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!