As I was getting ready down to head down to the river for the first of the K300 Sunday Fun Runs, Casie called to make sure I was planning to go as was going to try and get a team for me to race. I might have mentioned once or twice over the last few months I was wanting to try it, guess the hints had stuck 😉 As I rolled up, Casie was starting to get some dogs ready:
Suzi introduced me to John + Bev who have been running dogs for a number of years oout here in Bethel, Bev regularly competing in local races, and they offered to let me race their team. The idea of the fun runs are for non-mushers to get the opportunity to race a dog sled team on a 7-mile loop along the river, with local mushers bringing a team of 5 dogs ready to show someone how to do it. This is John getting the dogs ready:
I wasn’t expecting to be given a 30 second whirlwind tour of who the leader is, how to brake and drop the anchor, and the told to just hold on and let the dogs go where they want! With 6 inches or more of fresh snow in the last day, the running would be slow so I didn’t have much to worry about apparently. It was so much fun, although the leader didn’t want to listen and follow the trail to the right coming up to the island so John + Bev skipped over on snowmobile to help guide them along the right way.
After the first mile or so I was plum last and quite content, as to be heading along the river on a back of sled being pulled by a team of dogs with nothing else around you was just fantastic. With all the soft snow, I was told to keep kicking the sled along to help the young dogs out, and I ain’t a little guy to be pulled along either! Turned in to quite a workout for someone that sits at a computer 8+ hours a day.
Coming in to the finish, Suzi had grabbed my camera out the truck to catch a photo:
She also tried to get an action shot as I anchored the team down, but the joys of the falling snow dropped a snow flake on the lens right over my face 😉 Ah well, can still tell it’s me!
And then the racers lined up – I think they’d had a little wait for me to actually get in as all the other teams were happily packed up in the back of the the trucks again! Finishing order from right to left – I think this should have been panoramic with me way out to the left in fairness:
Regardless of the finishing order, I had great fun which is what it was all about I guess! Just a fantastic experience to try something like that out, and big thanks to John + Bev for letting me run their team, and for the K300 guys for organizing it. Don’t think I’m quite ready to compete in the Iditarod, will stick to photographing it in 2-3 weeks time! Can see how it could become addictive once you got started though… Additional photos of the race can be found in this Flickr set which I’ll update over the next few weekends if I catch other fun runs.
After the last couple of evenings, today has just rounded off a fantastic weekend, and re-iterated the feeling of happiness at living in Bethel right now. Does that make the frustrations of work easier to deal with knowing I have a life after 5p.m and on a weekend to enjoy, or make it worse? Maybe I was just fed up after the end of a long day of a long week on Friday. Monday’s the start of a new week, right 😉 ?