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Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Seeley Lake 200 Sled Dog Race Part - 6

When we arrived back at the White Tail Ranch on the return trip, we checked the time of the leaders. The winner had already crossed the finish line. We had planned on leaving the checkpoint at 6AM. After doing the math, we knew that we had to leave at 3AM or this race would not count as a qualifier for me. I had to finish in 42 hours and 18 minutes (1.5 times the elapsed time of the winner). I fed and watered my dogs. They were not getting enough water from eating snow. I removed their booties and checked their feet and gave them clean straw to lie down on, kicking it up around them. I noticed that Toro, who had a voracious appetite and always ate everything you gave him, did not eat, but tipped his bowl over and tried to bury his food. Only later did I find out that he had been secretly eating the food of the other leaders, who were tied out with him. I should have moved him to the front of the lead line, by himself. His overeating was my fault and it almost cost me the race.

I managed to get 2 hours sleep before I was awakened by Doug, who had come to the same realization that we had and drove out to make sure we got up in time. I was still holding my new watch in the position, in front of my face, that I had when I was trying to set the alarm function.

 When we left, I had Hershey in the lead with Toro, to give Gator a break. He had worked hard and exceeded all my expectations. He was the best Gee/Haw leader on my team. Hershey kept stopping as we left the checkpoint and I ended up moving him back to swing. I moved Hobart into lead. A few miles from the checkpoint, we started a long steady climb up to Huckleberry Pass. It hard pulling with me pedaling to help the dogs get through the four inches of new snow. It took a couple of hours to go 10 miles to the top. Toro kept pulling over into the deep snow and gulped snow. He was thirsty from eating everybody’s dry dog food. Doug noted later that he was the only one to have diarrhea; a sure sign of overeating (over feeding).

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