2010 Seeley Lake Sled Dog Race #5


It lightened as we traveled, and it rained continuously, so much so that the few places where the race trail joined up with plowed roadways, the surface turned into slick black ice that made the footing for musher and dog alike extremely dangerous and difficult.

On that note, I do remember being kind of worried on the way back to WTR; about eight miles coming into the checkpoint is all plowed road, so the thought of that much rain slickened ice did little to fill me with good cheer (the lack of cheer was not on my behalf; it was entirely on behalf of all of my dogs. Nobody enjoys seeing their beloved teammates slip and fall for miles on end). I need not have worried; the rain tapered off before we got back to that area, so the trail in ended up being just fine.

It was at this point, getting into WTR, that I had my first real clue as to where I stood in the competition. My run in had been very good, about ten minutes faster then the trip up-bound to Seeley the night before, but I found out shortly after bedding my dogs down (mostly to just let them cool off: it was still in the mid fifties or so) that I was in not in first place as I had been hoping. Technically, I did come into WTR down-bound in first position, but not in terms of ‘overall time’. Ryan Anderson had been steadily pulling small chunks of time on me from the beginning, and when we had both used up the last of our mandatory rest, he would be first onto the home stretch by approx twenty minutes. I was not happy to find this out, but I was certainly not surprised. As I said before, my pre-race strategy concerning Ryan had amounted to ‘hoping he wasn’t going to have a good run!’. I’ve raced Ryan before, both in races of this length, and somewhat longer races, and he tends to be much stronger and faster than me at this particular mileage. Still, I had been putting in a pretty good showing, and this was my home trail, so there was always the chance that he might run out of steam before making it back to the finish in Lincoln.

This faint hope slowly faded away when he saddled his team a few hours later and got them pointed at the trail: they stood there barking, eager to go.

I was to leave in second position, with Rick Larson following a few minutes behind.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….

Image of Jason & team--courtesy of H. Barron

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