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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2012 Iditarod

Lynnea and Aster ready to run!
Now that the humans are off the trail it is time for the real stars of the show! The 2012 Iditarod has begun! The sleds are out in the wilds of Alaska with dogs teams of 12-16 covering mind boggling distances.

As the boss of two huskies myself I have a fondness for this race, and an amazing fear full respect for it as well. The differing types of dogs running the race is an interesting aspect to consider. While many of us this of sled dogs as the beautiful Siberian Husky, it turns out that these pups look better than they perform.

Their beautiful coats and stocky build are not conducive to speed, though they are durable and dependable. Their attitudes are strong and as anyone who has ever lived with a Siberian can attest to, when they want something, they know how to get it.

There are a few teams who run all Siberian dogs at the Iditarod, but you have likely never heard of them because they don't finish in the money. They are running for adventure, not for prizes and I think as runners we can all appreciate that.

Alaskan Huskies
Alaskan Husky (VT)
The true stars of the Iditarod are the Alaskan Huskies and they are NOT the Hollywood image of a sled dog we have all come to expect. They are instead a very carefully chosen mixture of breeds, they are genetically blended racers. Speed and endurance are important, but the temperament of the dogs is what really sets them apart. They must be able to get along, to endure hardship and to love the long days and nights on the unforgiving trails... sound like anyone you know?

One Human Crew
Over the course of 1,150 miles a human is responsible to be the travelling crew for each athlete. The Musher needs to adapt to each individual athlete's needs for performance and survival. If you are at all interested in canine behavior, psychology or endurance then go ahead and immerse yourself the world of the Iditarod. Just don't fall asleep on the sled...

Our Team
Here are couple photos of summer cart training with our rag-tag team of runners. Aster's exuberance is taking her off course, Lily is dutifully following per usual and Goliath is wondering what we've got him into this time!

Aster exhibiting her leadership "qualities"
Back on course: Goliath agrees to trot along, but refuses to pull, he'll leave that part up to the ladies. Lily likes to snuggle, even while pulling. Aster is already tuckered out... a great leader! Looks like we'll have to wait another year before taking our shot at The Iditarod!

Goliath (Meremma) feeling crowded by top runner Lily (the lover)

1 comment:

  1. I love the pic of Aster going off course. That was so Guinness.



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