The anticipation is building

Night Run in Pitch Darkness

The anticipation is building. Last week I wrote a post about the race preparation for this weekend’s 200 miler in the Mat-Su Valley of Alaska. I can not wait!

I have thought about this moment for a decade and the day is drawing closer and closer to the Friday start date.

This weekend we almost decided that we were going to have to cancel our race plans. Our dogs were in a bit of a mental slump and this week we are trying our best to make sure the training runs are fast and happy and they enjoy it.

We can equate this slump to the crappy trails that we had the whole month of January. Contrary to what most people think about an Alaskan winter it is not as bad as you think (at least what I have seen so far here in the Valley), to me the decade I spent in Northern Minnesota was FAR worse.

We had huge storm come in on New Years Eve and dump about 8 inches or so of snow here in Willow and my kennel partner and I went out for a quick camping trip to Yentna Station and back. By the time we arrived back at the truck at 4 am it looked like they had washed the streets down–the snow was melting everywhere, very quickly.

[ Rewind: Ipods quit working at -32 Degrees Below Zero ]

We did not have another flake of snow until this past weekend, hence we were running literally on ice for over 20 days. The dogs hated it and we were forced to run smaller teams of just 6 to 8 dogs.

My other kennel partner, who runs the Serum Run, took a team of 12 this weekend on what they call the shakedown (a three day camping trip) and she was concerned the first few days about the dogs. While they kept a steady pace they just didn’t seem like they were having fun. When they would stop, the dogs tails were not wagging and they just looked BLAH. The final day, yesterday, she had a really good run and we decided that we will run the race and enter two teams!

Today I plan to run about 25 miles on the trails leading from the Community Center and then one final run on Thursday–I have to work tomorrow–gotta pay the bills, ya know!

Thursday night is the musher’s meeting and then we hit the trails at noon on Friday for about a 30 hour run.

We still have vet checks, drop bags, necklines to make, and much, much more…


Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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