2010 Seeley Lake Sled Dog Race#2


I took off wearing bib number 13, keeping my foot gently on the drag mat, and talking to the dogs in soothing tones, and they responded by setting and efficient ten mph pace that I knew they could keep up for days. The trail was as hard as a rock and only a little less slick then Pam No Stick Oil, and the temperature was just ridiculous-somewhere around fifty degrees farenheit in the shade.

While 10 mph is pretty fast for me, I really thought that there would be a train of teams calling trail on me that afternoon, and I was pleasantly surprised when this did not happen. In fact, I was never physically passed in the entire race (though I was beaten! More on that later).

On the way over to the White Tail Ranch, 25 % of the race, I ran mostly in solitude without seeing teams in front or behind, and it was easy to pretend that I was just out on a fun camping trip. One thing that happened early on, just a few miles out of the starting line in Lincoln actually, was that I was running through some really twisty sidehill country and I came to a place where a team traveling in front of me had blown a corner going down a particularly steep hill and wiped out. There was a savage skid-mark going off of the trail and into a group of gnarly trees, and a jumbled pile of gear left behind. It looked bad enough that I was immediately worried about the driver’s health and well-being.

I started picking up teams on the way over Huckleberry Pass a few miles before the first checkpoint, and got into WTR shortly after dark. It was still very warm, but much much better then the afternoon, and the checkpoint area was a riot of activity-barking dogs, shouting people, flashing white headlamp beams. I strawed my dogs down and fed them a good meal of thawed beef and soaked kibble I had brought with from the start and let them chill for about and hour and a half. I found out that my time over was aprox. 4:30 hrs, and good enough to put me near the ‘lead’, so my only real focus while I was there (besides taking care of my dogs!) was watching for some of the teams that had started behind me, Like Larson and Anderson. When Ryan did gat in, about 20 minutes behind me, I was really happy. Calculating the difference between our starting positions, I was very pleased to find that our runs over had been nearly identical.

And then, a bit later, I was informed that we had not actually started using a 2 minute differential like we were told was going to be the case at the pre-race meeting, but instead a 3 minute differential was utilized. Suddenly, I was not so happy anymore. In what was to become a very frustrating trend, Ryan had pulled nearly 8 minutes or so on me.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….

Image of Jason (#13) heading back to his sled--courtesy of H. Barron

2 Responses to “2010 Seeley Lake Sled Dog Race#2”

  1. wow, i really need to see this live, its amazing!

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