Saturday, March 01, 2008

Follow the dog-poop dotted, spruce-bow lined trail

The Nenana Ice Classic is a fun race and yes, this year it is actually 40 miles each day. Today the sun was shining and the wind was a whippin'. We made it through Day 1, however and came in ninth out of 10 teams. Even though they try to scare away the sprint teams, a few inevitably show up and whiz by in a blur of fur and shiny snowsuits. The distance mushers show up with big sleds and ripped parkas...ahem...
The dogs ran great and we finished 40.3 miles in 4 hours and 19 minutes which is a pretty good time for my slowcoaches. The fastest team, a sprint crew from the NWT did it in less than 3 hours. It was cold and windy at the start so there weren't really any spectators or volunteers and with no handler, I was scrambling to get the dogs hooked up in time. Oh well, now I know I can do it all myself. I biffed it a couple times along the way but that's nothing new. At least it wasn't right out of the gate. I also fell off the top of my dog truck at the end of the one was left at the finish line to see and the last-place guy wasn't in yet. The trail was run mostly on the Tanana River, over sloughs and through some narrow wooded sections. The route was marked with spruce bows. Interesting. The good news is, if I finish I win back my $100 entry fee. Hooray! I'll try to take some photos tomorrow, I was just too nervous today.


Erin Alaska said...

good job! i can only imagine being out there alone in the freezing cold. keep up the good work.

Marty b said...

Absolutely fascinating to this Midwesterner. I'm still curious as to whether the dogs make much noise when on the trail or whether the run is essentially silent.

Great that you held your own on the race and here's to a good run the second day.

Marty b