SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Two Rivers Prizegiving

Congratulations to all the place getters, prizewinners and finishers in the Two Rivers 200 and 100!

Tonight was the finish banquet and prize giving at the Two Rivers Lodge and it was a fun evening where all the competitors got to catch up with each other and share trail stories.

Aliy was awarded the Veterinarian's Choice award for the TR100 - thanks to Chena Ridge Veterinary Clinic for donating the prize and for being official vets for the race.

For taking first place, Aliy was also awarded a beautiful Qiviut (musk ox wool) hat made and donated by Nicolle Hendrix - who also happens to be dog sponsor to our Chevie! Thanks Nicolle, it is a truly gorgeous piece.

Special thanks also to all the sponsors of the race and to the checkpoint hosts Chatanika Lodge, Two Rivers Lodge, Pleasant Valley Store and Angel Creek Lodge. If you are ever in the area make sure you stop by any or all of these local businesses.

The race could not have happened without the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association, especially President Stacy, Trail Boss Abbey, Race Marshall Sebastian and Race Judge Darren. Thanks also to the many many volunteers who made the staging of the race possible.

Two Rivers 100 Red & Black Team Wrap-Up

Waylon doesn't look like much but he is tough, intelligent, strong and dedicated. Losing a toe over the summer didn't even slow him down and he was still barking to go at the last checkpoint.

Quito is the best dog in the world even at 10 1/2 years old, it is always a pleasure to be around her and run with her.

Violet is sweet, cuddly, fast and relentless. I haven't been able to work with her nearly enough this year because Aliy and Allen are always running her.

At the start line - do you think Sandy is ready?

Don't let Sandy's looks fool you. She is a great little dog about half the size of her bothers Driver and Woody but doesn't lack anything in strength drive and speed. (I was going to correct that typo but it seems fitting to keep it as it is - Moira)

Woody is still my boy. He came up with a bit of a sore paw so I dropped him off with Wes at the Two Rivers Lodge just because I didn't want it to get any worse. He is still excited and I hope he joins me on many future runs.

Willie hasn't had much a chance to run this year but I was really happy to have him on my team. He was still happy and wagging his tail when we got the finish line and could have done another 100 miles.

Bruno is STRONG! He amazed me this race because he never once felt sorry for himself or thought about slowing down. He still has to learn how to poop on the run but that will come with time.

Barista is a hard driving little dog. Since the time she was a puppy she has been a little bulldozer always running off into he deep snow and pushing so fast that her brothers and sisters couldn't even catch up with her.

McCaw is turning into an impressive dog. He's one of the biggest dogs in the yard and has strength to match. And although right now he as some problems keeping his mind on the trail and the task at hand, he was very important asset in this team.

Creamer was behind on miles because of an issue earlier in the year so I planned before the race even started to drop her at the Two Rivers Lodge. But, when we got there she was still strong and happy and wanted to continue. I wanted to make it a positive experience for her so I dropped her off anyways but I believe she could have finished the race with me and down well the whole time.

Decaf and Perky - these two brothers have an unbelievable amount of energy. They're loud, excited and they drive really hard. Perky is a little more focussed when we are running but they both have a lot of potential and power.

CB300: Red & Black Team Wrap-up

Let's just dip back into the Copper Basin 300 for a minute as Chris gives his dog by dog wrap up of their race.

Photo Julien Schroder - Arctic-mood.com

Scout led the charge for most of the race. He's nine years old but he hasn't let anything slow him down. He is smart, strong, dedicated and always ready to go.

Woody led for a good portion of the race; he is very strong, very motivated. I have a really close relationship with him after working on the glacier and he definitely held up his end as my number one dog.

Tried and true Olivia rotated through lead also. She hasn't let three litters of puppies slow her down one little bit. (Photo left: Katie Hope)

Scruggs is the toughest dog I know. He was a really important part of the front end of my team, motivating all the younger dogs as we marched through deep punchy snow.

Chena's my girl! Whenever we aren't moving she looks contemplative, morose and not really all that excited but as soon as we start moving she gets a big smile on her face and doesn't let up. She also rotated through lead.

Out of the starting chute

I was so excited to have Nelson as a last minute addition to my team after Aliy took Scooter for her team. He has so much energy and experience and just loves to run.

Five made a really strong showing in his first major race. He was always looking at me wondering if we were going to keep going and I would always tell him 'yes' so he would put his head down and he would pull up the next hill.

If there is one word to describe Ginger (right) it is smooth. She has such an effortless gait and is always tight on the tugline no matter what.

Ernie ran wheel for the entire race which is not an easy position but he did an amazing job. While he isn't as big as his brothers he definitely makes up for it with strength and enthusiasm.

Outlaw was my other wheel dog and he was impressive. He pulled his heart out the entire race; didn't even think about letting the line go slack. I don't think I could have made it as far as I could without him.

Out of Meiers Lake Lodge checkpoint

Hotshot has improved by leaps and bounds this season. He is incredibly strong and while he is not the fastest dog he is always ready to pull up a hill, get me out of a rut or put his head down and keep driving forward.

Cayenne kept trying even when she got in over her head. She made it to the third checkpoint and although she wasn't always pulling she never dragged the team down or thought about quitting.

This race was one of the hardest things I've ever done and scratching was even harder than running the 220 miles beforehand. The trail was incredibly difficult and some of my younger dogs were working harder than they have ever had to work before and I finally decided that it would be better for them to end early than try to drag them to the finish line.

Thanks Wes for being a great handler and to all the volunteers and organizers who helped make the race a reality.

Two Rivers 200: Red & Black Team Update Sunday

Ruth and the Red and Black 200 Team scratched from the Two Rivers 200 earlier this morning.

Allen and Aliy went to pick them up not far from where our teams camp during training runs. I'm not certain of all the details at this point but I know everyone is okay. As I understand it, Ruth felt that continuing on the final 30 miles would turn the fun and positive experience they'd had up until that point into a negative one especially for the youngsters. She officially scratched at Angel Creek Lodge checkpoint (the last checkpoint she was at).

We'll get all the dogs and Ruth home, get another meal into them (Ruth will have given them a good meal at her camp spot) and get everyone to their beds.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Two Rivers 200 - Red & Black Team Update

Ruth and seven of her Red and Black Team mates left Angel Creek Lodge checkpoint around 7.30pm on the final leg of the Two Rivers 200. They are heading towards the Pleasant Valley Store to finish sometime early Sunday morning. She and the team were excited to hit the trail again and are in good spirits.

It is likely she will stop the team to camp/rest along the way. The final leg is around 60 miles and Ruth's main goal for the race was to get as many of the team to the finish line having had as positive experience as possible. Stopping to rest in the last leg will make it so.

She started the race with just nine team mates and left Five with Padee at the Pleasant Valley Store checkpoint, he was just a bit too tired to continue as he's worked so hard through the hills of the first leg. Chemo did the final leg of the race in the truck, he's a little sore after his big week and didn't need to continue the race.

We'll update when we can in the morning.

Two Rivers 200/100 Start Video

Enjoy some pre-race atmosphere and see all three teams leaving the start chute in the Two Rives 200 and 100.

Red Team Wins Two Rivers 100!

Woohoo! Congrats Aliy and her Red Team for their win in the Two Rivers 100 overnight with a time of 14 hours 3 minutes!

Red Team on the trail!

Chris and his Red & Black Team finished in 5th place with 14 hours, 47 minutes. That's an awesome result for those yearlings!

Red & Black 100 Team ready to go

Thanks to handler extrodinaire Wes with support from Steve Parker, Padee and Mark. Thanks Team!

Aliy with Chris at the start line; Aliy and Wes

We will get more details once everyone is back at the kennel.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dutch Wins Fan Club Draw

Congrats to Jack Johnston who is a fan of DUTCH.

Dutch is a sassy pants. His super successful past season has improved his confidence. There is nothing that he can't do. This transformation is awesome because he believes in himself as much as we do now. He will run in lead, swing, team or anywhere we put him. He is sitting out the Two Rivers race in anticipation of potentially making Allen's Yukon Quest team early next month.

Jack wins a Two Rivers 200/100 poster plus a photo print portrait of Dutch. We hope you enjoy your packet Jack!

We will be doing a Dog Fan Club draw Friday, February 3rd from Whitehorse. Everyone who has joined by then and hasn't already won will be in the draw to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Two Rivers 200/100 Today!

We love racing in our local Two Rivers races. We're fielding two teams in the TR100 and one in the TR200. The race starts today (Friday) at noon up at the Chatanika Lodge. SP Kennel's entire kennel philosophy can be seen in these race rosters. Each team is looking to have 'success' in their own race. Let's have some FUN out there!

Ruth will run the Red & Black 200 (R&B200) team in the 200 mile race while Aliy will run the Red Team and Chris a young Red & Black 100 (R&B100) Team in the 100 mile race.

The trails are mostly familiar and the checkpoints are local. The race started out at Chatanika Lodge with the first checkpoint at the Two Rivers Lodge, then a stop at the Pleasant Valley Store. The 100 mile race finishes there. The 200 mile competitors will then go out to Angel Creek Lodge and return back to the Pleasant Valley Store.

Ruth will be wearing bib number 14 and her team for the 200 mile race is Chena, Chemo, Olivia, Schmoe, Five, Bean, Sanka, Hotshot and Iron.

Ruth with her bib, Chris and his Dad Steve who is up to support the race

Chris is wearing number 4 and will run Waylon, Quito, Violet, Willie, Woody, Sandy, Bruno, Barista, Creamer, Decaf, Perky and McCaw 100 miles.

You will see a lot of yearlings on those teams so both Ruth and Chris will be running to give them experience, not to try to win the race.

Aliy, wearing bib number 3, has Amber, Junior, Lydia, Daisy, Nomex, Champ, Spark, Rodney, Scooter, Outlaw Scooby and QT. This is a 'combo-team' with some experienced and one yearling rookie. Aliy would like to speed some of the dogs up after the Copper Basin 300 march, but mainly have some fun.

Check out the full rosters here!

The Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association Facebook page and website has more details and will update during the race.

It's going to be a fun weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

CB300: Video Wrap Up

To close the 2017 Copper Basin 300 chapter, here are the team videos!

Black Team leaving the start chute, into Sourdough and crossing the finish line.

The Red Team leaving the start chute and crossing the finish line. Watch for Spark at the start line.

The R&B Team leaving the start chute.