Sunday, January 10, 2010
It's been five years since the Punderson Sled Dog Classic has happened in the snow belt of beautiful northeast Ohio. Ironically, there wasn't enough good snow conditions for the race. But that definitely changed this weekend!
Snow fell, and fell, and fell steadily for days before the race, leaving an awesome foot of snow for the doggies.
Team coming out of the starting chute
Saturday saw beautiful blue skies and 22 degrees - perfect!
I am not a sprint racer, and Punderson Sled Dog Classic is a sprint race. Sprint races are shorter distances depending on the number of dogs, i.e. 2-dog = 2 miles, 4-dog = 4 miles, etc.
Punderson is exactly 55 minutes from my house, so I figured, what the heck, let's have a go at it! Big Brown and Ruffian are yearlings, so it's an excellent opportunity to expose them to a race. Dogs need to get used to all the other dogs, passing other teams, and....spectators. Lots and lots of spectators.
Big Brown loved getting acquainted with the fans...
BB reaches out for a pat from a fan. BB loves fans, both big...
We had some snags on the first day of the race which significantly costs us some time. Mainly, a "team" of Airdales (yes, you read correctly) jumped my team as I tried passing them on the trail and caused a huge tangle. I had to actually hook down and unwrap Big Brown's back leg three times!
Here's a hint people: if your dogs are dog-aggressive, please do us all a favor and stay off the racing courses!
Then, my bar brake broke. I ran the entire winding, zig-zagging course without any brake whatsoever.
But, today, I had a virtually flawless run and made up time significantly. The trail set up nicely with the zero degree temps we had last night, and was hard and fast today...and so much fun!
Surprisingly, I won 2nd place!
Me with my 2nd place trophy! It will go right under the Jack Pine trophy from last year
And, more than that, I got to hang out with Amanda.
Amanda Stanoszek at the starting chute of the 3-dog class. Her team is made up of all rescues
Amanda is someone I've met through this blog!
Amanda and me at the Punderson race today
She is just getting into sleddoggin, but is hooked after her first race this weekend. All of her dogs are rescues! To think, they were days away from being euthanized, and now, they're livin' it up on the trail! What a great second chance!
Stay tuned as we head to another race next weekend!