2020 5th Place Copper Dog 10 Dog 130 Miles
I always look forward to Copper Dog every year as its one of my favorite races though I do confess to having a few fav races;) They always put on an amazing race here and the competition is always fierce!!! The trail was fast and it was beautiful weather though Sunday was too warm... the team did amazing, so proud of the dogs!!! To be honest I am frustrated with myself for not managing my team well on Sat. but we managed to stay in the top five placing 5th overall even with the smallest team in the field running six dogs on Sundays 45 mile 3rd leg. Team was Viva, Tamar, Nikita, Sitka, Bristol, Thor, Granite, Warrior and Soldier. Viva will be 9 yrs. old in a few weeks and she has led every step of my 3 main races, what a girl! I don't know if this will be her last race on not, we'll see;) I know others have some super older dogs on their teams too, so awesome to see the oldies rocking it still:) Viva has been such an amazing leader for me for so long but 5 yr. old Tamar more then deserves her own accolades as she has been an amazing leader for me, so focused, fast and driving, ran lead all three legs at Copper Dog as a 2 yr. old and didn't bat an eye at all the crossings. You can see her focus and drive in both the videos of my team at the crossings and in photos, she is a rock star! So wonderful to see all our mushing "family" but sad its the last race of the season. It goes by too fast!!! Huge congrats to Martha and team Schouweiler for their awesome 2nd win in a row and Ryan Anderson for his awesome team right behind them for the 2nd year in a row! Very impressive job to you both!!!
A quick run-down of legs/times, Friday night had a fast run on a beautiful, almost perfect, night, sliver of a moon to add a touch of brightness, temps in the 12-13 F and fast trail!!! Ran 9 dogs averaging 12.4 mph over the 49.4 miles. Had a ton of fun running with Martha a good bit of the 2nd half!!! :) We were running side by side for quite a ways, me on the far right and her team on the far left... what a blast! Came into Eagle Harbor just ahead of her. Was 20 seconds from first, with the top 6 teams all really really close!!! Had a couple dogs sore from stumbling off the edge of the trail dipping snow so was down to 8 for day two. Last year I still had all 10 for day two! Sat. was when I mis-managed my team by going too fast, they were flying... so had a few sore dogs... had the fastest run for the day putting me in 1st by 3 min. but 13.9 mph average for the 37.9 miles was way way too fast!!! :( But again, top 5 teams all super super close!!! Went out with 6 dogs on day three, the smallest team in the field. Mostly had 5 dogs pulling the majority of the time so we lacked climbing power but were fast on the flats... dropped to 5th for the day and 5th place over all averaging 12 mph for 45.5 miles, on a hot, sunny day and miles of gradual climbing coming back into Calumet. What a great race though and it was beautiful trails! First race for two of the dogs, they all did awesome!!!! Had a ton of fun and so proud of the team for how well they did, can't wait to come back next year!!!
Photo by LouAnn McLaren! Thank you!