Doug congratulated me on successfully completing my first Qualifier. Then he critiqued my performance. He noted three areas where he wanted to see improvement. First and foremost, I needed to move faster and be deliberate in what I was doing. Second I needed to be thinking ahead of time about what I had to do next and stop doing one thing at a time and then just stand there like I didn’t know what I was doing as I tried to decide what to do next. Third, I needed to interact with the dogs more. I should have checked their feet when we stopped to snack our dogs between the first and second check points. I could have seen the split in Cobras foot and treated then and there with zinc oxide ointment and a booty.
The best compliment came from Warren Palfrey, who had come down from Canada to run the race. He had been here with his family last year the day after my injury. He told me, “ Don’t let this go to your head. For your first time, you ran a good race. You still have a long way to go.” Then he added, “You got grit.”
After Melanie took Doug to the airport, we cleaned up our gear and started preparing for our next races. I took all the trash to the dump and we took dogs into Helena for their vet check. When we got home I stated packing for my trip back home. One (qualifier) down and one to go.