Pinkham (40)
39. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
40. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
41. Cindy Gallea (39)
42. Blake Freking (11)
43. Lachlan Clarke (63)
44. Billy Snodgrass (70)
45. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
46. Art Church, Jr (24)
47. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
48. Scott White (13) {R}
49. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
50. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
51. John Stewart (69) {R}
52. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
53. Sam Deltour (66)
54. Trent Herbst (60)
55. Ross Adam (18)
56. Celeste Davis (58) {R}
57. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
58. Hank Debruin (45) {R}
59. Emil Churchin (53) {R}


SCRATCHES
Kirk Barnum (34)
Pat Moon (17) {R}
Michael Suprenant (30)
Zoya DeNure (5)
Karin Hendrickson (23)
Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
Karen Ramstead (29)
Justin Savidis (10) {R}
Linwood Fiedler (2)
Tom Thurston (68)
Warren Palfrey (27)
Ryan Redington (25)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Iditarod Update #13 - Lance Leads

Mackey blows through Kaltag into 1st

Not long after Jeff King arrived first in Kaltag, Lance Mackey blew through and into the lead. Shortly after, Hugh Neff pulled in to rest. A couple hours later, Hans Gatt blew through the check point give chase to Lance. After resting for nearly 4 hours, Jeff leaves, followed by Hugh and then Mitch Seavey. John Baker, Sonny Lindner and Ken Anderson are in to Kaltag.
Ryan Redington scratched in Galena.

Dan Kaduce is leading the rookie race in 24th, followed by Michelle Phillips in 28th and
Michael Williams, Jr 29th.

Iditarod Update #12 - Race Along the River

King is out front - Mackey and Neff chasing

Jeff King left Ruby an hour and a half ahead of Lance Mackey and Hugh Neff. Mitch Seavey and Hans Gatt left about 3 hours behind Jeff. This is the time to look for a move by someone, cutting rest or running long, to try to move out in front.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Iditarod Update #11 - The King Moves

Leaders taking mandatory Yukon River 8 hours of rest at Ruby

Jeff King is moving out of Ruby, after taking 8 hours of rest there. That allows him to take as much or as little rest as he wishes the rest of the race. And that gives him an 8-hour lead over all the teams that have yet to take their 8! Lance and Hugh are nearly an hour and a half behind him and will give chase as soon as they can. There's still a lot of racing left to do, so anything can happen!

Tom Thurston scratched at Ophir, citing "team performance" as the reason.

Rookie Justin Savidis lost a dog, "Whitey" between Nikolai and McGrath on Thursday,and Justin and others are still searching for him.

Iditarod Update #10 - Game On!

Race standings start to take shape as teams complete their 24s

As expected, Jeff King shot into first place, as he passed the former race leaders while they are on their 24 hour breaks in Cripple. At this point Jeff, Lance, Hugh and Mitch are all resting in Ruby. The next 20 or so teams are on their way. The next day or so will really put the race into perspective, as far as who has a legitimate chance to win. Of course, Jeff and Lance dueling it out - some things never change?

Michelle Phillips led the rookies to Cripple, but again as they wrap up their 24s, we'll start to see how that race shapes up, as well.

Sadly, fan-favorite Karen Ramstead and her team of purebred Siberian Huskies scratched at McGrath. Karen has had some personal injuries prior to the race, but it is only speculation as to the cause at this time.

Here are the current leaders out of Cripple:
1. Jeff King (15)
2. Lance Mackey (49)
3. Hugh Neff (56)
4. Mitch Seavey (19)
5. Aliy Zirkle (50)
6. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
7. Sonny Lindner (44)
8. Sven Haltmann (42)
9. Hans Gatt (20)
10. Ken Anderson (51)
11. Rick Swenson (57)
12. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
13. Ray Redington Jr (9)
14. Zack Steer (47)
15. Cim Smyth (3)
16. Paul Gebhardt (7)
17. Dallas Seavey (41)
18. Jason Barron (71)
19. John Baker (8)
20. Jessie Royer (6)
21. Ramey Smyth (21)
22. Gerald Sousa (48)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jeff King arrived in Cripple 2 and a half hours faster than Dallas Seavey and 7 and a half hours faster than John Baker! Expect those who already took their 24 to blow through Cripple into the lead.

Linwood Fiedler scratches in McGrath with 11 dogs.

Iditarod Update #9 - Strategies In Action

Moves are being made

Dallas Seavey and John Baker have arrived in Cripple, the halfway point, with Dallas winning the GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award. They have pushed the pace hard, arrivng within 10 minutes of each other, around 1:30am local time. Martin Buser arrived 5:00am. Those three have yet to take their 24 hour breaks.

Jeff King, Hugh Neff, Sebastian Schnuelle, Mitch Seavey and Sven Haltmann all took their 24s at Takotna and are moving on.

In the rookies race, Michelle Phillips is the 6th team out of Ophir, miles ahead of the other rookies.

At the back of the pack, Jane Faulkner{R}, Billy Snodgrass, Celeste Davis{R} and Ross Adam are out of Nikolai, while rookie Emil Churchin has yet to leave.

Here are the complete "Official Standings" as of 10:20am ET
1. Dallas Seavey (41)
2. John Baker (8)
3. Martin Buser (37)
4. Bruce Linton (65)
5. Robert Nelson (32)
6. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
7. Jeff King (15)
8. Hugh Neff (56)
9. Mitch Seavey (19)
10. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
11. Lance Mackey (49)
12. Gerry Willomitzer (55)
13. Sven Haltmann (42)
14. Zack Steer (47)
15. Hans Gatt (20)
16. Cim Smyth (3)
17. Ramey Smyth (21)
18. Aliy Zirkle (50)
19. Sonny Lindner (44)
20. Rick Swenson (57)
21. Ken Anderson (51)
22. Jason Barron (71)
23. Ray Redington Jr (9)
24. Paul Gebhardt (7)
25. Ryan Redington (25)
26. DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
27. Jim Lanier (43)
28. Jessie Royer (6)
29. Gerald Sousa (48)
30. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
31. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
32. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
33. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
34. Judy Currier (72)
35. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
36. Allen Moore (54)
37. Cindy Gallea (39)
38. Kristy Berington (38) {R}
39. John Stewart (69) {R}
40. Lachlan Clarke (63)
41. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
42. Art Church, Jr (24)
43. Linwood Fiedler (2)
44. Warren Palfrey (27)
45. Thomas Lesatz (62)
46. Blake Freking (11)
47. William Pinkham (40)
48. Matt Hayashida (12)
49. Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
50. Tom Thurston (68)
51. Justin Savidis (10) {R}
52. Scott White (13) {R}
53. Newton Marshall (14) {R}
54. Chris Adkins (33) {R}
55. Karen Ramstead (29)
56. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
57. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
58. Trent Herbst (60)
59. Sam Deltour (66)
60. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
61. Billy Snodgrass (70)
62. Celeste Davis (58) {R}
63. Ross Adam (18)
64. Hank Debruin (45) {R}
65. Emil Churchin (53) {R}


SCRATCHES
Kirk Barnum (34)
Pat Moon (17) {R}
Michael Suprenant (30)
Zoya DeNure (5)
Karin Hendrickson (23)
Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Iditarod Update #8 - Scratch Report

Here are the stories of the 5 scratches so far this year. Information gleaned from iditarodblogs.com, alaskadispatch.com, and.com and Jon Little at drtims.com/blog, among others.

Kirk Barnum left Finger Lake with 12 dogs so he could scratch at Rainy Pass, where he had enough food to hold out until the weather cleared. He didn’t want to push his team too hard attempting to get to Nome with so few dogs this early in the race.

Rookie Pat Moon hit a tree in the infamous Dalzell Gorge and was knocked unconscious. Moon was airlifted to the hospital and later released. He was running a team for Ed & Tasha Stielstra’s Nature’s Kennel, and had postponed cancer treatments to make the race.

Michael Suprenant scratched at the Rainy Pass Checkpoint for medical reasons. No other information available at this time.

Zoya DeNure developed a breast infection that spread to her left arm and required antibiotics, according to husband John Schandelmeier. She had been nursing her daughter until the race.

Karin Hendrickson also scratched at the Rainy Pass Checkpoint, because of broken runners on her sled.

Iditarod Update #7 - Hans Makes His Move

Yukon Quest Champion leads out of Takotna


Jeff King was first into the checkpoint, followed by Mitch Seavey, Hans, John Baker, Sebastian and Hugh Neff. The rest of the top twenty are on their way.

24 hour layovers will start, and the standings will really start to shake out.

Michelle Phillips is leading the rookie race, with the top 7 within 16 places of each other.
25. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
31. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
34. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
36. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
39. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
40. Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
41. Justin Savidis (10) {R}

There are 5 teams still in Rohn, including 4 rookies
62. Hank Debruin (45) {R}
63. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
64. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
65. Sam Deltour (66)
66. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}

There have been 5 scratches:
Kirk Barnum (34)
Pat Moon (17) {R}
Michael Suprenant (30)
Zoya DeNure (5)
Karin Hendrickson (23)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Iditarod Update #6 - Sebastian First to Nikolai

Sebastian Schnuelle blazes the trail across the Farewell Burn

Mitch Seavey, John Baker, Jeff King & Hugh Neff are close behind.
The next group includes Hans Gatt, Lance Mackey, Gerry Willomitzer & Aliy Zirkle. In fact, the top 34 teams are on the trail out of Rohn. It is STILL anyone's race!

Kirk Barnum has reportedly scratched at Rainy Pass, although the Official Standings don't reflect that. According to the Alaska Dispatch, he was struggling with wrist problems and didn't want to hurt his dogs by pushing on to Nome.

There is a large group in the back still waiting to take on the Dalzell Gorge on the way to Rohn.

The rookies are mixing it up!
14. Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
28. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
30. John Stewart (69) {R}
32. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
38. Michelle Phillips (36) {R}

Iditarod Update #5 - Leaders are out of Rohn

At 6:30am ET, the first 6 teams are out of the Rohn checkpoint, about to take on the Burn.

Sebastian Schnuelle has about a 5 mile lead over Hugh Neff, who has passed Paul Gebhardt for 2nd. It's still early, and things will come into focus as the teams take their 24s.

William "Middie" Johnson is the first rookie, with Michelle Phillips next.

The back of the pack are all out of Finger Lake, with no scratches yet.

Here are the leaders:
1. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
2. Hugh Neff (56)
3. Paul Gebhardt (7)
4. Warren Palfrey (27)
5. Mitch Seavey (19)
6. John Baker (8)


Complete standings to come.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Iditarod Update #4 - Heading to Rohn

The leaders are exiting the Dalzell Gorge approaching Rohn

The top 10 teams are all within 15 miles of each other.

A couple of the GPS units are not working.

Top Ten based on GPS:
1. Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
2. John Baker (8)
3. Ray Redington Jr (9)
4. Zack Steer (47)
5. Paul Gebhardt (7)
6. Hugh Neff (56)
7. Mitch Seavey (19)
8. Warren Palfrey (27)
9. Hans Gatt (20)
10. Jeff King (15)

Top Rookies:
12. William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
24. Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
25. Justin Savidis (10) {R}
29. Quinn Iten (28) {R}
31. Wattie McDonald (4) {R}


Back of the Pack in Finger Lake:
62. Bruce Linton (65)
63. Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
64. Kirk Barnum (34)
65. Tamara Rose (26) {R}
66. Ross Adam (18)
67. Pat Moon (17) {R}
68. Sam Deltour (66)
69. Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
70. Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
71. Celeste Davis (58) {R}

Iditarod Update #3 - Seb Out Front

Sebastian Schnuelle In Front of the Pack

Sebastian is leading the way to the Rainy Pass checkpoint. Paul Gebhardt is hot on his tail out of Finger Lake.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Iditarod Update #2 - First morning

The early pace is fast.

It should be no surprise that Paul Gebhardt and Hans Gatt are moving fast out of the gate, as they are known for their speed. And Aliy Zirkle has moved way up in the standings, starting 49th and now in 2nd place. And Sebastian Schnuelle, who preaches starting slow, has moved from 34 to 4th place, on the move out of Skwentna. Linwood Fiedler, who was the first musher on the trail, has moved way out in front, arriving at the Finger Lake checkpoint.

The Redington brothers, Ray and Ryan, are both in the top 10.

Lance and Hugh are running together, no surprise.

It's still real early, so not too much should be made of the positions at this point.

Stay tuned!

The OFFICIAL STANDINGS (based on checkpoint times and NOT the GPS) as of 2:30am, Alaska Time:


1 Linwood Fiedler (2)
2 Aliy Zirkle (50)
3 Warren Palfrey (27)
4 Ray Redington Jr (9)
5 William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
6 Ryan Redington (25)
7 Paul Gebhardt (7)
8 John Baker (8)
9 Dallas Seavey (41)
10 Quinn Iten (28) {R}
11 Gerry Willomitzer (55)
12 Cim Smyth (3)
13 Zoya DeNure (5)
14 Hans Gatt (20)
15 Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
16 Blake Freking (11)
17 Mitch Seavey (19)
18 Ramey Smyth (21)
19 DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
20 Jim Lanier (43)
21 Martin Buser (37)
22 Newton Marshall (14) {R}
23 Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
24 Art Church, Jr (24)
25 Sven Haltmann (42)
26 Zack Steer (47)
27 Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
28 Robert Nelson (32)
29 Sonny Lindner (44)
30 Allen Moore (54)
31 Gerald Sousa (48)
32 Ken Anderson (51)
33 Ross Adam (18)
34 Cindy Gallea (39)
35 Bruce Linton (65)
36 Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
37 Chris Adkins (33) {R}
38 Kirk Barnum (34)
39 Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
40 Lachlan Clarke (63)
41 Hank Debruin (45) {R}
42 Judy Currier (72)
43 Scott White (13) {R}
44 Billy Snodgrass (70)
45 Tamara Rose (26) {R}
46 Tom Thurston (68)
47 Karen Ramstead (29)
48 John Stewart (69) {R}
49 Pat Moon (17) {R}
50 Karin Hendrickson (23)
51 Jessie Royer (6)
52 Jeff King (15)
53 Matt Hayashida (12)
54 Justin Savidis (10) {R}
55 Michael Suprenant (30)
56 William Pinkham (40)
57 Kristy Berington (38) {R}
58 Lance Mackey (49)
59 Hugh Neff (56)
60 Emil Churchin (53) {R}
61 Rick Swenson (57)
62 Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
63 Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
64 Trent Herbst (60)
65 Thomas Lesatz (62)
66 Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
67 Jason Barron (71)
68 Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
69 Celeste Davis (58) {R}
70 Sam Deltour (66)
71 Peter Kaiser (67) {R}

Friday, March 5, 2010

Iditarod Update #1 - Starting Lineup

The starting order is set for the field of 71 mushers, including 22 Rookies {R}.

The bib numbers start at (2), with #1 reserved for an honorary musher.

2010 Iditarod Starting Order

1 Linwood Fiedler (2)
2 Cim Smyth (3)
3 Wattie McDonald (4) {R}
4 Zoya DeNure (5)
5 Jessie Royer (6)
6 Paul Gebhardt (7)
7 John Baker (8)
8 Ray Redington Jr (9)
9 Justin Savidis (10) {R}
10 Blake Freking (11)
11 Matt Hayashida (12)
12 Scott White (13) {R}
13 Newton Marshall (14) {R}
14 Jeff King (15)
15 William "Middie" Johnson (16) {R}
16 Pat Moon (17) {R}
17 Ross Adam (18)
18 Mitch Seavey (19)
19 Hans Gatt (20)
20 Ramey Smyth (21)
21 Jane Faulkner (22) {R}
22 Karin Hendrickson (23)
23 Art Church, Jr (24)
24 Ryan Redington (25)
25 Tamara Rose (26) {R}
26 Warren Palfrey (27)
27 Quinn Iten (28) {R}
28 Karen Ramstead (29)
29 Michael Suprenant (30)
30 DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
31 Robert Nelson (32)
32 Chris Adkins (33) {R}
33 Kirk Barnum (34)
34 Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
35 Michelle Phillips (36) {R}
36 Martin Buser (37)
37 Kristy Berington (38) {R}
38 Cindy Gallea (39)
39 William Pinkham (40)
40 Dallas Seavey (41)
41 Sven Haltmann (42)
42 Jim Lanier (43)
43 Sonny Lindner (44)
44 Hank Debruin (45) {R}
45 Kathleen Frederick (46) {R}
46 Zack Steer (47)
47 Gerald Sousa (48)
48 Lance Mackey (49)
49 Aliy Zirkle (50)
50 Ken Anderson (51)
51 Dave DeCaro (52) {R}
52 Emil Churchin (53) {R}
53 Allen Moore (54)
54 Gerry Willomitzer (55)
55 Hugh Neff (56)
56 Rick Swenson (57)
57 Celeste Davis (58) {R}
58 Michael Williams, Jr (59) {R}
59 Trent Herbst (60)
60 Colleen Robertia (61) {R}
61 Thomas Lesatz (62)
62 Lachlan Clarke (63)
63 Dan Kaduce (64) {R}
64 Bruce Linton (65)
65 Sam Deltour (66)
66 Peter Kaiser (67) {R}
67 Tom Thurston (68)
68 John Stewart (69) {R}
69 Billy Snodgrass (70)
70 Jason Barron (71)
71 Judy Currier (72)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I’m a REAL musher now.

"When the cop asked if I knew what I was doing, I didn’t have an answer."

It was a nice, sunny, 27 degree day. I was replacing some chains on the new dogs’ pickets. I figured that I would do stuff with them on Saturday as a bonding exercise, then Sunday run them if I thought they were ready. I hooked Ellen and Browning to the drop chains on the truck, and they thought we were going for a run. OK, if they want to, then we’re going.

Browning, Nick and Ellen waiting to go

I got Mr. Nick hooked up to the truck as well, and loaded the sled and lines. Then I put Nick in the cab of the truck, and Ellen and Browning into the dog box. We drove to my usual put-in spot a few miles from home. The plan was to run about two miles out and then back, for an easy little jaunt.

I put Ellen and Nick in lead, with Browning in wheel. We were a little messed up, as Nick had learned some bad behavior from his sister. But I got them turned around and the lines untangled, pulled the hook and we took off. Like a rocket!

My friend Ed had warned me that I had ‘turbo-charged’ my team and that the extra power would be unexpected. Having only run Nick with Alice balking, and sometimes the little farm dog Biscuit along, I knew it would feel different with three dogs that all wanted to run. But the moment I said “All right!” the sled popped a wheelie and we flew down the trail.

It was going smoothly, I was finally experiencing a ‘magic-carpet ride’. The wind was in my face and I had under-dressed, because I was overheating back at the farm. I crouched down behind the sled to eliminate the resistance. Hey, this IS fun!

Photo op seconds before disaster

We had gone about a mile and a half, about a half-mile from the turn-around, to a waterway at the bottom of a hill. I stopped to take a couple of photos. As I was putting the camera back in my pocket, I asked them if they were “Ready?” Bam! The sled popped a wheelie and I fell off, losing my grip. “Whoa, whoa!” I screamed, but it was having no effect. They raced up the hill and out of sight. I took off running, but my heavy boots in the soft, snow-machine trail were making it impossible. I gave up and could only walk.

I knew not to panic, so I got out my cell phone, as Angie had told me many times to be sure and bring with me. She had offered to come along and drive the truck, but in typical fashion, I wanted to be able to do it alone. I called her but she was at a hair appointment, so I left a message saying I lost the team and where I thought they were headed.

I was hoping they would stop when the trail came out of the field to the road, but I knew the snow machine trail went on west, where it would come to a major highway. There, they would have to choose between going straight across it, or turning and crossing a paved road to follow that trail into town. If they crossed the highway, there were three directions they could have taken. I couldn’t tell for sure if they had even turned that way, or had headed in the other direction, but I knew that if they went towards the highway, I had to go get them before they got hurt. If they went the other way, there would be way less traffic to worry about. I hoped for snow-machines to come from behind and pick me up, but I feared if they were to meet them head on.

I had walked about .7 of a mile when a car came racing up to me. “I got them” he said so I jumped in. As he took me to get them, he told me he had seen them running down the highway towards town, and he grabbed them and someone else was holding them. They had passed underneath the overpass of a four-lane, divided highway! A nice young couple was holding them. No one looked hurt, and they were only tangled a bit, possibly from being held. I thanked everyone profusely, turned the rig around and got the lines straightened out. Ellen took us back along the trail, under the overpass. There was large gravel and it was very uneven, so I was walking and pulling the sled over it when a police officer pulled up, with lights flashing. “Are those all of them?” he asked me. I assured him that they were, and he then asked the most profound question of the day: “Do you know what you are doing?” I didn't have an answer. I told him that I had just got the two dogs and it was our first run. He went on his way, and I went on mine.

Running back to the truck

We had to cross the on-ramp and then the paved road before getting back on good snow. Ellen and Nick did a great job leading us back. There were extremely tired, and we stopped several times on the way back for short breaks.

Riding back with a combination of stress and relief

We got back to the truck without any further incidents.

Taking a well-deserved water break


A little tired out


Time to go home

At home, I checked the mileage on Google Earth and it appears that they had gone about a mile and a half without me. They ran about six miles total.

Rule #1 of mushing: Never let go of the sled. Words to live by…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mushing Loon Kennels Grows from 2 to 5 Dogs!

In the previous post, I detailed our trip to the U.P. 200 Sled Dog races. As I mentioned, we brought home a puppy and two more sled dogs.

My friend and mentor Shannon Miller raised this beauty Maggie. She was born January 2nd, just missing Daddy's birthday!

Awe - so cute!


Mommy loves her baby!


Mags giving Daddy a kiss


The cats keeping an eye on the evil doggy...


Oh yes, she's fierce!


While there, we picked up two more sled dogs to add to the team: Ellen, a pretty little 4-year old leader and Browning, and nice 2-year old.

Sweet Ellen

She's a quiet, pretty little girl, although she will howl.

Browning


He's a barker!

Brownie checking out Browning!


They are adjusting to the change in scenery and living with new dogs, especially the 3 farm dogs!

I have not run them yet, but am looking forward to it very much.

Thanks to Jon Mattsen for the dogs, and to Shannon Miller for the beautiful and intelligent Maggie!

Trip to U.P. 200 Dog Races

Angie and & went to Marquette, Michigan this past weekend to attend the UP 200 sled dog races. We left early Friday morning for the 9-hour drive, plus the time zone change. From Madison to Green Bay, it was basically solid town all the way. Boring and similar. After we got north of Green Bay, the scenery started to change, getting thicker with woods the farther north we went. We had a great stretch along the shore of Lake Michigan, beautiful jumbled ice. There are tons of lake-side houses for sale.



Angie took these with her phone while we were driving - the view was better in person.

We eventually got to our cheap motel and met our mushing friend Shannon Miller and her friend Jon Mattsen. They were there to run the Jack Pine, a 30-mile, 6-dog race, a goal of mine. Shannon has been mentoring me, giving me advice and introducing me to other mushers. She was bringing puppies she raised to be delivered to the new owners, including us!


Excited to be at the start!

The 200 mile race starts on Friday night, so we went downtown to see the start. We met some of the "big-time" mushers and saw their dog trucks and trailers. I knew a few of the people from Facebook and/or emails, so it was nice to meet in person. There were 30-some teams, running 12 dogs. The excitement kept building until the first team took off - and then the rest of the dogs went crazy! We made our way to the sidelines - they had trucked in some snow for a 10-foot wide path down the main street. There were several thousand people lining the trail. in town, with bonfires and parties all along the trail. There is also the Midnight Run, which is a 100 mile race that starts simultaneously in another town for 8-dog teams. It was great seeing the teams start, the dogs pulling so hard that the snow is flying out behind their feet, with the mushers riding the brakes for all they got!


Going so fast they are a blur!

Saturday morning, we piled into the two dog trucks and headed south to the little town of Gwinn, where the Jack Pine starts. With a bit of a late start, and taking the longer route, we arrived with little time to spare before the race started. We helped (as much as we could) our friends get their teams ready, then lead them to the starting chute. Six eager dogs are hard to hold back, one wrong step and you could be dragged several feet! (I witnessed at least two handlers being dragged!) By the time we were in position to start, the dogs were freaking, ready to run! Countdown and away they ran! We packed up the trucks and headed back to Marquette for the finish.

Cool pier at the finish area

In the parking lot, we had 2 to 3 hours to kill before the first team arrived. Angie had our puppy, Maggie, and our new friend from Minnesota, Kathleen, was there to bring home Ginsberg. Those puppies were ROCK STARS! People swarmed all over them, took photos, asked questions, it was great!

The new moms - photo courtesy Shannon Miller

Eventually, the teams started coming in. Our friend Jon came in 7th. After 12 of the 13 teams were in, Shannon had yet to make an appearance. She was running three of her own dogs and three she borrowed from Jon, so she anticipated the possibility of problems, having never ran those dogs before. And as time went on, we started getting a little nervous! Eventually, I received a photo text from her - it was her dogs, taking a break! They had gotten tired on the mountain. The trail actually goes over the ski mountain, and many teams had problems getting their dogs to go under the ski lift. She took a break, switched some dogs around, and got some help to get them past the ski area. She was laughing and joking, so we knew she'd be fine. Red lantern to the last team to finish!

Photo text from Shannon

The next morning, we loaded up the puppy and our two new dogs, and took the long road home. It was fairly uneventful, but we were sure glad to get home!


Historic Lambeau Field

It was quite the learning experience for me, so many things that I am still in 'information overload'! I sure know many new things to try and do.

Next post: We get NEW DOGS!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yukon Quest 2/18/10

Race is winding down

Only 6 mushers left on the trail. Terry Williams scratched at Carmacks, no report as to why at this time.

A 30-minute penalty was given to Jennifer Raffaeli for getting outside assistance in installing runner plastic.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS:


Finshers:
1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Joshua Cadzow (21) {ROOKIE OF THE YEAR}

8 Brent Sass (12)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Normand Casavant (10)

11 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

13 Mike Ellis (18)

14 David Dalton (3)

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

Still on the trail:
17 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

18 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

19 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

20 Katie Davis (6) {R}

21 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}


SCRATCHED: Gerry Willomitzer (5) ,Terry Williams (7) {R}

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yukon Quest 2/17/10

Heading Towards the Finish

There are still 11 teams on the trail at this time. There have been no more teams to scratch.
Sources report that Cindy Barrand received a 30 minute penalty for outside assistance wiht a broken brake. Still awaiting an official statement.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS:


Finshers:
1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Joshua Cadzow (21) {ROOKIE OF THE YEAR}

8 Brent Sass (12)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Normand Casavant (10)

11 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

Still on the trail:
13 Mike Ellis (18)

14 David Dalton (3)

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

17 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

18 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

19 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

20 Katie Davis (6) {R}

21 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

22 Terry Williams (7) {R}

23 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}


SCRATCHED: Gerry Willomitzer (5)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Josh Cadzow Wins Rookie of the Year

Twenty-two year old native musher Josh Cadzow, from Fort Yukon, Alaska is first rookie to arrive at Whitehorse.

No further scratches. Remaining teams are all moving towards the finish.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS:

Finshers:
1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

Still on the trail:
8 Brent Sass (12)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Normand Casavant (10)

11 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

13 Mike Ellis (18)

14 David Dalton (3)

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

18 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

19 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

20 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

21 Katie Davis (6) {R}

22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

23 Terry Williams (7) {R}

SCRATCHED: Gerry Willomitzer (5)

Yukon Quest 2/16/10

Top Five Has Been Decided - Rookie of the Year is Next

After Hans Gatt record-setting win, Lance Mackey came in 2nd, with Hugh Neff in 3rd. In an exciting finish, Zack Steer takes 4th place by 3 minutes over Ken Anderson.

In the Rookie of the Year race, Josh Cadzow holds a slim one-hour lead over Abbie West, coming out of Braeburn.

No other scratches at this time, the back of the pack is out of
Scroggie Creek.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS:


Finshers:

1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

Still on the trail:
6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

8 Brent Sass (12)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Normand Casavant (10)

11 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

13 David Dalton (3)

14 Mike Ellis (18)

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

18 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

19 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

20 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

21 Katie Davis (6) {R}

22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

23 Terry Williams (7) {R}

SCRATCHED: Gerry Willomitzer (5)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hans Gatt Winner of the 2010 Yukon Quest!

Appears that Lance and Hugh are still racing for 2nd.

Yukon Quest Leaders nearing the Finish

The Official Yukon Quest site reports that 17 miles from the finish, Hans has a 9 mile lead on Lance.

Yukon Quest Day 2/15/10

Sprint to the Finish!

The winner should be decided later this afternoon. After their mandatory 8 hour break at Braeburn, the leaders took off early Monday morning on the final 100 mile leg to Whitehorse. Hans Gatt left just over half an hour before Lance Mackey, with Hugh Neff 25 minutes behind. According the the GPS tracker, at 9:00am(ET) Lance and Hugh are ahead of Hans. What a race!

In the Rookie of the Year race, Abbie West left Carmacks nearly 30 minutes ahead of Josh Cadzow.

Gerry Willomitzer, who scratched after returning to Dawson City due to ;losing the plastic off his runners, is still the only musher to scratch.

The back of the pack has all resumed their run after the mandatory 36 hour break in Dawson.

The OFFICIAL Standings:


1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Brent Sass (12)

7 Sonny Lindner (20)

8 Abbie West (1) {R}

9 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

10 Normand Casavant (10)

11 David Dalton (3)

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

13 Mike Ellis (18)

14 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

18 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

19 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

20 Katie Davis (6) {R}

21 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

23 Terry Williams (7) {R}

SCRATCHED: Gerry Willomitzer (5)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yukon Quest Day 7 2/12/10

The Race Begins Again!!!!!

Hans Gatt is out of Dawson City and the race is on! We'll see if the record-setting pace keeps up.

Another record is that there have been NO scratches yet!

All mushers have made it through Eagle and are on their way to Dawson, including the back-of-the-packers, rookies Jocelyne LeBlanc and Terry Williams.

In the Rookie of the Year race, Abbie West will leave nearly 2 hours ahead of Josh Cadzow. It seems the race is tight all over!

Official Standings as we start the 2nd half of the race:

1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Brent Sass (12)

7 Sonny Lindner (20)

8 Abbie West (1) {R}

9 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

10 Gerry Willomitzer (5)

11 Normand Casavant (10)

12 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

13 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

14 David Dalton (3)

15 Kelley Griffin (15)

16 Mike Ellis (18)

17 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

18 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

19 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

20 Katie Davis (6) {R}

21 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

22 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

23 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

24 Terry Williams (7) {R}

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yukon Quest Day 6 2/11/10

At the Halfway Point

The race leaders have arrived at Dawson City, Yukon Territory for their mandatory 36 hour rest. Hans Gatt was the first one in, leading Lance by nearly three hours. The mushers and their dogs all have a chance to recharge, as in this race, handlers can care for the dogs while the mushers take a well-deserved break.

The start time differentials will be made up here as well. Hans will be the first back on the trail Friday morning, at 6:35am local time. It looks like it will be a 450 mile spring race to Whitehorse!

In the Rookie of the Year battle, it seems that Abbie West and Josh Cadzow are neck-in-neck, possibly traveling together.

All 24 teams are still in the race. The back of the pack is out of Slaven's, with rookies Jocelyne LeBlanc and Terry Williams heading for Eagle, if the GPS units are to be trusted. Everyone else is on the way to Dawson City.



OFFICIAL Standings:


1 Hans Gatt (13)

2 Lance Mackey (11)

3 Hugh Neff (23)

4 Zack Steer (2)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Brent Sass (12)

7 Sonny Lindner (20)

8 Gerry Willomitzer (5)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

11 Normand Casavant (10)

12 David Dalton (3)

13 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

14 Kelley Griffin (15)

15 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

16 Mike Ellis (18)

17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

18 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

19 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

20 Katie Davis (6) {R}

21 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

22 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

23 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

24 Terry Williams (7) {R}

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yukon Quest Day 5 2/10/10

We Have A Race!

The race leaders left the Eagle checkpoint within 7 minutes of each other - Zach, Hans, Lance and Hugh. Up and over American Summit, they are crossing into the Yukon, with Lance and Hugh leading the way. Soon, they'll return to the Yukon River and head towards the mandatory 36 hour layover in Dawson City.

There have been no scratches, and everyone has at least made it to Slaven's Roadhouse.
Rookie Abbie West has just over an hour lead over Josh Cadzow in the Rookie of the Year race.
Rookie Terry Williams is still bringing up the rear, arriving at Slaven's a couple of hours after the leaders left Eagle.

The OFFICIAL Standings (not taking in to account the GPS trackers)

Normal 0 0 1 83 477 3 1 585 11.0

1 Zack Steer (2)

2 Hans Gatt (13)

3 Lance Mackey (11)

4 Hugh Neff (23)

5 Ken Anderson (17)

6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Gerry Willomitzer (5)

8 Abbie West (1) {R}

9 Brent Sass (12)

10 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

11 David Dalton (3)

12 Normand Casavant (10)

13 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

14 Kelley Griffin (15)

15 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

16 Mike Ellis (18)

17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

18 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

19 Katie Davis (6) {R}

20 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

21 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

22 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

23 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

24 Terry Williams (7) {R}



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yukon Quest Tuesday AM

Leaders on the move!

The leaders are out of Slaven's Roadhouse. Zach Steer continues to set a record pace, with Hugh Neff and Ken Anderson following a little over an hour later. Shaping up to be the fastest Quest on record!

Abbie West and Josh Cadzow are keeping the Rookie of the Year race tight.
No musher's have dropped yet, with Terry Williams bring up the rear on the way to Circle City

Standings as of 7am EST 2/9/10

1 Zack Steer (2)

2 Hugh Neff (23)

3 Ken Anderson (17)

4 Lance Mackey (11)

5 Hans Gatt (13)

6 Sonny Lindner (20)

7 Gerry Willomitzer (5)

8 Brent Sass (12)

9 Abbie West (1) {R}

10 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}

11 David Dalton (3)

12 Kelley Griffin (15)

13 Mike Ellis (18)

14 Normand Casavant (10)

15 Sam Deltour (4) {R}

16 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}

17 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}

18 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}

19 Katie Davis (6) {R}

20 Peter Fleck (24) {R}

21 Bart De Marie (14) {R}

22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}

23 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

24 Terry Williams (7) {R}

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yukon Quest Monday AM

Lance Mackey first into Circle City

Decent snow made the trail over soft, slow and easy on the teams.

Standings as of 6am EST 2/8/10

1 Lance Mackey (11)
2 Zack Steer (2)
3 Hugh Neff (23)
4 Hans Gatt (13)
5 Gerry Willomitzer (5)
6 Brent Sass (12)
7 David Dalton (3)
8 Abbie West (1) {R}
9 Sonny Lindner (20)
10 Joshua Cadzow (21) {R}
11 Ken Anderson (17)
12 Sam Deltour (4) {R}
13 Kelley Griffin (15)
14 Normand Casavant (10)
15 Mike Ellis (18)
16 Dries Jacobs (22) {R}
17 Pierre-Antoine Heritier (19) {R}
18 Katie Davis (6) {R}
19 Bart De Marie (14) {R}
20 Cindy Barrand (9) {R}
21 Peter Fleck (24) {R}
22 Jocelyne LeBlanc (8) {R}
23 Terry Williams (7) {R}
24 Jennifer Raffaeli (16) {R}

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yukon Quest Early Leaders

Zach Steer with early lead; Lance Mackey races to 2nd

Less than 24 hours into the 2010 Yukon Quest, some strong teams have already made moves.

Zach Steer, who started 2nd, is in the lead. More impressive, Lance Mackey has raced up from 11th to 2nd. Also impressive is Hugh Neff, moving up from 23rd place to 5th.

Early standings:
1. Zach Steer (Started 2)
2. Lance Mackey (11)
3. Gerry Willomitzer (5)
4. Hans Gatt (13)
5. Hugh Neff (23)
6. Brent Sass (12)
7. Abbie West (1)
8. Joshua Cadzow (21)
9. Sonny Lindner (20)
10. David Dalton (3)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When Dogs Run

Today, I experienced a true dog sled run. After struggles and frustration, it came together.

After my previous post, I had more troubles with Alice, ending with her refusing to run after a couple of miles deep into the woods on a trail a two weeks ago. I ran Nick with Biscuit (our small farm dog) once and then just Nick, leaving Alice behind. That last time, she whined so much that it freaked out Nick. We could hear her even a half-mile from home, and he whined and wanted to turn back. So, I hadn't been having a lot of luck actually getting pulled. With just one dog (and the occasional small farm dog), I wasn't able to be pulled very far. I would run to get Nick into a lope, when he could pull me easily, but if I didn't run fast enough, we just couldn't get moving. I ended up walking all but a few stretches of downhill. In 4 or 5 trips down the trail, I had yet to have a smooth run, where I just rode the runners.

So today, I loaded Nick and Biscuit into the dog box on my truck. Alice was really whining, and she had seen the sled, so she knew what we were doing. I decided I would bring her, and if she balked, I would simply tie her off to the rear of the sled and she could run behind. No pressure on her was my goal. We were going to have fun, and if she didn't, then I would just let her off the hook.

I drove us about a mile and a half to another gravel road where the snowmobile trail crossed. Organized the sled and lines in the ditch, then proceeded to hook up the three dogs to the gangline. After a couple of tangles I showed Nick to the snowmobile trail. He took off, pulling Biscuit by the neckline, Alice ran along in line, and I grabbed the sled and jumped on as it pulled by. And we're off!

Nick sniffed the trail and turned, knowing what to do. They all kicked it in gear, and I called for them to "Hike up!" and we did! They broke into a nice, fast lope and we raced up the hill. At the top, I stopped us and went up to thank them all. Alice was happy and not freaking out, so I gave her a ton of love. The boys got tangled, but after fixing that, we took off again in the right direction. Down the hill, turning to run up the waterway to the electric transformer station. Nick was going to pull us right onto the gravel road, so I stopped us and turned the team around. We just started back down the trail when I saw a couple of snowmobiles on the trail. I pulled the team off the trail and gathered them up by the gangline. I thanked the sledders as they passed, straightened out my team, and we took off. Fast!

After a nice, easy run, we came back to the road near my truck. Nick was following the trail, and he actually led us across the road to the field, where the trail continued north. I stopped us, because it went past a house that I think has loose dogs and at this point, we were having fun and I didn't want to risk the distraction or have any troubles. Plus, I wasn't sure how far we could go, and I really didn't want to finish running uphill.

Biscuit, being under 35 pounds, was getting tired, but the other two seemed ready to keep going. Even though Biscuit pulled out of his collar, I tightened him up, turned the team around and told Nick to head back onto he trail we had already done. "Hike!" and we were off!

Again we raced up the hill. Stopped for lovin' and a treat, then I decided they were up for it, so we headed down the trail to the waterway. Off into some deeper snow, we struggled a bit, so I turned us around and told them to takes us back to the truck. Part way up the hill, I called them up and we took off full speed, flying down the trail!

Once back to the truck, Biscuit was done. I knew Nick wanted to keep running, and Alice seemed like she would keep going, too. But I decided to leave us wanting more. We loaded up and drove home. Loving and water and treats were handed out at home. The Alaskans were calm and happy, and the farm dog was beat. So, too, was the musher.