Aliy crossed the finish line at 7:35 this morning, taking fourth place in the GinGin 200 Mile Sled Dog Race. She was very tired as usual, and even colder than normal after spending almost two days in temperatures below -40 degrees. We immediately snacked her dogs, took off their booties and harnesses then gave them a big hot meal before putting them in their cozy, straw filled boxes on the truck for a nice long nap. Aliy then had a big breakfast and went off to get some much needed sleep of her own.
Allen crossed the finish line at 1:35 this afternoon, followed just a few minutes later by his daughter Bridgett. As planned, they had taken longer rests than Aliy -- both at the checkpoint and on the trail -- and although they were "training" not "racing" they both finished quite high in the overall order. Congratulations to all three of our super and unbelievably tough mushers!
Here is a little video of Allen and Bridgett finishing the race which also shows Bridgett undergoing the "checking in" process -- making sure she has all her "required gear" -- that is an essential part of sled dog racing:
After we had attended to their dogs, the four of us gathered in the lodge for some hot food and a quick debrief. All three of them were very proud of how well their dogs did on this extremely difficult 200 mile run. They swapped stories of the trail and even had some good laughs -- after the fact! -- about what they went through themselves in dealing with the high winds and bitter, bitter cold. As Bridgett put it, "You can laugh about it when you are back safe and warm, but out on the trail you can't help but seriously question why you are doing it and swear that you'll never do it again!"
Thankfully for all of us, our intrepid mushers will be back on the race trail soon. The Copper Basin 300 Mile Sled Dog Race is just two weeks away... Stay tuned!