|Eden Mt Sprint Race
The race course was fun! 13.5 miles in length which wound through fields, woods and portions of the VAST trail system. Trail conditions on Saturday were faster than Sunday (we got an inch or so of new snow overnight).
Driver: Bob O'Hearn
Finished with a combined time of 1:03:58
The dogs: Rocky -L, Cosmo -L, Kona, Saint, Ady, Ginsing, Peggy, Halley
Driver: Rhonda Hendry O'Hearn
Finished with a combined time of 02:24:22
The dogs: Dharma - L, Jello -L, Emma, Steel, Allagash, Loutus, Raven, Enzo
Note: L - denotes dog who ran in lead
In advance of this event, our friend Jim made a tongue in cheek comment about how civilized it is not run with a sled full of required gear. It has been said that some drivers create a handicap for themselves on the first day of a two day event by putting a bag of dog food or other weight in their sled. Well, when Bob snubbed off the truck Saturday with one runner on the ground and the handlers unable to hold the team back while it careened off toward the shoot, Rhonda started scrambling around the parking lot seriously looking for a bag of dog food! Not enough time ... and off she goes as well.
With 2 min intervals between teams, Rhonda did not expect to catch up to Jim and his alaskans so quickly. Rather than put weight in his sled, Jim had a different handicap strategy in mind --> he pulled a 'Mountain Dew'! Rhonda and Jim spent time on the trail sorting out the situation, causing in the meantime, a mini traffic jam on the trail (8 dog teams went out first, then the 6 dog-ers). Bob had by now, finished the first out and back, caught up to everyone and is headed back. We turn Jim around and he and Bob take an illegal short cut to the parking lot.
So now we are shaking our heads saying to ourselves, we drove up here for the weekend why?!!!
Typically we would not attend a sprint race. So what did we gain?
* First hand knowledge that helmets are your friend! And when the trail boss says "don't use your brake" - ignore him!
* A great year end opportunity to show the Can-Am team a finish line.
* Lots of opportunity for head-on passing. This is something we never practice in training.
It was a thrill to see the dogs in action. All attempts at passing teams were clean with the exception of passing each other! On Sunday, our leaders entwined and we lost a bit of time straightening them out.
* Jello and Dharma stepped up to the plate and were the driving force on Rhonda's team.
* Our Zen boys are actually beginning to mind their own business, rather than running down the trail sideways looking at the team behind them.
Above all, it was refreshing to see in a competitive environment that we 1) haven't forgotten about friendship and sportsmanship and that 2) despite our interest in sprint vs. mid-distance, we can all play together.
For complete race results, check out NESDC