Saturday, November 26, 2011
· Coastal Helicopters, Juneau, AK
· Marlys Sauer, New Braunfels, TX
· Daily's Web Design, Chugiak, AK
· Marlys Sauer, New Braunfels, TX - Platinum
· Bryan Bearss, Anchorage, AK - WSU
· Pat Schue, Wasilla, AK – Mocha
The Iditarod has been described as a chess match where all the players move at once and you can only see your pieces. It is subtle, nuanced, and incredibly complex. But given that there are a few basic principles that apply.
First you are only as fast as your slowest dog. An example of that was the 1996 Iditarod in Kaltag where Jeff King dropped a dog because he worked too hard. Sounds crazy, but because that dog worked so hard he needed extra rest. Jeff couldn’t convince him to ease off. When the rest of the team was ready to leave Kaltag, this dog was still resting. So Jeff left him behind. That was one of many decisions that contributed to Jeff’s win that year.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Keep 'em Northbound
Many people picture Iditarod mushers as extremely tough Neolithic cavemen types who drive a team of half-wild wolves through sheer force. Others picture superman driving a team of genetically enhanced dogs that can leap of tall building in a single bound and pull a heavy sled while running up a vertical wall of solid ice. Neither picture is correct; and that is the true magic and wonder of this race.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Do you believe in patterns and portents, or just plain foolish people?
Last Friday was had had some colder weather and the trails were starting to freeze. Eventually that will open all 20 miles of trail, but the first to become runable is a 6 mile out and back with a loop at the end utilizing our 12 mile trail. After running multiple loops on the 5 mile trail to get mileage I couldn’t wait (and there is some pride in being the “first” to open the trail each year). About 3 miles in there are two deep “tank trap” type holes full of water – about 20 feet long, 8 feet wide (full trail width) and maybe 18 inches deep in the ruts. We hit the first and broke through the ice about ½ way across. It was a sudden drop, but the dogs kept pulling and I gassed the quad feeling just a little invincible as we popped up the other side. The second hole was like the first and only strengthened that feeling.