The plan was to do the Can Am 250 this year, but mother nature had different plans for us. Where she didn't give us much snow to get a team well prepared for the 250, we had to use plan B. We had a strong 15 team of dogs that were all capable of doing the Can Am 60, picking only 8 of the 15 was the hardest part of the race! That is one thing we really excelled in this season was not having very many injuries to deal with. If we did have an injury occur we would quickly recognize it, which resulted in a faster recovery! This is something that can make or break a team! Anyways back to the 8 dogs chosen for the race team: Kaleeta, Watt, Roland, Kyat, Wallace, Waylon, Rimbey and Lumos. These 8 dogs ran hard the whole 60 miles. It started snowing at 7 A.M. on race day. Temps were a little warmer than I would like for my Sibes, but that's something we can not control. To be honest I wasn't exactly all that thrilled with it snowing, because I knew that was going to result in a tougher run. All I can say is thank god for having big dogs, they were a huge asset for a trail like that!
We cruised through the first section of trail which is the rail bed. About 8 miles out I came up on my friend Lindy Howe, who just lost her team. We both were kind of shocked to see her team tear up over the hill with out her. There was no doubt about it Lindy was worried and very concerned for the safety of her team, especially sense they were yearlings! I told her to get on and we paddled our butts off up that hill, that same hill that her yearlings made look like a breeze with out their musher! About 2-3 miles we came to a safety station, where the gentlemen told us that her team was 4 minutes in front of us. Good we have hope of catching them sooner than I thought! Sure enough we get around the corner and here comes a snowmobile to rescue Lindy and reunite her with her team. Her team was screaming to go, and all looked like they were having a party without their musher! Lindy pulled her hook and she was gone like a flash in front of me.
The run to the checkpoint was uneventful other than helping Lindy. Team was doing very well, and keeping a great pace despite the weather conditions we were dealing with. We arrived at the checkpoint, signed in and out, grabbed some water, and hit the trail. Shortly passed the checkpoint, I did a brief stop and snacked the team with their all time favorite meat, BEAVER! If you don't believe me, just ask Waylon! Back on trail the team kept up a good pace, and none of them showed any signs of being tired. About 5 miles from the finish, Lumos had to stop and pee, and what do you know Wallace was harness banging!! I was shocked, I would think after over 8 hours of running, you would think he would be tired. Or he remembered the trail, it was only his 3rd 60 mile race here! We finished in 12th place with a time of 9 hours and 5 minutes! Team came loping in, with no injuries, and none of them laid down at the finish line! That put a smile on my face for sure!!
I want to take the time to thank all that support team Fort Illio, all of you make it possible for us to get to the starting lines of these races. To Mom, thanks a bunch, you are one in a million for sure, and without all your excellent dog care/training, and sewing skills Fort Illio would be screwed!! Thanks to my boyfriend Dj, my brother Eddie, and sister in law Ally for taking care of the other half of Fort Illio that are too young or too old to travel to the races while we are gone. And also thanks to my step dad Mike for always believing in me, and supporting me through this EXPENSIVE hobby/addiction!!! I couldn't do it without any of you!
This has been one of the best seasons ever, and truly hate to see it end. But all good things must come to an end, to make room for better things. So in saying that, BRING ON NEXT YEAR!!!!!
Team taking off! Photo taking by Sue Cobin
Team finishing! Photo taking by Kevin Quist
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Phoenix has been a great girl to have here at Fort Illio, and we will certainly miss her, but we know our decision to place her in a home where she can excel was the best for her. She went to live with our friends Mark and Katina Domenach. Phoenix has been running lead for them with former Illio dog Storm, as well as Blazer. She has been an asset to their team, and we know their team will excel with her at the front of their teams! Thanks again Mark and Katina for giving yet another Fort Illio dog a great home!! Enjoy! Below are some photos of Phoenix in her new home.