Sunday, February 19, 2017

Canadian Challenge: Darren Haas

Darren a dog sledding rookie who has moved from Newfloundland to the wilds of Fort McMurray will be running Randy Mackenzies 'B' team.  However, Darren would like me to point out that B actually stands for 'Best'.

Two years ago Darren showed up at Randy's kennel wondering if he could use any help.  He showed a love for the dogs and attended to all chores including poop duty.  Eventually Darren was able to get behind a team on the sled and developed a flair for running dogs.  He loves anything outdoors and running Randy's dogs was a great match.
Not only does Randy get help with the chores, but all his dogs get to run, it really was a perfect union.

Darren is feeling nervous about not having everything ready by the time he gets to the start line.  With his driver Greg Mersereau and Melissa Hardy as his handler he feels a little more at ease.
He just wants to make sure the dogs have a good run and his goal is to get to the finish line.
He is looking forward to the experience and hopes that he will remember everything Randy has shown him over the last two years.

Not forgetting to put the drag mat down would be good for starters. A story was shared about one particular training run that took place at night.   After releasing the team he put his foot down to discover that he forgot to put the drag mat down and his legs were pulled out from under him.
Still hanging on to the sled, and being dragged behind, Randy thought it would be a good idea to run after them.  All he could see was the headlamp bobbing along the trail. 
Darren did not lose the team and eventually managed to get himself upright again.
Good thing, since Randy cannot run as fast as the dogs!

Out of the 12 dogs that Darren will be running, Blue, is his favorite.  Blue is a nervous dog that wont work for just anyone but did bond quickly with Darren.  In fact Blue will only run on his team now. 

Maybe Blue will be the first dog in Darren's own kennel? 

He is very hooked on dog sledding now and his future really depends on the outcome of this race. 
Photo Credit: Canadian Challenge Website

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