I packed everything in the car on Friday evening. In the morning I woke up at five to give the dogs their drinks. My husband drove us to Kuusamo. He stayed there to work and I went half an hour more to reach the Sprint Race place. Except that I didn't. A mile or two before the right place I stopped to look at the map - and could not get moving anymore. The snow was too soft.
|8.30 Stuck - Jumissa|
I tried everything: Going slowly, back and forth, disconnecting the trailer, shoveling the snow and putting tree branches under the wheels, but no. I was stuck. I realized I will not make it to the mushers meeting at 8.30. I tried phoning anyone I thought might be there, and one of my friends managed to send a man with a tractor to help me. If he had not come, I would have taken the sledge and the dogs out of trailer, built my team and drove it along the road to the race. Thanks to a very helpful local farmer, it didn't come to that.
|9.00 Arrival - Varikolla|
When I arrived, all the others were already walking and warming up their dogs. I started putting the dogs out, when I suddenly realized Tete was running free - and heading to the start. Her chain was open. Luckily a man stopped her before she run the whole 9,5 km loop alone.
|9.30 Warming up - Lämmittelyä|
I was really happy when I finally drove my team to starting area in time. But then the judge came and told me I have to have a sack in my sledge in case a dog is injured on the way. I had one - at home. Knowing this is not an official race, I had not been careful enough. The judge said I can still take part, but she'll have to give me a written warning. Maybe I should put in frame and on the living room wall? After all, it's the only thing I have ever brought home from these races.
|10.00 warning - Varoitus|
The race itself went really well. No problems on the way. My dogs ran as well as they could, galloping most of the way. The trail was better made than last year, but the weather was worse, more wet and soft. Time 26.24 means the average speed was just a little bit over 20 km/h, which is my goal. This year it was enough for fifth place. If you want to get higher, you need to concentrate on sprinting - not trekking.
|10.30-11 On the track - Kisa|
PHOTO (C) KATI MÄKELÄINEN
After the race I wanted to thank my dogs and all the people that have made it possible for me to have a hobby like this. I phoned the breeder of Tete and Piitu. We made a very nice plan. I hope I can tell you more about it later this spring.
|Thank you, Mora and Miilu!|
|Thank you, Tete!|
|Thank you, Piitu!|
The rest of the day I spent watching six-dog class, talking to other mushers and then driving home in bad weather. Here is a film, where you can see all the six dog teams starting.
Kuusamo Sprint 2015
Lauantaina en voinut olla menemättä mukavaan kisaan jo kolmantena vuonna peräkkäin, vaikka tällä kertaa se olikin vähän turhan lähellä Ruotsiin lähtöä. Valjakkoni keulassa juoksivat Miilu ja Piitu, pyöräkoirina Tete ja Mora.
Ura oli yhtä erinoimainen kuin palvelu ja järjestelyt kisoissa muutenkin. Sää oli huonompi kuin edellisvuosina. Aika 26.24 riitti tänä vuonna viidenteen sijaan. Olen siihen tyytyväinen. Tavoitteeni on pystyä ajamaan sprintti yli 20 km/h keskivauhtia, ja pöperöisestä kelistä huolimatta valjakkoni pystyi siihen. Jos haluaisi kivuta korkeammalle tulostaulukossa, pitäisi keskittyä sprinttiharjoitteluun eikä vaellusretkiin.
Kisan jälkeen soitin Teten ja Piitun kasvattajalle. Teimme mielenkiintoisen suunnitelman, josta toivottavasti voin kertoa lisää keväämmällä.