Around this time Mark and I start spending any spare time we can on the internet checking out race sites, driving distances and dates between races, mileages, previous race results, race rules, etc.
For the past few years, this planning has made easier by the fact that I have been living in Alaska by mid December or early January, so all our racing has been done up there – and that was actually the initial plan for this year, but then I got thinking…always a dangerous thing, according to my husband.
It started with my desire to do the Sheep Mountain Race again this year. I really enjoyed the race last year, but didn’t really want to burden Jamie and Harry by showing up on their doorstep pre-Christmas again.
Mark still had some holiday days left over that he had to use up by the end of ’06, so I started bugging him that I wanted to drive up, run two teams in the race and come home.
Late last week he emailed and told me he had booked the time off and we were good to go. Hmmm…that was easy.
I got snooping around other races in Canada and the lower 48 and noticed that the Canadian Challenge in Saskatchewan had moved their dates forward a bit. I’ve always wanted to do that race and with the new dates, I could now race there and get up to Alaska in time to get my drop bags done. Hmmm…..
With a leading line of “You know, we have that lovely new dog truck, maybe it is time we did some traveling with it” I broached the subject of doing the Canadian Challenge.
That went over pretty well too, so being me, I pushed the issue further and suggested a couple more races.
In the end we have come up with a race schedule for the 2006/07 season. It is, of course, subject to spur of the moment, last minute, and even a few well though out changes (although those are rare). Finances may also slow us down, as could us being unable to find help in the kennel, but, for the moment, here is the schedule -
December 16/17, Sheep Mountain 150, Sutton, Alaska -
January 13/14, Neckbone 120, LaRonge, Saskatchewan -
January 26 – 28, Cache Valley K9 Challenge (220 miles), Logan, Utah –
January 31 – February 4, Canadian Challenge (400 miles) Prince Albert, Saskatchewan –
March 3 - ?, Iditarod (1151 miles) Anchorage, Alaska –
We will run 2 teams in a few of the races, but as of yet, I haven’t quite decided which ones (although not in Iditarod). A lot will depend on how the team is shaping up and what I think they are capable of once we get closer to race days.
I’m excited about seeing some new trail and facing some new challenges this season. We hope you all will follow along with us online and have fun learning about some new races, faces, and countryside!