Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Canadian Challenge: They're off!

Photo Credit: Jim Williams

The first mushers have arrived at MacLennan the first check stop in the race this year.

Like a game of chess mushers make strategic moves.  They will either work for you or they wont, it is completely up to the furry athletes ahead of you.
If you push too hard at the beginning of a race they can run themselves out by the time you even get to the half way mark.

As I write this, Chris Wall was the first to fly through McLennan on his way to Harolds Cabin, probably arriving sometime after 11 tonight, unless he makes a stop to give his dogs a rest along the way.
Following his lead and chasing him down are Jason, Jennifer, and Aaron Peck.
The other trackers show Randy, Christina, Gerry and Joshua still at the check stop, and so does Steven's, however there was a video just posted of him getting ready to leave as well.

As for the 8 dog, Marcel has left the check stop as well.
Jody running in the open should be in pretty quick and will have to take her mandatory 4 hour rest before moving on.
Everyone else is super close, and they may all be in by the time this post gets up.
All teams are looking strong so far, it is more of a sprint race at this point than a mid-distance!

The beginning of a race it is still anyone's guess who will come out ahead.
I still stand by my top 4 pick (I couldn't come up with 3), and I'll let you know at the finish how close I was.

The start according to Jim had a few 'hairy' starts and I look forward to his photographs of this, but I did hear from Jason's brother, Jody, that both Jason and Jennifer had fantastic starts.
Jason ready to go
Photo Credit: Jody Campeau
Competition size each other up (Marcel and Steve)
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

Drop bags are organized (Jennifer Campeau)
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

Dogs are snuggled and pep talks had (Steven Laviolette)
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

Handlers discuss their plans with each other
photo credit: Jim Williams

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