I was asked by a couple of my 'readers'.... yes... strange to me, but I do have readers... and being that I'm not one to dissapoint.........
So, as I was saying, I was asked by a couple of my readers to write up my adventures of racing my dogs at the local race we had here in town, the Rosebud Run....
When asked how I did I always answer, "well I finished"
So, here it goes, my account of my first sprint race on the back of a dog sled.
Nerves... big time nerves. I was so freaking nervous I didn't think I could eat anything. I was sure I would throw it up if I did.
I could never understand why my son was so nervous on his first race, I mean after all he had been training his dogs... running them at least 4 or 5 times before..... and here I was, having run my dogs at least a dozen times, and how many miles behind 8 of Mr. Mushers dogs?
Hooked up my dogs... admist the hookup of the many other mushers and dogs... I believe there were 13 teams of 4 dogs in my class... we were in the middle on Saturday.. and had to get into the starting gate for a particular time... without Rays help... I have limited memory of this, just all of a sudden sitting in the chute, barely keeping what food I had eaten that day down.
Then we were off.... and as we passed the last of the spectators my nerves were forgotten, we were just out for another ride.... but this time faster than we had been before.
I knew at one point we would have one or two teams passing us, we were only a team of 3 afterall, and un-experienced.
My nerves came back as the faster teams approached.. how would my dogs do, letting a team pass?
We were on a straight away, going pretty darn fast, when I spotted it in front and ahead of us.. a mound of dirt? Snow? Snow covered dirt? Whatever it was it looked huge as we approached it full speed.. we had moved over to the left to let a team by, and just as we came upon this 'mound' my mind wondered.. will this 'mound' fit between the runners... should I try and get around it?
Too late to think of anything else as we hit the mound, full speed...... "shit!"
Well... think about it.... a mound of whatever, snow, dirt, a pile of dog poo... a mound of anything that skis.. runners.. anything flat that is being pulled full speed over top of..... it is going to hit air.... any kid with a skateboard will tell you this.
so... "shit" is what I was thinking as we made air, "shit" is what I was thinking when I went down on my side, my head thrown back ripping my hat off.. and "shit" is what was going through my head as I quickly jumped up to a standing position to hit the brake to let the other racer past... all the while still holding on to the sled.
Without any more thoughts other than "shit" we were off again... without incident we let another musher past.... and our confidence rose as we head on into the race... gaining speed and having a blast.
Then comes the corners.... hmmm..... should we have slowed down? Well yes is what I answer now... but that is not what happened on this day. Full speed on a corner and the sled tipped... and spun me around. The dogs stopped as they usually do, long enough for me to right myself to get back up, however as I was twisted with my hand holding on in an upside down manner my speed to moving into a standing position was limited.
The minute the dogs felt movment they were off... however I was unable to hold on and away they went. Without me.
I did call to them, "WHOA!!!!" "STOP!!!!' "Stop?!?"
They did look back, ever so briefly, and I swear they were all smiling as they shot off into the distance.
Rob Carrs, my hero, picked me up on a snowmobile so that we could cut them off on the trail... and I caught the team head on, jumping on as they were about to fly by again...
.... but now instead of flying onward, they all stopped and turned to look at me.... their eyes boring into me "get your fat ass off this sled, it was way better without you!"
After some Hikes and Lets go, they reluctantly carried on to the finish line. We were last place, but we did cross the finish line all together.
Sunday was a different story... my nerves were still there, but not as bad... I still couldn't eat, but I didn't feel as I would throw up.
This day, my lead dog refused to go on with us... this is a whole different story, one I don't want to go into as it has many down sides, and puts me in a tremendous funk.... so, with only two dogs and a line that was wayyyyy too long we did the 2 mile trail, the comedy release for the weekend... I think I could have walked faster than my two furry pals at times... but we had fun, we didn't fall..... so what the hey.
But because we only did 2 miles instead of 4 we didn't place.....
.... How did I do in the Rosebud Run?
Well, I finished.