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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Solstice 100 Wrap-up

First of all, a huge thank you to the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Assoc and all the volunteers for putting on an excellent race. The trail was superb and well marked, and the checkpoint was set up really efficiently. Thanks also to the Pleasant Valley Store for staying open!

We want to thank in particular Wes, Ray, Bridgett, Scotty, Ryne, Derek and Mark for their help - we really appreciate you all.
Photo: Sebastian Schnuelle
Now that it is a few days after the race, we are taking the time to reflect on how each team performed. Overall it was a huge success.

Obviously the RED team were awesome! Aliy said her team was ready to race and even a little restless during the 4-hour rest. They even pulled her anchoring snow hook 10 minutes before their "go time". It was somewhat understandable as they stood only 10 feet from Jeff King's team of phenomenal and excited canine athletes.

The very experienced duo of QUITO and SCOUT lead the team the entire route. Drawing bib #21 meant the team had to execute quite a few passing maneuvers to get to the front of the race pack - actually they passed 16 teams in the first 50 miles. They had several poor passes and several very good passes. This is too be expected during the first race of the season. Aliy said that after her first disastrous pass (her fault) she concentrated more and the rest were at least mediocre. The leaders were followed by SCRUGGS and SCOOTER who are good passing dogs with abundant enthusiasm. As you saw in the video of the finish, SCOOTER was the cheerleader, a role she fulfils in most races. NACHO and BOONDOCKS ran together, something Aliy enjoys, as they are so similar in attitude despite such a massive size difference. Two lads, MAC and CHEMO ran solidly together and relatively inexperienced NELSON and Super-Star WILLIE were a perfect combo. FELIX ran with his dad BISCUIT in wheel and they not only physically resemble each other, they are a good match in pace, attitude and performance.

The BLACK team was also superb and did a fantastic job to come in third. To have two teams in the top three sets us up really well for the season ahead.

In a late line-up shuffle Allen lead out with RAMBLER and BEEMER who were both as strong as they ever are. CHICA and SISSY ran in swing and backed-up the leaders well while passing other teams (the swing dogs can sometimes make or break a pass if they don't follow the leaders strongly). I.V ran with SCHMOE and they proved a good combination, working together well. CLYDE and PUPPET were strong team dogs doing their jobs effectively and with minimal fuss. LESTER and TATFISH are about as different as two dogs can get - TATFISH is touched with a little A.D.D. and LESTER a quieter but confident dog - yet they had good energy together. BONITA and IZZY ran in wheel for both legs. IZZY is really coming in to her own and we're excited about her season ahead. BONITA is always a hard-worker and good looking gal.

The RED AND BLACK Team finished strongly and looked great as the crossed the line - Meghan will write a race wrap-up later in the week and tell you about each of her team mates.

5 comments:

Margaret said...

Thank you so much for this thorough recap of the RED and the BLACK teams' races.

Sounds as if it was an excellent learning experience for the younger dogs as passers.

And it gave me chills to think of their competitive fire as the RED team stood toe to toe with their opposition!!!

Nessmuk said...

Nice wrap up! Sounds like the Teams performed well and you probably are all gearing up for the next race....I know I am (love being an SPK Arm Chair Musher!). Keep up the awesome work...we'll all keep up the cheering....GO SPK!

Amy Falise said...

Congratulations Aliy, Allen and pups! It's already a very exciting racing season! Sounds like the pups are raring to go, go, GO! We're all following. Best wishes!

marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks for such a great recap of both Red &Black teams. Very thorough and detailed. All the dogs performed well. It is fantastic for S P Kennel to have 2 teams in the top 3. Well done!

Lourdes, VT said...

Great recap and great races! And, of course, great mushers and SUPER GREAT pups!!!
Wonderful way to set the pace for the races ahead!. Your love for the pups shows thru and true!!!
Congratulations and looking forward to the races ahead :)