Wednesday, December 26, 2007

canicross with 4 dogs and a sled :-)

Yesterday morning we went out again to the Devils Den for a fast 13miler.
We had warm temperatures and a bit of rain the other night so the trail had some icy spots and frozen overflows. Overall it is still a very good trail with a 1foot base or so.
I decided to simulate a race like training. Means I pulled out my "Icebug" sneakers with the studs and wore my running close.
so fare I trained like that the dogs could go their own pace I didn't forced or interrupt when ever they decided to mark or poop on the trail.
Not so yesterday, race means pooping and peeing on the go. No still stand allowed, most of the time I encouraged them to lop, not to trot. Also and especially on the hills. So far I let them pull my self standing on the sled on the hills no help, no pedaling sometimes we hardly moved but I didn’t help.

Yesterday I hopped from the sled every time the pace was slower than 12km/h or so.

All the time on the sled I wear a skijor/bikejor/canicross belt and hook my self up to the sled. That way I maybe get dragged but never loose the team. I wouldn’t do that with an 8 or 10 dog team ;-)

So it looks like canicross with 4 dogs and a sled between us. Of course I can do that only on the hills, otherwise they are to fast. And I assume and hope with a 6 dog team you do not have to run at all. (we plan to have two more dogs next year)

Here some pictures of the conditions from yesterday morning

Saturday, December 22, 2007

first longer run on snow

had a 21km run incl. a 5km tiring trailbraking (on purpose to get it in their head) at the Devils Den this morning, after that I took Luc and Kaillou out for another 5km quick skijoring just for fun and to give them the idea of whats to come in the next weeks. thats the plan for the remaining weeks befor the races, 10-20miles all together with the sled and after that 5-8 miles skijoring or pulka with the two Sepps.

This video is from yesterday early morning, we did a 14km run. The light was just enough to take that clip. It finally looks like Christmas, doesn't it?

and here some Pictures how it looked like, when I drove home and passed the Merrymeeting Lake.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

almost perfect

are the conditions at the "devils den" trail right now.
they must have groomed last night and when I came early morning today there was a nicely 4m wide hard packed trail. not all of the side trails are groomed yet but it is good enough to do a 8-9 mile fast trainings session. I put new QCR-runners on yesterday and we were just flying.
The dogs and I enjoyed it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hardcore Training 12-16-07

meanwhile we received almost as much snow as we had the whole winter last year.

Sunday morning we had another 8-10" fresh, more heavyer snow at -13°C.

Plan is plan so we trained in that stuff. the trails are still ungroomed and our own track from the day before was gone of course so it was a serious 17km training for the dogs. but that should be enough with the muscle build up training. Now we need some long and slow runs to get the distance and time on trail in the head and mind.

the good thing is that kaillou keeps up with the other three even he lacks several weeks of training. And it is not that he floats.

hope the snowmobile club starts grooming in the next days.
However, next run is Wednesday night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

sled training 12-08-07

this footage is from last Saturday morning.
I started right out of the kennel. the first 500m are on the trail I cut last summer, you will see there are still some trees in my way :)
it was a nice, short run, still not perfect.

we had some rain and ice over the week and just now received another 5" snow on top of an 5" packed. the forcast says 10" more on Sunday. that should make nice runs over the weekend at the devels den. hope to finaly get some mileages in. for the coming two weeks it is important to increase the distance on snow to at least 12miles every trainings session, otherwise I can forget all the longer skijoring/ pulka races this season. because of the porcupine story we are 6 weeks behind the trainings schedule.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

12-06-2007 our first run in the snow this season!

got up at 4am in the morning today. we have 10-12" snow since Monday.
AND Kaillou is back on bord finally !
So I decided to do a short run (3miles)on our backyard trails up and down the blueberry - hills . good idea - bad idea. they dragged me right behind the kennel for appr. 50' :)
Of course the dogs were extremly excited. and of course there is no packed stuff yet to cramp in the snowhook but it was so much fun. It was a pretty good workout (for the dogs) with the mat down and plowing through the snow :)
the trail is tight and winding and the brunches of trees are full with snow so that they hang almost to the ground. it kicked me off the sled twice :) but since I lost the team two years ago on my very first attempt on a sled I always wear the skijoring belt and hook my self up to the handlebar. that way Im getting dragged but I do not loose the team anymore. with four dogs that is still duable.
It was a real nice adrenaline shot in the morning and the best thing:

Kaillou is fine and can run again!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

eager to go

in typical Sepp manner - Luc is ready to go. He screams and jumps in the shoot.
That was Saturday early morning.

and as you can see, there are just three dogs - Kaillou is still limping.
Not sure if his limping is related to quills (they still com out of the nose) or if he has something else.

Monday, November 12, 2007

rig training at the "Devils Den" in New Durham, NH

here's a short video of the "sprinters loop" how I call that short 5mile loop. It is just flat, sandy, without any obstacles; a simple out and back. 5miles.
The camera is mounted pretty low on the rig.
So, it is the view of a wheel dog. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

trainings run with the rig

Just with three dogs today, Quest, Luc and Chinook. a short run in the "backyard"
Kaillou started to limp again thats why he stayed home.
we started rigth out of the kennel. the first 500m are fresh cut last summer.
The rigcam is mounted pretty low on the rig, so it is the view of a "wheeldog".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Video Pineland day2

Here a footage from the "bikecam".
I still have not the right bracket for that thing that's why it is very wobbly. They come out with a bike bracket in two weeks.
I mounted the camera with velcro and a pipe to the fork. but better than nothing.
Watch what happend at the end of the video when Ed Clifford passes us. It was of course at the steepest part of the whole trail.

And here the same run with a "helmet camera".

If you have a fast connection and a screen where you can see both videos, let them run at the same time. start the helmetcam 8 sec or so earlier.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Luc and Kaillou in Pineland

Now a short reflection how actually Luc and Kaillou performed in Pineland over the weekend.

We competed in the two dog bikejoring class.


flying Kaillou :)

Luc is just great he is focused, he is strong and he has above that speed. He loped almost the whole 2.3miles and was pulling the whole time. He also pulled Kaillou who was “neck-lining” a lot. Luc reminds me on Quest when he was in that age.

I’m not sure if it was that Kaillou missed three weeks of training, that he still suffers from the quills or that he simply is not that fast, poor Kaillou. If the race would have been longer I would have taken of the neck line, but just the 2.3miles that was ok.

The time was 2:30 min faster on Saturday (9:56) than last year and approx. 1min faster on Sunday. That’s a huge improvement especially on Sunday because it was pretty muddy in the woods. Ok last year Luc was just 8 1/2month old and we had a borrowed bike and other issues but still.

The course is an up and down like a rollercoaster and the last 1/2mile are on grass, which is sometimes muddy and wet. So it is a pretty tough course for the dogs. Nothing compared to where we train at home but still tough.

I will also post some videos from both days. I had a camera mounted to the helmet and one mounted to the bike. Let’s see what they look like. It just takes a while to process these video files.

Monday, November 05, 2007

pictures from Sunday in Pineland

Christina Eagle




and here all the pictures from Sunday.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pineland, 2007 Down East Dryland Championships

I took a ton of pictures on Saturday.
You can find them here
Since it was very cloudy and overcast I took the pictures mostly in ISO1600 which makes them a bit grainy. But I needed at least 1/640s to catch the movements of the dogs.

Sara Vanderwood in the four dog class.

This picture shows the two fastest 5K-canicrossler in the North-East.
Ed Clifford of Raymond, NH who will be in Italy at the WC in two weeks, and Jason Sperry of Mexico, NY.

More to come tonight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

trainings run with luc

Luc is the first who can train again.

I made it fun for him means I let him run more ore less free. On the leash of course. I pedaled a lot so that he didn't pull that much.

The camera is mounted to the handle bar. Sorry for the crappy noise. It is a new camera, the "gopro digital hero3". I will descripe that thing in a later posting.

Kaillou and Quest still need one more week rest.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why we probably can't go to Lake Placid

Friday night, at around 8pm the pack decided to have a little bit fun and chase a porcupine.
I spent halve of the night at the emergency vet in Concord.
Now more than 48 hours later just Luc seems to recover. He is almost back to normal.
But Quest and Kaillou are still limping and do not really eat. Their mouth is still swollen inside. Especially Quest makes me worry, the vet needed to cut one of the quills out of his foot and needed to staple the cut. The staple has to stay 10 days. He limps pretty hefty.

So - no training for at least a week for Kaillou and Quest. But more important then training is at the moment, that they do not have migrating quills or better that if there are still some quills in the body, that they are travelling out not in!
Luc has already one coming out of his nose. it sticks 3mm out.











Monday, October 01, 2007

rig race at the Hopkinton fair

After just 5 training runs with the new rig I decided to compete in the 4 dog rig class in Hopkinton.

And yeah – team SnowRunner run in to the second place overall, just 5! Seconds behind Ed Clifford’s hounds. And that with just three mid-distance Siberians! Next team was 30 seconds behind. Not to mention first place in the pure breed section. 13 competitors over all.

It was a very short trail, just 1 km. A distance Siberians still can keep up with the acceleration of hounds.
Everybody took it as training but still, coming that close to Eds team is great for team SnowRunner. And of course it is also because of the new fast rig!

Now I’m ready to go to Lake Placid.

here some more pics.

But really interesting was Lance Mackey's speech!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Luc run in to the first place in the 10k competition in roughly 42min.

It was a very nice event, great organization, nice folks even some mushers around. They also had a vet check before the race. The race fee goes to local animal shelters.

The only thing was that the course was completely on paved roads. For dogs who pull really hard it is a bad thing to run on asphalt.

Ed Cliffords dog Maggie wore down all four booties! But Ed and Maggie run like crazy, 17:37 for 5k. Congrats to the new "World record" Ed :) !

Here some pictures.

Monday, August 20, 2007

l'odyssée appalachienne

Yeah, they let me participate!

Thats a race in Quebec/Canada and they are so kind and let me do it with a Pulka-sled in the 8dog/30miles competition. Just as a demonstration but at least I can be there.

Start is on February 3rd 2008.

Merci beaucoup!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

late summer training

Fall training is around the corner. One can smell it. And you can hear it, when the dogs play like crazy at 4:30 in the morning. The mornings are cooler now with temps around 45-55°F; not perfect for real training but cold enough for some hook ups.

The early morning training runs in August are always more something for the soul and the spirit of the dogs and of course for me too. I keep the runs short starting with 2-3miles. These runs bring back the routine in hooking up the dogs.

We still have no rig so I go out twice with the mountain bike. That's still ok for those short distances but very soon I have to increase the distance to 5miles and later in October to 8-10miles.

At that time I hope the rig is here and the training will be easier.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2007 Pineland Farm Trail Challenge, May 27.

It was a nice day for running still too warm for the dogs but ok and much cooler than the days before, temps around 68-70°F at 10:00. The first loop has at least 4 miles or so open fields’ means the dog also runs in the full sun exposure. So I had to carefully watch Kaillou whom I decided to take for the first loop for any sign of dehydration. Even though it was very warm the last days I had not expected that there would be almost none puddles or brooks on the trail. That made it difficult to keep the dog hydrated. At every water station I stopped and poured water over his head and body. At kilometer 8 or so Kaillou stopped running and just walked beside me. So I started also to walk and we lost a couple of minutes, I did not force him to continue to run not to mention to pull I thought he simply knows what’s the best for him. So we walked up two or three hills until he again started to run.

At kilometer 10 or so a security officer from Pineland came with his Jeep and tried to get me off the trail – no dogs are normally allowed – I told him “er kann mich mal sonst wo” and he could try to cache us if he can (he was a big guy). There is an exception just for that race and no one informed him.

After 15k we came back in the start/finish area in 01:40 still 5min. faster than last year. Christa was there and Jeff helped us to change the dogs. Thanks to Jeff and Mark for helping Christa out with the Kids and the dogs.

Luc of course was very excited. And made some loops around me until he realized what’s going on here and that he has to run – in front of me. But then he surprised me, he simply was so excited that he pulled the whole time up and of course down the hills. Luc is an awesome dog. We managed to run the second loop in nice fast and steadily pace including a long stop at the water station and that just because of Luc was really good focused. We came in 2:26:56min, more than 30min faster then last year. There is still a lot of space for improvement but we are on the right track.

There were 6 or more starter in the 4K canicross. Nice to see more people finally running with there dogs.

Even if everybody has still to work on how to “mass” start with a dog. That “chaos” was nice to watch.

All pictures from Pineland here

Now I could say the season is over. But actually that was our first trainings - run for the coming winter season. Especially for those mid distance pulka runs I will train on next winter.

And in 8 weeks the 16miler in Newbury Port is calling. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Muddy Moose Trail Race 2007

Mud, Mud, Mud!
They had a big picture on page 1 of the sports part in our local newspaper, the “Baysider”. The picture doesn't show the amount of mud you actually have to run through.
What they always forget is that the dog indeed pulls you but the dog also pulls downhill and there you lose a lot of power in your legs because you have to brake for two. The dog pulls you also through the mud but here again you have to slow him down because you have to run careful and watch your steps. Thanks to Luc we came in second in the Old-Man-Age-Group and we made it to 10th place out of 91 over all.
That race is a lot of fun, I'm always surprised that I do not twist my ankles. This year I just run the 4miles to be more relaxed for the upcoming Pineland race.

Friday, March 16, 2007

2007 Bartlett, NH 24 miles

That race was the longest distance our dogs run so far. During the training over the last months we had just two runs with 19miles. But those two runs where exactly on that trail where they put that race on. So I decided – let’s try it. First I thought to bother the race organizers again with the question whether I can race with a pulka or not. But since I was very unsure about the conditions and if it would be ski-able at all I decided not to take the pulka.
There were two other reasons; I liked to have that experience from the Mannsville Quest race two weeks ago sticking in the head of the puppies as a very good one. And second the trail here in Bartlett was an out and back with a big turnaround in the middle. That would mean that we would have to have a head-on-passing with each single other team. And that maybe would be difficult for the two young dogs pulling a pulka.
Ok, so we did it again with a sled and four dogs in a field of 13 others which all raced with 6 dogs, actually over all there were 21 competitors if you count the open class together.

here some scenes from the stake out and some starts

To be out there and race just with four dogs doesn’t matter that much anymore since I’m meanwhile getting used to be the fifth dog and run and push mostly on the hills. But it is really noticeable an those long hills if you run with a third less of the power than of 6 dogs.
I knew it would be difficult for Chinook to keep up with the three racers. He has his limits at a speed of 14mph or 22kmh or so. That’s where the puppies and Quest just start to loop. So, I expected to even put him in the sled bag to be faster on the last downhill. It ended up that I just took him of the neckline and let him run on the tugline. What he did, he actually run beside the sled.

You will see it in the video.

Over all it was again a good experience for the dogs and it turned out as a perfect exercise for passing, being passed and most of all head-on passing. We came in 8th place in 2:38. Which is again as I believe not that bad since Chinook and in the end also Quest “necklined” a lot. The two puppies especially Luc are doing what I expected from them to do (pedigree), focused on the run, getting stronger each run, getting faster each run and leading the small team without distraction. (more or less)

see some more pics here

Thursday, March 15, 2007

and here that video from our ride up to Mt. Caverly

I finally put that video together.

That hill is approx. 1200 feet, it is nothing spectacular though it has has some tough parts on the trail especially on the way down.

Again the view from up there is amazing!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mt. Caverly

I went with the dogs up to Mt. Caverly. last fall I was there with the mountain bike and I never thought we make it with the sled especialy down the hill. But with 1,5 feet of snow all the bumps and holes and washouts are filled and it wasn't as scary as I thought. good to have a mat brake!
All four dogs digged great even Chinook.

What you see in the back is the completely frozen lake Winniepesaukee.
For my friends in Germany: Just for comparison that lake has the sam square-km like the Mueritz in Germany. imagen the Mueritz freezes competely and you can drive on it with a Pickup truck :-)

more pics here

A video of that ride will come soon.