Saturday, February 27, 2010

Race Day!

Wow, after MONTHS of work, tons of personal time and $$ and blood, sweat and tears spent on this race by board members, it's finally the start of the first annual Road Runner 100!!! If you're in town, head down to Shipyards Park at 11:00am to see the start! You can also see teams going under the Takhini River bridge on the Mayo Road starting about 1hr 20 mins later. We have 18 sleds and 3 skijorers. The skijorers will head out first, and then others follow at 2-minute intervals.

You can also see teams out by the Alaska Highway starting about 5km past the Takhini subdivision. They should be by here around 2:30-3:00pm (earliest teams). Then into the Mendenhall checkpoint. Here they have a mandatory 5-hr layover, and there will be food for sale at the community centre so c'mon out! Profits go to a new playground in the community.

Look for the "I'll-never-be-a-graffiti-artist" RR100 signs along the way! Man, spray painting is HARD!!! And quite messy... (she says with blackened hands)

After this teams head out on the trail in the wee hours of the morning and finish at the gravel pit before Marshall Creek - earliest teams expected at about 1am. The finishing banquet is at 3pm on Sunday at the Haines Junction Community Centre. It's a potluck, cost is $10, profits go to therapy for the board members after the race... :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I didn't forget the contest!

Really! I just haven't had any time to devote to my OWN blog since I've been over HERE wayyyy too much lately ! The first official Road Runner 100 is a mere 3 days away! HOLY CRAP!!!! Do we have a trail? Do we have enough volunteers? How's the overflow? Do we have all our paperwork in order? Do we have enough food? What's the river like TODAY? etc, etc!

We're running around like chickens with our heads cut off, I'm extremely amped up on some kind of adrenalin high or something, not sure what's going on, but I'm hyper all day and kind of jittery too. Like I've had a LOT of caffeine or I'm some really great drugs! All I know is I was singing on the trail yesterday (while on a snowmobile in the dark! You have to sing LOUD to hear yourself on a snowmobile in the dark y'know!!), and ambushing my own dogs as they came around corners. Poor Harris wasn't sure what to make of it when he was blindsided by me stalking him, and when he appeared around a bend in the river I lept out and clothes-lined him. I wasn't done there, as I then slammed him into the snow trying to "pin" him. HA! Hey, it's not easy to do to a confused, resistant 80lb dog! There is nothing like seeing the look of confusion on your dog as if he's saying "good god woman, have you finally gone OFF the deep end???" Um... yep!

Apparently, planning a 100-mile race across the Yukon makes one a bit loopy.

However, back to the contest stuff - I have some SWEET, REAL prizes for you contest goers y'know. So if you haven't entered, get on it! No more promises of drywall, these are actually purchased items just for YOU! I will let you know who won on Monday! So enter if you haven't yet. Thanks for playing... :)

Off to the races! Follow along on the other blog as we'll be updating live from the race. If I'm this crazy now, god knows what I'll be like sleep-deprived at 4am on Saturday!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trail hazards: Horse poo!

3-dog skijor

4-dog skijor - Loki has on his invisible harness/line system.


This video was taken at our halfway turnaround mark -> through the meadow and over the horse poo, back to Stacie's cabin we go!

I had Ripper, Esther and PB! Loki was running loose and acting particularly distracting. Watch how NOBODY listens to me for commands, what else is new... and watch PB! get dragged!! Oddly enough - or not for PB! - she seems to be totally unfazed by being dragged backwards in a tangle of lines. And I love how once we get going again, she does her barking while running thing. If you listen closely you'll hear a few "yips!" right until the end of the video. Just when you think she's done "yipping" another one pops out!

Ripper is having a hard time keeping up with them near the end of our run and PB! was just getting plain B-O-R-E-D because she couldn't go as fast as her spindly little legs would take her. A bored PB! is not a good thing, she gets so easily distracted. Then! Just when you thought that wasn't enough, this happens:

Esther has really perfected the art of backing out of her harness. No matter what kind of harness I put on her, she sees it as a challenge to flip out of it when we break for 1.2 seconds. Look at her run up ahead! The little brat was SO happy and proud of herself, she came up to me at the end of the run doing her bum-wiggling "hi! I was loose! haha!" So we just carried along without her...

And to top off the day, I broke a ski pole in half! At least we all made it back in one piece!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another tough day on the RR100 trail!

This is Laura and I setting out for the RR100 trail packing day.

She's was not going to go without a fight! Or a tantrum.

But the beautiful trail made up for it all. All NINE hours of it!

I like the composition of this pic and how my chainsaw is aimed right at Laura's head.

Heehee
I love how I caught Laura snapping a pic of herself while I was taking one of me! We're such camera whores.

All was going well...
...until the groomer got stuck. The first time. Little did we know that the "groomer-gets-stuck, skidoo-gets-stuck, must-dig-out-skidoo-and-drag-the-groomer-UPHILL" was going to be a common scenario that day!

Laura seems to have spent a lot of time on her back that day.
Wait a minute... that sounds kind of rude... let's just say she threw a lot of tantrums! And do I look like I cared?? Hell no, just another photo op!

She's upright. And providing scale for the dip.

So we have to pack everything up the hill and drag that groomer up...

Gas cans are heavy...
Laura perfects the "toddler walk"

And 4 or so hours later...

we're halfway!

But in need of a coffee!

So, we make the long haul back and the trails had started to soften up a bit due to the damned warm weather!
We managed to make a mess of some parts of the trail we were actually supposed to be grooming! Oops!

And so begins the "trip-of-cursing-the-groomer"
Laura pulls, I push. Again. Oh freakin' joy. Just when we thought it was impossible to drag that thing up yet another hill, we managed to do it!

But! We made it back and double-packed almost 85km of trail! Woohoo! The whole length of the trail (100 miles!) is hard-packed and ready to roll! With the exception of a few km but we'll get to that.

Loading up. Thanks to Arctic Backhoe, Sue, Merle & Gene as well! We are now counting down - ONE WEEK till race day! Follow along at www.dpsay.wordpress.com!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Volunteers Needed!

We still need volunteers for the Road Runner 100! The race is starting in EIGHT(8!!!) days! EEK!!!! Volunteers needed to hang around the checkpoint in Mendenhall anywhere from about 3pm -1am on Saturday Feb. 27. We also need a few people out on the trail for team safety, some places you can even sit in your car and just hop out when teams come.

In Mendenhall, we'll have food, a BONFIRE and lots of good fun! I swear. So c'mon out and join in on the first ever 100-mile race from Whitehorse to Haines Junction! We have about 15 signed up now, a few Iditarod contenders as well, so if nothing else - come on out to see these super dog people (and of course the super dogs!) do their thing!

Leave me a comment or send an email to dogpoweredsports@gmail.com.

We will be having a volunteer meeting on Thursday Feb. 25th at the High Country Inn - 6:00pm, c'mon out if you're interested

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Guinea pigs for the Road Runner 100

We're having a bit of a "willow issue" on the 100-mile race we're organizing. There are some good sections of willows that we were a bit worried about the skijorers going over. This section of trail will be completed in the dark so it's kind of nice to see the madness coming if you're crazy enough to be out there on skis for 100 miles. We went out to do some more trail work and I brought along Pooh Bear! and Esther to try out the willowy trails with me to see just how bad they are.

Here they await as we look at other sections of trail - I think they want out!

All my shots of the willows are super blurry, but you get a feel for what it felt like going through them!

Not too fun and there are BIG willows that really smack into your legs. The dogs are great at dodging them though, you can see these guys do just that.


And if willows smacking into your legs and making your skis drag wasn't enough, there was slushly overflow! Er, not "slushly" just slushy. Slushly sounds like I've had a beer or 4!
That I fell into and got a soaker. It's amazing how FAST you can move when you feel ice cold water seeping into your clothing...

The trick is to stay on the ICE.

Even more fun was Esther who seems to enjoy getting wrapped around lines then wrapping herself around me. This happened more times than I can count before we even started! Once we got going she was ok. Until she realized she had figured out how to flip out of her harness in 1.2 seconds. Then that was her favourite thing to do when we were stopped! Which is super annoying because she likes to play with you when she's loose - she'll come up THISCLOSE to you, then dart away, laughing! (I swear she's laughing!!!!) Takes me awhile to catch the little brat.
Esther: "Oh Hi! I'm sitting on your skis, wrapped up in the lines again!"

One of these little maniacs has a habit of barking while running, check it out. I'll let you figure out who it is! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

You know you're a dorky blogger when...

You tell your friend a story or something you did and they immediately reply: "Oooh, you've GOT to make that a blog post!"

And, I have to admit, I totally agreed with her and thought of that even before she mentioned it. See my bloggy friends (er, mom), I'm always thinking about you (and I find you don't stay mad at me for not writing when I mention you on the blog!)!

So, instead of a post, we'll make this a game! With prizes and everything. This was slightly inspired by Michael's quiz on the numerous amounts of food he can or cannot eat, so we're going to play a game here too! For prizes (yes, that's right, there won't be just one!), I will offer up some of the crap I have lying around here... some amazing quality items I value quite highly. I have random pieces of drywall (no fighting over this one); 4 green dog booties (slightly used and mostly feces-free); a tuft of Pooh Bear! fur (correction: I will have to collect that one, don't worry, she's tough); a half-eaten-by-Ripper fleece glove; ; a dog-team crossing fridge magnet; and $6.75 in Canadian Tire money.

Here we go! The Game: What made me laugh was the ridiculous combination of items I, er... SOMEONE purchased one afternoon. They just screamed "Yukon!" Or "Northern hick!" Or "hillbilly" or "you need to get out of the boonies..."

Anyways, what follows below are a variety of items grouped together, only one combination is correct. Leave your answer "A - F" in the comments, one answer/person. And be prepared to receive a broken piece of drywall in the mail if you're brave enough to give me your address should you win. I'm totally not kidding.

You will notice a few "themes" here, hey I was in need of some unmentionables!

A:
1) shovel
2) new chain for chainsaw
3) bra from "Seasons" (a "higher-end" women's store on Main Street)

B:
1) dog bed
2) chicken skins
3) bra from Work Wearhouse (not so "high-end")

C:
1) bra from the bra "boutique" (seriously, we have one! SUPER "high-end")
2) dog harness
3) snowmachine parts

D:
1) bra from Work Wearhouse
2) duct tape
3) snowmachine oil

E:
1) bra from the bra boutique
2) new chain for chainsaw
3) snowmachine part

F:
1) duct tape
2) bra from Seasons
3) dog harness

Good luck!

Disclaimer: this is my ridiculous game so I will make the rules up as I go. Should there be a 57-way tie, there will be a tie-breaker by me sending Pooh Bear! to each and every one of you to see who gets sick of her first. Whoever can outlast the PB energy, wins! I forsee PB winning and wearing every one of you down.

And friends who KNOW where I was and what I was doing are exempt from this game, sorry. I know you were dying for some of those prizes, but I will try to save you some drywall. No promises though!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Yukon Quest!

In honour of the start of the 2010 Yukon Quest, here is my vet check post from last weekend. I rarely have time these days to update this blog, too much on the go - she says after spending NINE freakin' hours on the snowmachine for the upcoming RR100! That's a whole OTHER post I hope to get up soon, what a day! How the HECK do I get sucked into these things anyways? Laura and I were asking ourselves that a lot today as we flailed around stuck in the snow, exhausted from digging out groomers and skidoos and driving back in the dark, Oh what fun!! :)

So this was the vet check for 6 of the mushers: Gerry, Hans, Bart, Joceyln (fellow DPSAY board member, go Jocelyn!), Hugh, and Normand (too lazy to use last names).
Hans Oettli on the left is the Race Marshal this year. And that's Normand's team.

Hans Gatt's team - see that dog there? That is what I spent the day looking at. Or more precisely, lift up that tail and THAT is what I saw all day as I took 30+ dog temperatures!

Amil, in the foreground, was my fellow temperature-taker. I'd wager we had our hands up more dogs butts than anyone.

Pooh Bear! and Esther came along for the ride, we were planning on skijoring after the vet checks. They hung out in the truck all day and were perfectly well behaved little beasts. I was a bit concerned as you never know what a bored sled dog can get up to after 6hrs in a truck (oh yes I can... RIPPER!).

Later I found an unopened chocolate advent calendar (in the back pocket of the passenger seat, doesn't everyone carry an emergency advent calendar?!?!) and a half-finished pudding (no sugar!) in the front seat. And neither dog touched ANYTHING! Amazing what dogs can be like when Ripper isn't involved. And yes, I should really clean out my truck one day.
PB! The ever-so-quiet truck dog. Who is this dog???

Esther says "oh HI Dave!!!"

Dave tends to his maniacs.

Ok, ready to go! Esther checks to make sure it's a go.

PB takes a look over at the lovely view of...

The dump! How exciting to run past this.
Dodging blown-in garbage was something we've never had to deal with before.

Chasing Dave & Team, Laura and Heather in front on the skidoo.

Lookit them go!

Made it down the big dump hill (ha! That kind of came out wrong), and around the dump safely, only to have a massive wipeout at the bottom on the FLAT part while I was taking out the camera!
Notice how the dogs are not dragging me along the ground trying to keep running? Them's good dogs! Right after this they came running over to me and started licking my face.

And then we were off again! What a fun trip. If it wasn't so hilly and exhausting I might have had even more fun. We did the 8-mile loop, the trail was soft and my skis started to stick, so it was nice to get it over wtih. Guess who still had TONS of energy as we finished at the truck? Sure as heck wasn't me. I'll give you a hint, her initials start with PB!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Volunteers Needed!

If you're a local and you haven't heard about this NEW, exciting and innovative dogsled/skijor race, head over here for more info! We are looking for volunteers to fill a variety of positions on Feb. 27/28. The race is just over 100 miles and runs from Whitehorse to Haines Junction.

DPSAY (Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon) is currently grooming trails and working out volunteer logistics, so let us know if you're interested! We need people for the start, the checkpoint in Mendenhall where teams must rest for 5hrs; spots along the trail, the finish line and the banquet in HJ. We're really excited about this race finally coming to fruition after months of hard work by the board members and donations by generous sponsors! Now we just need some willing bodies to help with the race! Leave me a message here or head over to the DPSAY site if you want to join in on the fun! :)