I ended the race with Randy coming in at fourth place.
How could I do such a thing as to forget to even mention the Red Lantern winner???
Jillian Lawton, the daughter of Steve Taylor, the amazing gentleman who thoughtlessly hooked up our trailer to become our driver in our time of need.
Jillian whom I never saw without a smile on her face. Jillian who had an incredibly strong team crossing the finish line at 1:13 with 11 dogs ahead of her.
Jillian who has amazing 'hat hair' after 4 days of running dogs.
Photo Credit: Jim Williams
Without team Taylor/Lawton Randy wouldn't have gone much further than Anglin Lake.
Sarah, Jillians handler, was also incredible. Sarah helped me hydrate Randy at Grandmothers Bay and even made me a cup of tea. I was feeling rather gypsyish by then as we had left all of Randy's personal food and drinks under the front seat of his truck which was still in Prince Albert getting repairs.
There were times at a check stop that we would wrap up muffins or we would find empty bottles to fill with water. If anyone had caught us doing this I am not sure if they would have felt sorry for us or just shaken their heads in pity.
Actually there were many wonderful people out on the trails all willing to lend a hand, or an ear even.
I warmed up in Dena's truck, as well as Sarah's truck and in the process somehow kicked Todd, Jillians husband, out at the same time (I still feel bad about that)
Other handlers from various teams were great fun to just stand around and chat with. I'm terrible with names but I very much enjoyed the company of Earl Strobbes handler (Earl won the 8 dog by the way, another oops that I forgot to mention) and missed my chats with him after La Ronge.
The handlers, drivers and cheering squads kind of become a gaggle of groupies, or a family, or a team of sorts. We may be on other competitive teams but we all work together. It was a great atmosphere.
Also if it wasn't for Rick and Dena for letting me take up some back seat space to hitch a ride to Prince Albert and home again I wouldn't have been there at all. Thanks for that!!
The volunteers were also amazing as well.
Who would want to volunteer at a race that runs like a woman giving birth?
You know what I mean?
Most of the action takes place in the middle of the night and everyone is so tired and emotional that sometimes 'thank yous' are forgotten and crankiness sets in.
Photo Credit Jim Williams
Dave Smallwood Race Marshal
From food offered, to just making sure the check stop ran smoothly to calming a teary handler down in the middle of the night.....a big THANK YOU is shouted out your way.
I found a list of names.... all volunteers from checkpoint bosses to trail crew and I am going to list them all here. Without any of you this race would not have happened.
If a name is missing add it in the comments, it would be nice to make sure everyone is acknowledged.
Dave Smallwood, Ruth Sims, Kate Robinson, Romany Pinto, Gill Gracie, Allan Sheremata, Bart de Marie, Bernie Zintel, Tim Dyck Rosmary Dyck, Gerry Markel, M.J. Chuey, John Edwards, Harold Johnson, Fafard Family, Peter Clark, Olivia Clarke, Canadian Rangers, Terrence Johnson, Shaune Lapworth, Jeremy Hubka, Darrell Klassen, Cosette Fafard, Garth Muirhead, Lindsay Blair, Quincy Miller, J.C. Fafard, Dary Minter, Tom Charles, Steve Dow, Leon Charles, Sid Robinson, Redmond Fox, Paul Waitier, Al Wasylenka, Calvin Radford, Chad Nilson, Elliot Clarke, Jim Williams
I'm sure there are more, but this is all I could find listed.
AND Sponsors.... again without your help I wouldn't have even been writing this blog (no race, no experience to even mention) so thank all you as well!
SaskEnergy, Northwinds Bus Lines, Cornerstone Insurance, Land of the Loon Resort, Full Circle (Laurie Thorson), Transwest Air, PAEX, Acklands Grainger, Boson Pizza PA, Linda Caswell, Dr. Joe Firak, Econo Lumber, Forest Gate Sheet Metal, Fresh Air Experience, Home Building Center, J & L Enterprises, Keethanow Foods, Keethanow Lumber, La Ronge Coop Marketplace, La Ronge Petroleum, La Ronge Scattered Sites Outreach, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Mid City Electric, La Ronge,Mr Mike's Steakhouse, Norsask Aviation, NorthMart/ North West Company, One Stop Pub and Grill, Peavey Mart, Pines Pub, Prairie Recreation Parks, Prince Breakers Ltd, Prince Albert Kennel Club, Pr Septic Services, PA search and Rescue, PWS Water, Rally Motor Sports, Riverside Hyundai, Southwest Petroleum Corp, Speedy Glass, La Ronge, Spruce Home Parts and Recreation, Tim Hortons, Tru North Yamaha RV and Marine, UniTech Office solutions, Vernie Zintel
So now.... what do I do that it is over?
Our weather is hitting double digits meaning that spring has arrived in my part of the world. Running dogs has come to a close for me this season.
Now it is onto a life of hair for a couple of months as we all begin our spring shed and if we are lucky enough maybe some scooter runs thrown in for good measure.