First off, my apologies for being quiet on the blog this winter. Recent decisions, although solid and needed, have weighed heavily and left me 'non chatty'.
I was very saddened to see the Canadian Challenge Board forced to have to cancel their race for this winter. I had SO been looking forward to it.
An evening on the computer had me 'redirected' onto a stage race in Ft St James, BC this coming weekend.
Training had been going really well, despite some less than ideal weather and I was excited. Stage racing is not the ideal format for my dogs - which tend to be slower than Alaskans, but able to work on less rest. Stage racing format doesn't allow me to take advantage of that but the dogs have been running strong and fast.
And then the weather took another turn for the ick.
Temperatures for Ft St James (and here) are above freezing everyday this week and anywhere from 5 - 7 C for the weekend.
It seemed to me like I was now just simply setting the team up for failure.
That isn't something I feel good doing to my team, so I'm simply not going to do it.
There are some races in March, but I have flights booked and have made a commitment to Iditarod for judging.
For the first time in over 20 years I'm not going to be racing this winter.
No doubt, it hurts - but, in words I've said hundreds of times over the years - IT IS WHAT IT IS.
Just like my last Iditarod didn't turn out like I'd planned, neither has this season - and like Iditarod, there will not be a 'do over'.
It is my intention to find and run some smaller races next season, but I am still done with mid distance racing.
The thing is that this sport that has consumed me for over 20 years has provided me with some of the most spectacular and moving moments in my life - and some of the most horrible and heart-wrenching. How it ends is just one of the moments. I can either focus on the spectacular and moving moments or the horrible and heart-wrenching.
Anyone care to guess which I'm going to choose to remember?
Yeah, not even a contest.
When I sit in my rocker sipping my coffee (or wine) I'm going to remember great times with great dogs on great trails with great conditions. That is the takeaway.
And those who know me even a little bit know that dogsleds, bikes, sheepdogs, and much more are bigger features in my future than that rocking chair for a LONG time yet.