2012 1st Place Midnight Run 8-Dog

My first 1st place finish!!! What an incredible experience this race was!!!! The downtown start in Marquette was amazing!!! Leaving Chatham for the restart it was a thrilling ride in the dark on the curvy and interesting trails! The competition was fierce but we had a fast and fun run the first leg passing all but 2 teams ahead of us catapulting us into 1st place!!! The dogs did not rest very well at the checkpoint but ate/drank good and all were healthy and happy with the exception of a few sore feet. Left on the second leg in first place with a few minutes separating the top 4-5 teams. Got off to a slow start and had to stop and switch leaders not far out... a few more stops for minor tangles and was caught and passed by the 2nd place finisher. We drafted off him for a bit, got held up twice more with different problems but was able to catch back up and pass to regain and hold the lead. Dogs took off and we never saw anyone again!! My dogs and I had so much fun running the twisty, narrow and exhilarating trails it was just a blast!!! My Cooper sled steered like a dream, especially wonderful to have in that last really narrow and tight turns stretch before the finish:) I am so proud of my team, they did fantastic and all looked great at the finish, like they hadn't even run!! Wagging tails and some still leaping to go! This was their first race of the season and five of the eight had never raced before! Many thanks to my Mom for being an awesome handler, helping me win the Best Cared for Team Award, the Cooley Challenge which is a huge honor!!! I will always treasure it! Also sharing equally in our victory is my dad who went on almost every training run with me!!! Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support and encouragement!!! Also many thanks to my sponsors Agimac River Outfitters, Steger Mukluks and Home Hardware!!! Thanks to all who help put on such a great race!!!! It is a ton of work to put on a quality event like this and we mushers truly appreciate it!!! Thank you to Shannon Millers handler for the great photo of my team crossing the finish line!
... Talon-2006 (M) (L)
Talon was again my rockstar setting a driving pace in lead on both legs of the race!!! He is such a phenomenal dog I just can't say enough good things about him! His only flaw is he harbors a bit of fear towards strangers and freaked out a couple times at intersections where there were people causing us a bit of a delay. He was flawless on commands otherwise and did great passing. What a powerhouse and speedster! He is like a locomotive going down the trail! I just LOVE this dog!!! He's the mai…
... Haley-2006 (F) (L)
Haley is always my hard driving little dynamo!!! Those short little legs just go and go!!! She ran lead with Talon the first leg of the race setting a fast pace to put us in the lead!!! Awesome on commands and passing, she packs a lot into a small package!!! Wasn't into leading taking off on the second leg being a bit of a princess so switched her out with Layla. Haley was happily driving hard in point the rest of the run!
... Hawk-2009 (M) (L)
Hawk ran beautifully, he put in a super performance!!! Hoping to see this speedy youngster running lead at races in the future!!!
... Swift-2009 (M)
First race for Swift and his littermates and what a start to a career!! What an incredible dog!!! Big and powerful, fast and leggy male just driving hard loping all the time!!! Didn't blink an eye at all the passing, stayed focused and on that tug hard!!! This guy is named correctly, he is extremely SWIFT!!!
... Lark-2009 (F)
This was Larks first race and boy was she a superstar!!! She was driving and loping relentlessly, what a fast and tireless girl!!! Handled all the passing and crowds super! Leaping to go still after the finish!!! Finished like she never ran!
... Vader-2010 (M) (L)
What a phenomenal dog Vader has turned into!! Super hard working dog always loping... only yearling on my team and did outstanding!!! After giving me quite a scare minutes before the start of the race with getting his rear leg tangled in the cable neckline of the dog next to him I was worried he wouldn't be able to race! Talk about extra stress minutes before hitting the trail!!! Thankfully the vets ok'd him to run and Thank God he was fine and never showed any stiffness or sign of injury!!! Wh…
... Layla-2008 (F) (L)
Layla was a superstar this race loping tirelessly the whole way!! Ran point on the first leg driving hard and ran lead on the second leg with Talon. What a fast little girl with loads of drive, super on commands and great at passing!