January 7-8, 2012
Since the crowds appear later in the day, the race marshall suggested that we leave 2 hours earlier than the alaskan teams so that we could finish with them. How nice was that? even though not necessary. We have to become used to finishing last:-)
We brought our 12 week old puppies along to win friends, and boy did they! There was a crowd by our dog truck all day long! Morgan ran 12; Copper, Rayon, Enya, Enrique, Piggy, Havok, Kinky, Marsh, Kaos, Cali, Janis, Jimi.
The team finished strong @ 7mph average and without injury, or even stiff or sore joints. Feet looked great and we did not run booties.
Morgan coming in on the Flathead Race
January 26, 2012
She spent more time than she had planned in the checkpoint, recuperating and deciding to drop a couple dogs so she would have better control on the soft deep snow. Right before she was ready to leave the checkpoint the race officials approached her and strongly suggested that she “run the 100 mile course” instead of proceeding on the 200. Because of her inexperienced, beat-up and tired status and because the officials were pushing so hard, she agreed to do so-without understanding that changing course equated a scratch. It was a disappointing and bitter end to what otherwise was a superbly organized event.
BUT-we did learn a lot from the experience; the dogs did fantastic on the course and finished the 100 miles healthy & strong, and our musher learned checkpoint time management (& maybe to be less trusting:-) so it was not a wasted effort! When we tallied her time on the trail, she averaged 6.7 mph, which included a 30 minute break for Kinky to have her way with Havok, and the 30 minutes that Morgan spent helping a fellow musher, being drug, and recovering her team.
Will we attempt this race next year? I don’t know, we would really love to but it will depend on some things, mainly the Race Marshal. This year I think he was hasty in “force-scratching” our musher. He said after the race that if she had not agreed to switch to the 100 mile course (or effectively scratch) he would have disqualified her. Really? 50 miles into a 200 mile race? There is a saying that I really like; Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. That is the last word I will say on this subject:-)
Morgan getting ready to take off on the ECX
February 12-13, 2012
Morgan got into the first checkpoint around 11pm, got right to dog care and then slept for a few hours. She decided to drop Piggy due to MSP syndrome (Miss Sexy Pants), got on the trail again and finished with 7 dogs, just 3 hours behind the alaskan teams!! Not bad for 100 miles, average speed for this race was 7mph.
This is one of the races we will definitely do next year-the 350 mile version-which we plan to use as one of our Iditarod qualifiers.
Getting dogs ready for RTTS Vet Check
February 17-18, 2012
Morgan's Derby Start
We also ran a second team in the shorter 24 mile race; Craig Davis got in on the fun with a 5 dog team. He ran great times-with 2 alaskans (Copper and Sumo) and 3 malamutes (Boss, Izzy and Kaos).
Craig taking off
What a great season! Everyone had fun, even with all the work. The dogs did amazingly well. They were fantastic breed ambassadors; never a single issue with passing or being passed, and they were always the crowd favorite. Our biggest problem was control-holding them back so they did not over do it and incur injuries. This is such a young team; we have 3 yearlings, five 18 month olds, and three 2 year olds on this team. Next year we will have 3 more yearlings to bring along...so the cycle continues!
Quinault Alaskan Malamutes
Pagosa Springs, CO
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