Driver: Rhonda Hendry O'Hearn
Finished in 13th place out of a field of 27 teams with a combined time of 8:20:24
Cosmo completed the requirements for his SD at this event

For complete race results, check out the Can-Am website.
View photos from the race

Rhonda's account: After a depressing end to the 2006 season and a team of dogs showing up positive for Lyme, I was honestly, very nervous going into this race. I did not know if the team would remember the trail (slow to 5 miles/hour) and assume they were going to be out there for a few days. What blew me away, is when we reached the unbroken (Fort Kent had received a foot of new snow the night before) intersection for the 250 trail, Rocky wanted to turn right!!! I couldn't believe it. A groomed trail in front of him and he remembered taking the path to Portage. God Love Him!!

I had a secret weapon and was not expecting to use it. But around the 16 mile mark, Cosmo went into his distance trot. I was not going to stand for it but was certainly not going to get mad at him and break his spirit (the whole race I worked at keeping my thoughts positive). Rocky and Enzo have been training in lead together for the past month and make a good pair. So, I swapped Cosmo out of lead and put Enzo up!

While running, I worked hard to keep view of the team in front of us. Another goal was to hopefully keep our lead and not have another team come up from behind. Following 'my box' around the course is interesting. I had no idea Laura and Kricket were closing the gap behind us! The last thing I wanted was to have a team draft off us through the potato fields or up the last series of hills. Of course if it was a faster team that was to have passed us at that point, bring it on, our dogs love to chase!

There were two significant points during the race that we were running along with other teams. We were keeping pace with them for quite awhile. Each driver asked if I wanted to pass. I thought to myself, no, we must be running at the dogs max ability, if I pass, what if they don't have it in them to speed up and break away. Well, I looked down at the GPS and saw 6 miles/hour (Bob did not want me to use the GPS since I tend to obsess over it, but at that particular moment I was sure glad that I brought it along). For the same reason I swapped Cosmo out of lead, I got up the nerve to pass. Son of a B! Rocky and Enzo drove us past without incident and the rest of the dogs loped along without hesitation. Makes me wonder how much time we lost by running behind those teams for as long as we did. Within a few minutes, I no longer could see the team(s) behind us and knew we had enough of a gap, because Ginsing stopped his habit of turning around.

When we reached the top of the ski slope, I had to fight back tears of joy. At the finish line, I did not even pay attention to the bag checkers as I was hugging and Thanking the dogs for such a great run. Jello, one of our first sled dogs, now 9 years old and soon to retire from competitive racing, was on the team in wheel position. Besides the Zen boys (Enzo and Ginsing) and Saint of course, Jello's two sons (Rocky and Kona) and two half siblings (Halley and Cosmo) were also on the team.

We may have missed placing in the money by 5 minutes, but we are winners in a much Bigger way!

<< Back


Home   •   © 2007 Mishawum Siberians   •   Website by IX Interactive, Inc.