Monday, October 06, 2008

Hopkinton 2008

Last weekend was again the NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND SLED DOG TRADE FAIR & SEMINAR in Hopkinton NH. Like last year they had a little dryland race. little in distance but seems to me, every year there are more participants. there was 1 and 2 dog bikejoring, a scooter class, 4 dog and a 5-6 dog rig class and new for this year a canicross. The loop is only 0.8 miles or so. it seems there are some issues to get the approval to cross a road so one stays inside the fairground. But that's ok. I like all the dryland stuff because it simply extends the time to be with other sled dog people and race.
team snowrunner went out in the 1dog with Kaillou, who did surprisingly well (first place), the 2 dog bike with Luc and Quest (second overall), the 4 dog rig with Luc, Quest and Kaillou (third overall). Quest is now in an age that he cant keep up with the 3 (Luc) and 4 (Kaillou) year old. He is now the one who slows the team down. BUT and we will see it later in the snow races he safes so much time because he is an excellent command leader.
Interesting is that team snowrunner seems to have a good pace for a mile. as it was last year there were some pretty good sprint dogs at the start but for some reason Luc and Kaillou seem to beat them over that short distance. the difference is of course that the real sprinters would keep that pace over another 5miles whilst the Sibs slow down. But that's the reason we train for mid-distance, the natural distance for Siberians.
In the clip below you can see the whole race trail and one can also see how Quest (in lead on the left) is always one step behind Luc especially in last third.

Since we went out first there is no other team in sight.

Canicross - mass start -

I chose to take Chinook AND Luc. I shouldn't. each of them alone would be fine but together they act as pack. some of the other dogs growled a bit at Chinook and he growled back so that Luc started to make some noises too. At the start I thought it is better to keep a little distance to the other runners. Half way in the run there was a tangle of two or three dogs and their leashes and runners :) so we took the chance to run on by, had a very good pace and would have passed the two others in front of us but those were the ones who growled at Chinook, so I decided to take it easy and keep back. Not to mention that Ed and his dog Maggie was way in front. :-)

more pictures can be seen here and here

Hopkinton is a good start in the season, we have to thank the organizers. Each year the fair, the seminars and now also the race is getting bigger AND better. People came as far as Ontario!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

running the "backyard trail"

Here a short clip of the trail I run in the woods right behind our house.
It connects directly to the back of the kennel. We can do up to 4miles on it. That's just enough for early fall training. There are 4 overflows, sometimes after a rain they are 2feet deep. Good for mental training. But pretty soon we have to go back to the Devils Den trails and ramp up the mileages.

This run is from last Saturday.

Watch at 4:40 how Quest turns the whole Gang back. For me he is THE excellent command leader, he accepts every command blindness, but unfortunately non of the others picked it up from him. Still hoping for Luc but... maybe there is not so much between his ears.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dogrundog again

the dogrundog in Norwich, VT on Sunday morning was really a great event.

It is so nice to see that it is growing so fast. Almost too fast, if it would double the participants next year again it would burst the event-center where it was held. I do not remember exactly but I believe more than 100+ people with dogs participated. I would say maybe 40 or so really competed all others took the opportunity to have a nice fast walk among other dog-lovers for a very nice purpose.

Ed beat his own time from last year and came in in an unbelievable 16:17min! And the 5K course is not flat! here his little superdog Maggie:

Christa took some more pictures, you can see them here

I was with 43:20 1:30min slower than last year at the 10k but given the fact that I jogged only 100k over all since last year's dogrundog and 50k of that within the last two weeks - that's kind of ok. Luc did his best to drag me over the distance.

As you can see in the picture above it is always difficult to convince the dog to run the second loop when the two only others in front of you turn in to the finish line.

Km 6 and 7 are then like still-stand and waiting for the guy behind us so we have someone to chase again :-)

In the end it was just the right start and motivation to the dryland season.

Still training with the rig but not more than 2-3miles, we had 15 hook up's since mid August, no porcupines so far! knock on wood!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

so bored

when does the real training start?

we are so bored!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Today was the first day of training in the new season.

I always wait until the temps are below 60F in the morning and the dew point should also be far lower than 60F.
This Sunday morning it finally dropped to 56F at 5am - that's cool enough. By 5:30 we were on the trail, only two miles, but that's long enough for the next two/three weeks. Important is to get the routine back, stretch the legs and have some fun.
In September the training will be serious and we'll start once again with short hill runs and will have some more weight in the rig.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Quest had two weeks ago some pain turning/shaking his head. from one day to the other he was stiff in his upper back. something between his shoulders hurt him. but then two days later he was completely fine again.
the vet thinks there are still some traveling quills in his body and they cached a nerve. but he also thinks the body sooner or later will absorb the quills. hopefully!

knock on wood!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

still here!

but much too busy at work and at the new addition.
therefore I will only post some of my favorite pictures from last winter, starting with this one:

Dec. 08 2007;
Nils had some friends over and we went out on the trail behind the house. The dogs and I gave all of them a sled ride.
After 5x 1mile loops with bouncing kids in the sled the dogs had enough - me too I was sweating like a pig.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

working on it

the dog yard in January 08

and still in March 08

No blogging means less time on the computer and resizing pictures, cutting videos or other stuff but being more out there and train the dogs or being out with the kids – what is more important?

Somewhere I read, "burn your TV – play with the dogs" It should say burn your computer and train the dogs! However, end of the week I hope I have some more updates, pics and videos from the last weeks.

We still have 2-3+ feet snow on the ground so I'm still out on the trails but its getting warm and humid, and in 5 weeks will be the first runners event - the muddy moose trail race. Now I myself have to get a bit in shape :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sunday, January 13.

last week it was pretty warm with some rain.
I couldn't train at all because the trails, even there is still more than 1foot of snow, were hard and icy. nothing for sledding or skiing or training with the rig.
actually during the intense trainings/ racing season I try to run the dogs at least every three days so that they stay max. for two days in the kennel.
1 week without running and these guys getting nuts and starting to run in the kennel like maniacs.
so I finally changed the tires on my bike to the studded nokian 300 and trained at least Luc and Kaillou on Sunday morning on our back roads.
parts of those dirt roads were completely covered with a sheet of black ice. I never could do that with normal tires.
But the real challenge on our back roads are the free running dogs especially if I run with Kaillou.
this time we encountered 7 of those. not the big ones are tough to come by but these small "fiffies"; so it was a good "ON BY" - yelling - trainings session.

That paved road ends up there. everything else is dirt road, hard packed sand/gravel.
otherwise I would dress the dogs with booties.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

moose anyone?

when I was in the White Mountains last week we came pretty close to a moose.
It came down the slope about 100feet on my right side of the trail and stopped when it saw us.

The dogs didn't realize the moose because they couldn't see or smell it.

What to do?

stopping? Ok, I heard a lot of different storries about the moose. most of them are more horryfying than fun.
but since the dogs were quite, I slowly grabbed the camera and took the first picture but of course the autofocus focused on the bushes. so I adjusted the camera and took a few shoots until the dogs realized whats going on and went nuts. the moose turned around and seemed to leave but then turned its head, when the the dogs started to screem.

there is a current topic at sleddogcentral right now.
where they give different opinions of what to do, from bearspray to a .44 magnum.
Since I'm from central Europe and not so used to guns as the folks here, the magnum isn't an option.

In the end I think bells put on the collars of the dogs, using caution and having respect to the moose in their invironmet is the only thing I can do. And hope simply not to run into an angry moose.

last year at that time I almost run in to a black Bear. it was in the same area. that bear seemed to like running in front us on the trail. he also was 100 feet away and finaly left the trail to our rigth side. It looked actually quite funny because he looked like a giant loping gorilla in the snow. :)
the wildlife service which I called afterwards told me, beacause of the unusual warm wheather some bears did not start hibernating and were still looking for something to eat.
but that was last year, even it is very warm right now (+15°C) we still have 2-3 feet snow on the ground.

Friday, January 04, 2008

pulka training 12-30-07

it was a day with perfect conitions in the White Mountains.

first I run all four on the sled up the Bear Notch road and back the trails in the experimental forest.
then I took Luc and Kaillou for a Pulka run.

looks like the dogs are getting in a good shape but now I struggle to keep up with them.
to much cookies in the last time :)

But here a short clip how it is running behind the pulka.