Today was magnificent. I went out on the Alaska Dog Mushers Association track with a six-dog team and we flew! It feels so good to be on a sled again. Sam came with me to help hook up the team and off I went. On the way back my dogs (Sister and Puck in lead) didn't know the command: 'back to the truck' so instead they dragged me over to Curtis Erhart's truck. For those who don't know (or care) Erhart is a big name in sprint mushing here and I was a little embarrassed to have to call out to him to grab my leaders. I've met him a couple times and he actually remembered me from an interview I did with him some time ago. Back then I wasn't mushing so he was surprised to see me on a sled. I believe his exact words were: 'when the f*** did you start mushing?!' We chatted for a few before I watched him hook up 14 dogs and take off down the trail. Tomorrow I'll take eight...maybe 10.
Tonight I had an ADMA meeting where I signed up for Sunday's race. I drew bib #1, which means I go out first. Luckily there are only two of us in the 19-mile class. There are about six different classes from a few miles to 19. I need to do the longer distance for training and also, my dogs are not sprinters so I'd get schooled if I tried to keep up with those guys. Although 19 is actually a sprint...
I'm just using it as a training run and also to get used to bringing a team through an official start chute with all the people, announcers, other dogs etc.
I'm not nervous yet. I know Sunday morning I'll be a wreck. Even those this will be my third race; the first two don't count because they were strictly recreational races. Sam's coming to the track with me tomorrow to get some pics for the blog, so stay tuned.