2021 3rd Place Copper Dog 8 Dog Race, 111 Miles
Copper Dog is one of my favorite races and they always put on such a great race/event!!!! Thank you so much to all the race directors/organizers/vets/volunteers/sponsors who helped to make this race happen this year with all the difficulties!!!!! Thank you also to our awesome friends and host family Mike and Suzi who have hosted us for 8 years now!!! Usually its just for the one night in Copper Harbor but this year with the changed format we stayed with them three nights!
Sadly one of my two main leaders was out of the race before it began, which was very discouraging, she had been fine before we left to the best of my knowledge so somehow got hurt during loading from home as she was limping slightly at our first drop:( Had the vets checking her out every day and on Sunday morning they thought possibly a partially torn cruciate ligament but not sure. I sure hope not but will get it checked out. So that was not good news to hear and also to lose a dog off the team before the race even starts is never fun, especially a main leader:( So a two year old leader and a 3 year old leader both got to run lead for the first time at a race and they sure stepped up and did fantastic!!! Super impressed with them both and of course my main leader 6 yr. old Tamar was the rock of my team, focused and driving the whole race teaching the youngsters the ropes of passing:)
Also had to bring a dog that has dealt with nausea issues since he was a yearling as the other dogs I could have brought had missed too much training. He is a superstar when not feeling sick from nausea, which is worsened when he eats too much snow in warmer weather. His anti-nausea meds from my vet have helped but not eliminated the issue. He gets especially cranked up at races of course but hadn't vomited in the last month so was hopeful he is growing out of it. I ran him Friday night and he was a beast the first 4-6 miles! Then he started biting snow and got sick and from then on the rest of the 34 mile run was stopping constantly when he vomited and didn't feel well so ran along kinda but holding back:(
Unfortunately, I got dragged a short ways again on the edge of pavement/gravel on that first road crossing leaving Eagle Harbor:( That one hurt bad! Worse then when I dragged 3/4 of a block on the pavement leaving Eagle Harbor a few years back and shredded the pocket off my jacket and got a nasty abrasion on my knee. On close inspection of both types of pavement 😉 I have to say the hwy asphalt was extremely more abrasive then the city bock pavement!!!! 🤣 What happened is my leaders went straight ahead and jumped up on the snowbank, I should have told them gee but thought they would see the snowbank and cross to the right... so it was my own fault, they turned when I said gee but the whole team followed them up on the snowbank then coming down off the drop off at an angle couldn't keep the sled upright so tipped and dragged, got some nasty/painful abrasions/bruises on my knees, thigh and elbow:( sigh...
Was in 7th amazingly after the all the stops/holdups of the night before and we had a flying fast run on Sat. 39 mile leg with 8 dogs having the 2nd fastest run that day ave. 13.1 mph moving us up into 3rd place overall!!! Had a couple slightly sore dogs so ran 6 dogs on Sunday the last leg of the race and again had a super fast run with the 2nd fastest leg time ave. 12.1 mph so we held onto our 3rd place finish overall!!! Way better then I expected to place with the difficulties we had had so just so proud of my team they were just amazing!!! Super star main leader Tamar led all three days, Laska ran lead and rocked it on Friday night passing like a locomotive, Granite from Dennis and Charlie Charlie LaBoda kennel ran lead day two and three with a female in heat (three of the 4 females were in heat:) behind him that made him look back a bit but he still did super!!! Katniss, Soldier, Thor (also from LaBoda kennel! and possibly one of the biggest dogs at the race;) Kodiak, Bandit and Yukon (first race ever was a champ!) made up my team and did awesome! Thanks to my super handler, my dad, he does a great job always and even had to pull off a trailer tire at the finish as a brake was dragging, he barely got to the finish line before I came in but thank you to Ryan Beaber and Craig who helped him with that tough job!!!! Thanks to my mom for holding the fort down at home taking care of the remaining dogs!!! So so fun to get to see all my wonderful mushing family friends you guys are the best!!!! Congrats to the winner JR on a smoking run!!! A great end to the season! 🙂