Thursday, February 23, 2017

Canadian Challenge: While You Were Sleeping

Good Morning!
Movement there was as we were snuggled warm under our covers.
This morning in La Ronge, the temperature sits at a perfect -15 with the snow lightly falling.

At 11:20 last night Jackie Wepruk with 7 of her fluffy bummed Siberians came over the finish line to receive the red lantern for the 8 dog race.
Congratulations Tucoldturain Kennels and Jackie!
Just over the finish line
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

Rick, handler extraordinaire
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

Randy left just after 10, while Jackie was still enroute to the finish line, to head to Grandmothers Bay.  From his GPS tracker I see that he has passed that check point and is only 18 miles out of Stanley Mission.
Jason is just about there with only 2 miles to go where he will meet up with Jennifer who finishes her mandatory rest some time after 10 this morning.
Aaron who could have left almost 2 hours ago looks as though he is letting his dogs enjoy a nice long rest before booking it home to the finish line.
From what I could tell he had about a 4 hour lead on Jennifer and must not be too worried about closing in this gap.

However this is all guessing on my part. Aaron could very well be on the trail home and the tracker has not been updated yet.

Watching the tracker however I see that Christina, Remy and Darren have all left for their run into Grandmothers Bay leaving Steven and Joshua to decide when to leave.
Steven was able to leave 3 hours ago, and it can sometimes be hard to get motivated once you have had the opportunity to get a good sleep in a warm bed.   That said some dogs may need a little longer to rest with lots of massages and TLC before they head back out on the trail.
Without being there, one can only make assumptions.
Joshua on the other hand has just finished his mandatory and also can leave at any time now.

Gerry Walker I mentioned in the last post had scratched from the race, however after posting I discovered he would wait until morning before making it official.
We are still waiting for any word on what his decision will be.  There may be a chance that we will still see Gerry cross that finish line after all.

Dogs are the most important factor of any race, and very well should be.
They put their trust fully into the musher.  Knowing they will be fed, and taken care of, that they will get rest and a full belly of warm food from their human helps builds trust.  They in turn give back 100% to the musher doing what is asked of them.
It is a well oiled machine and timing rests with runs is important to keep the teams spirits up and the dogs motivated.
If dogs get sore wrists and shoulders the mushers are there to massage and give breaks for the dogs. Knowing when it is too much for the team mate and when to bag him on the trail or drop him at a check stop is important as well.
Josh comes into La Ronge having given a friend a ride
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

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