Thursday, 30 October 2014

2015 Race Plans and Iditarod

I know folks have been chomping at the bit to hear about our race plans. I appreciate the patience that you all have shown - and appreciated the impatience others have shown too. The interest is touching.


Since the winter of 1999/2000 I have viewed myself as an 'Iditarod musher'. So what does an Iditarod musher become when they stop running Iditarod??? I've struggled over the  summer with that question. Unlike most athletes I can't just walk away from my sport - I have dogs that are family that need and deserve to run.

Some sell off their entire kennels to walk away from the sport. I understand that but I can't do that for a couple of reasons: 1) those dogs are my life and 2) I'm not ready to give up running and racing dogs.

I am, however, ready to give up running the Iditarod - to redefine myself as something other than an Iditarod musher.

It's not because I don't love the race anymore - I deeply do - but the fact is that running Iditarod is an all consuming, selfish and expensive endeavor. I am constantly taking time, money and energy away from my family to put it toward Iditarod. They have been more than tolerant and understanding over the years.....they deserve more.

Will this be my last Iditarod? Will I run Quest? Honestly, I do not know. I am living things moment by moment right now. Seeing how it all 'works' for me.

I've always been very clear that I have other interests in my life besides sled dogs. Running Iditarod really pushes those 'other things' right off the table. It would be nice to find a balance that allowed me to run and race dogs but pick some of that other stuff back off the floor.


For this winter I have decided to stay and train out of home and travel to the 'lower 48' for a couple races - specifically Eagle Cap Extreme in Oregon in January and Race to the Sky in Montana in February.

Those of you who follow us know that I really enjoy the Oregon race. The area is BEAUTIFUL, the folks that put on the race are FANTASTIC....can't get enough of it!

Race to the Sky and I go way back. I ran it for the first time in 1996 and for the last time in 2002 (although I did the Seeley Lake 200 in '08, which is on the same trails). The Race to the Sky trail is OUTSTANDING and I cannot wait to get back on it!!! I am so excited.

I will also be keeping my eyes open for other races that may pop up this winter. I'd LOVE to see the Neckbone come back and would BEAT a path back there! Maybe Quesnel or Ft St James, BC will get something together again! Here's hoping!

As for Alaska, well, you know I can't stay entirely away! I will be heading back in March to be a judge for Iditarod again.

I - and Bet - will continue to Facebook and blog throughout it all, of course. We will be offering a revised Sponsor-a-Dog program, likely a few contests and such too.

I promise there will still be drama, laughs, and a few tears....as always!

Karen

13 comments:

Ricki said...

Maybe Wayward could accompany you as Judge Overseer?
;-)

Ricki said...

Maybe Wayward could accompany you just to make sure you don't get lost. ;-)

Karen Czarnecki said...

Follow your heart.... I so enjoy following you and your family of wonderful animals, 2 and 4 legged and will continue to follow you. You have made my days many times and put into words how i have felt about my dogs. It is a pleasure and honor to be your groupie! Thanks for letting us into your life.... Live every day to the fullest, I do and life is great!

Christina Agans said...

You are awesome to let us in on your life & your dogs lives. I greatly enjoy your posts & blogs. In the end you need to do what makes you happy!! Enyoy it Karen!

Jenny Glen said...

Don't forget you are always welcome to stop on your way down or up to either just potty dogs or stay the night. You will probably pass right by us for the race to the Sky.

The Thundering Herd said...

We will follow and cheer no matter what you decide. Best wishes for a great mushing season.

Brandi said...

YES!!! We look forward to you coming down to Montana and race! We will be there to watch!

Dona Miller said...

Yea! Will see you at the ECX. Maybe RTTS too.

Helen Johnson said...

I will enjoy following, whatever races you choose. Glad to hear you are going back to Iditarod. I'm always interested to hear the other side of the story.

djqhusky said...

Your dogs will be happy to run on any trail you take them. Have a great time!

Ms Brunner said...

and maybe one day you'll 'pop' back down to Kiwi land and the Wanaka Sled Dog Festival again!!! Cruz would love to see the snowball throwing at the start line judge again :)

M said...

Follow your heart. You and your dogs will find the balance in your and their life. I really enjoy the blog, I"m thankfull you let us show how you work with the amazing dogs (and cat). Enjoy it, whatever you decide to do.
Greetings from a 'fan' in the Netherlands.

Mark from Ohio said...

There's only one thing I like better than seeing your team coming into my checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and that's having the pleasure of having you as a Race Judge at those checkpoints. I'll make sure to have the JD! Keep well my friend!