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 12, 2014

CB300 - Filling in the Blanks from Meiers Lake

Hi folks, we're back on line! Ray and myself have just arrived at the Lake Louise Lodge and are just catching up now with all the race stats you already know. We use Macgellan's run-time and total cumulative time analysis too so a huge thanks to him for his hard work.

It will take some time to edit and upload videos and I will do that a little bit at a time. For now let me just fill in some blanks.

Firstly, I know you will all be concerned and wondering - it was TUG that was dropped from Aliy's team at Meiers Lake. She will be just fine! Right at the end of the challenging run Tug started cramping and became a bit dehydrated. After checking in with Nina, the head vet, Aliy left her with the team as they rested and ate their meal then turned her over to us just before she started her hook-up routine. We received some excellent care and advice from the entire vet team, and by "care" I don't just mean treatment, I mean they really care about our dogs and are empathetic to us as well. Thanks to vet Kate and vet techs Brenna and Misty for your help. It's not easy for any musher to leave a dog behind and Aliy was very disappointed to do so. Tug Boat has joined Ray and me in the truck and we're happy to report that she is rehydrated, massaged, resting and being treated like a Queen.

Both the BLACK and RED teams looked great coming in to Meiers Lake and despite the 73 mile trial that is the mountain, open water and overflow they didn't really look like they needed to stop. In saying that though when they did get to their parking spot and had a lovely straw bed and fleece coat they settled pretty quickly for some rest. I can even report that Felix looks to be figuring out this "take a break" thing. Both Aliy and Allen took their 6-hour mandatory rest plus their time differential so were able to get a good chunk of sleep themselves. During a race like this "a good chunk" means about 2 hours in a row.

The temperature at Meiers was around 0F but there was a biting wind. We watched musher after musher come in to the checkpoint with frozen boots and frosted fur ruffs. See how Aliy had to unfreeze her boots enough to get them off her feet (right, photo credit Lidia). The trail was very wet with some open water river crossings of about 6-8 inches deep and several patches of overflow but this was expected and Jamey and his trail crew did the very best in trying conditions to give the teams passable trails.

Meiers Lake Roadhouse was heaving and the tireless staff worked extraordinarily hard to cater to us all. THANK YOU! They cooked dozens of burgers, pancakes and eggs, dried loads and loads of wet musher gear and kept the fires stoked to warm chilled mushers and handlers. We really are inferior to dogs in this respect; with their natural fur coats they are able to withstand so much more than we can and they grumble a lot less. They are amazing.

Daylight came and we were all able to see Meghan and her RED AND BLACK team arrive. I'm not making it up when I say they looked GREAT also. They were excited to be at the checkpoint but certainly didn't look exhausted. Meghan did a great job to get them through what would have been the hardest run of some of their young lives. She stopped to rest when they needed it, kept them warm with wind jackets and kept a close eye on them during the run. A parking spot opened up right between Aliy and Allen's teams so we were able to park them with their friends which possibly helped them settle quickly. What also helped was how Meghan tucked them in.

L-R: Honda and Viper snuggle; Can you guess who this is?

Both BLACK and RED teams left the checkpoint enthusiastically. We could see the trail for some way and saw Allen pull out his ski-poles about 60 seconds into the run. He didn't stop all the way to Sourdough except when they were going downhill.

When we left Meiers Lake Meghan was just starting her own rest, she was looking forward to getting some sleep and taking her boots off!


Linda Toth said...

Looks like Lester to me.

Nessmuk said...

Yup...Lester catching some rest....nice how they are all tucked in! Glad to hear Tug is getting some extra attention and doing well! Hope for better trail conditions.....the water on the trail has to be frustrating! I see a lot of folks are scratching due in part to the water on the trail. It doesn't seem to phase the SPK Teams!

Anonymous said...


(I looked at the race rosters)!

Anonymous said...

Gettin' down - good boy!!!


PowersHealth said...

Great update! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Awesome reports All! Mac, Ray, Wes, Moira! I cant imagine using a cooking tool to remove frozen boots. Most chef's use that torch for Creme Brulee's! I hope everyone feet are ok! Alaskan Mushers and doggies are tough folks!
Padee Santa Rosa CA

marilyn cozzens said...

I think it is Lester. Great update--amazing ordeal to get frozen boots off. Oh the life of a musher. S P Kennel dogs and mushers are the best. Meghan is doing a great job with her R & B team.