Sunday, March 30, 2014

PDW: Finishers' Banquet and Prizegiving

Congratulations to Meghan for taking out the Rookie of the Year AND the Vet Care Award at the Percy prizegiving last night.

We're really delighted for Meghan for winning both of those awards; she should be really proud of herself. The Vet Care Award is something mushers strive for and although WE know she always takes such great care of all the dogs, it is fantastic for it to be publicly recognised. Well done lady!

Meghan, Josh and the team are on their way back from Dawson now and we'll see them sometime later this evening.

L-R: Meghan wins 5th Prize; Meghan, Joanna Jagow (7th) and Amanda Gecas (6th)

L-R: Meghan receives Rookie of the Year award (a handmade anorak with fur ruff); and the Vet Care Award (a gold nugget from Joe and Wendy Fellers and a plaque)

L-R: The "serious" leaders pic with Scruggs and Viper; the out-take

Dog Fan Club Draw #11 - Final Draw

Thank you to everyone who joined the Dog Fan Club this season. We are delighted you love our dogs as much as we do. We had people joining for themselves, their family members, friends, staff and on behalf of businesses.

Thank you for making this programme such a success and we hope you had fun following your favourite dog(s) through the season and supporting SP Kennel at the same time. We had fun bringing the programme to you and congratulations to those who won prizes during the season!

Our final prize draw was this evening and congratulations to DANA JOYNER who is a fan of RANGER! Dana wins an SP stuffed dog and some other goodies.

Dog Fan Club membership is now closed for this season. We will keep your names next to your favourite dogs over the off-season then we'll start all over again when we open the Dog Fan Club later in the year.

Thanks again!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Few Photos from the Funale

As Moira said, it was a beautiful day for the end of the season Valley Funale races and community event. There was an early Easter Egg Hunt for the kids and races for all ages. Moira did wonderfully in her race, helping out her fellow mushers and their dogs along the way. Although there is no Sportsmanship Award, Moira would have been at the top of the list if there were!

Sammy raced in the kids race and had a great time. SPK's up and coming musher.

Here are a few more photos from the day.

The Easter Egg Hunt

Sammy in the Kids Race
Grrrr, Let's Rock and Roll
Moira and Team Getting Ready

Moira and Quito

Valley Funale

It was fantastic to see so many in the Two Rivers community (and beyond!) at the Valley Funale today. Thank you to the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Assoc, Pleasant Valley Store and all the volunteers who put on such a awesome event. The trail was great, the food was fantastic, the atmosphere fun and the weather gorgeous!!

The junior mushers outnumbered the adult mushers and they all seemed to have a great time with one or two dogs racing around their trail. Many showed great skills to hold on around the turns at speed and others excellent recovery from the odd spill. All of them had huge smiles on their faces!

My race went pretty well, a few thrills and spills but all-in-all a nice run over familiar trails. We finished 8th in a time of just over two hours. I ran Quito in single lead and she is such a rock star! Wow. I realise how lucky I am to be able to run this race today with this team. Congrats to near neighbour Tom for his win and thanks Kaz and Wendy for helping me!

Stellar Team; Stellar Leader

MORE pics and videos soon.

Two Rivers Valley FUN-ale

I'm racing a stellar team in the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association's Valley Funale 20 mile, 10 dog race this morning.

The Funale is a fun community event put on by the TRDMA that includes mushing races for adults, kids and an easter egg hunt.

Would you believe I get to run Quito, Chica, Nacho, Olivia, Pud, Rambler, Scout, Mismo, Felix and Chemo? Holy smokes!

Remember that these dogs are mid and LONG distance racers not sprint racers so my goals are to get the dogs home safely, have fun and improve on my placing from last year (I won the red lantern in this race last year).

I'll get some photos up once we get home.

- Moira

Friday, March 28, 2014

PDW: Finish Video and Pics

Meghan crossed the line at 2.32pm with Viper and Scruggs in lead, Clyde and Willie in swing, Beemer running solo, Mac and Outlaw then Izzy and Biscuit in wheel.

L-R: Scruggs is pleased with himself; Clyde, Willie and the rest of the team wait while officials check Meghan's sled for her mandatory gear

Josh caught the moment when the team crossed the line then they enjoyed a some cool water and kibble! I imagine they are all (Meghan included) enjoying a nap now.

PDW: Red and Blacks Finish 5th!

Fantastic job Meghan, Scruggs, Clyde, Beemer, Willie, Viper, Mac, Outlaw, Biscuit and Izzy! We're really proud of you. Woohoo!

They pushed hard at the end and you know Meghan will have been working hard behind the sled, kicking and poling, to help the team along and try to catch Jean-Denis' team. She will possibly have been able to see them for miles! Was it just me or did you yell at the tracker too?

Congratulations to Crispin Studer, the defending Champion, William Kleedehn, Gerry Willomitzer and Jean-Denis Britten who finished 1st - 4th respectively (awaiting official confirmation for 2nd and 3rd).

Photos from the finish as soon as we can and we can't wait to hear all about it from Meghan! Yay team!

PDW: Final Leg To Dawson

The Red & Blacks have pulled into Fortymile on their return journey and according to the tracker they are continuing on through to Dawson. As I write this they have about 48 miles to go to the finish!

With the trackers not updating for a few of the racers around them it is going to be difficult to know who is where in the final stages so keep an eye also on the Percy's Facebook Page and the Race Updates page. It's going to be an exciting finish!

Around the time the team left Eagle I got up and looked out the window (mainly to try to quiet a puppy barking as some shadows!) and noticed a spectacular aurora show so I checked the UAF Geophysical Institute's Aurora Forecast page to see if it was happening over in the Yukon too. It's likely they had the same show overhead so it must have been stunning to mush down the Yukon River with nine dogs stretched out in front and the lights above.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

PDW: Eagle

Meghan and the R&B team have pulled into Eagle at 10.05pm (local time) where they see out their six hour mandatory layover. They made up three places on this run and arrived in 7th position. They will be able to leave at 4.11am at the earliest (if my calculations are correct).

During these six hours Meghan will snack, water and feed the team before massaging muscles and tucking them in for a long rest. She will also try to get some sleep herself as she will be leaving at a time when most of us should be asleep! She'll feed the team again about an hour before they leave then repack her sled, bootie and go!

PDW: Fortymile Update and Start Video

Meghan and the R&Bs have rested at the first checkpoint, Fortymile (which is actually almost fifty miles from Dawson) and are now on their way to Eagle. They spent about two hours there although I don't have any official checkpoint in and out times yet.

According to the tracker they are sitting in 9th position currently. They will see out their mandatory six hour layover in Eagle where they also make up their time differential from the staggered start.

Thanks to Josh's multi-tasking abilities we have some pics and video from the start. Josh said the dogs were mellow and focused until teams started leaving and then they got a little excited! In a last minute change Meghan led off with Clyde and Scruggs.

Josh now has to sit tight until the end of the race; the checkpoints are not on the winter road system and handlers are not able to get to Fortymile or Eagle.

L-R: Mac, Outlaw, Izzy and Biscuit ready to start; Meghan booties Mac

PDW: They're Off

Meghan and her nine teammates are off and running in the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race. You can follow along with their great live tracker (click here for the link.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PDW: Bib Draw

Meghan has drawn bib #11 for the Percy which starts tomorrow (Thursday) morning. She will leave the chute at 10.20am local time. She told me the dogs look great, they travelled well and are ready to race tomorrow.

On the way to Dawson on Tuesday they stopped at Kluane Lake, near Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay in the Yukon, to give the dogs their dinner - it's a gorgeous spot!

"Percy" Team Roster

Meghan is taking a great team with her to Eagle and back!

SCRUGGS and BEEMER will lead the team out of Dawson followed by CLYDE and WILLIE in swing, VIPER will run solo, MAC and OUTLAW follow with BISCUIT and IZZY in wheel. Click here to see the team roster page to learn more about the athletes.

Clyde and Willie

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Something A Little Different

Over the past weekend the Alaska Dog Mushers Assoc in Fairbanks hosted the Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race. This is three day sprint race attacting entries from all over Alaska and international competitors from Canada. On the first two days the teams race a 19.8 mile circuit and on the final day the route is 26.9 miles.

L-R: Aliy (middle, standing) helps with split timing at one of the checkpoints; sprint team sprints by

Aliy and Allen went along to watch and even helped with the timing crew! It was great to see different kind of racing; Boy, do those dogs go FAST! Allen's mushing roots are in sprint racing but Aliy has not had the opportunity to ever see this race because she has often still been in Nome after the Iditarod. The timing of the races this year made it possible to go see it.

L-R: Start line, sprinting through the field

Congrats to Salcha's Arleigh Reynolds who successfully defended his championship title.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dog Fan Club Draw #10

Congratulations to the DRYDEN FAMILY of Oregon who won Sunday's Dog Fan Club draw.

The Dryden Family are fans of RAMBLER and win one of Aliy's Nome Drop Sacks along with a few other goodies.

The next and final fan club draw is next week - March 30th. The names of everyone who hasn't already won and all new members will be in the draw.

After that we close Dog Fan Club Membership for the season and it will open again next season.

Rambler enjoying a sunny afternoon at home

Click the button below for instructions on how to join:

Click this button below to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Iditarod 2014: "Aliy Cam" Rainy Pass

This video is from the second day on Iditarod 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Iditarod 2014: "Aliy Cam" Denali on the Horizon

This video is from the first day on Iditarod 2014.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race

Meghan and the Red & Black team are racing the "Percy" next week!

The Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race began in 1977 as a way to honour the legendary Percy DeWolfe, who carried mail by dog team, horse and boat between Dawson City in the Yukon and Eagle in Alaska from 1910 to 1949.

The race is 210 miles (338 km) starting in Dawson City and following the Yukon River to Eagle and back. There is a mandatory six hour layover in Eagle, plus an additional two hours in either Fortymile or Eagle. It starts on Thursday, March 27 at 10am.

Meghan will take nine teammates and we will post a race roster closer to the time. Josh is handling for Meghan but it is a fairly "hands-off" race for handlers as they can't go to either checkpoint so he will have limited opportunity to bring us race news.

More soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ID: Thanks Nome, Hello Two Rivers

The first leg of our journey home ended when the dogs and crew arrived safe and sound in Anchorage. The whole crew stayed at our home away from home at Clarion Suites then yesterday we went our separate ways - we said farewell to Mickey and Doug as they headed back to Florida and the trucks headed up the Parks Highway for home.

Margie at her yard in Wasilla

Meghan picked up Biscuit, Boris, Chemo, Dingle, Schmoe, Scooter, Scout, Scruggs and Tatfish from Margie's and we were excited to see them! They've been having a great time there and have been so well looked after. Thanks Margie!

We arrived home to a few inches of fresh snow and a yard full of puppies and the rest of the grown-ups eager to see us and us, them!

Olivia and Pud enjoying being home

We wanted to say a big thank you to the city of Nome. The local businesses were very generous and the people so kind and friendly. Huge thanks also to Wes and Wendy who took care of everyone back here at the kennel; it was good to know they were in such good hands. We appreciate you so much!

We are going to take a few days to unpack, regroup and relax and get back to spring training which includes harnessing the puppies and stretching out the Iditarod dogs. There's also a couple more races on the calendar! We have lots to look forward to on the doglog including "Aliy Cam" from this year's Iditarod.

ID: Links to Articles

For those of you in Iditarod-Withdrawal, here are some links to a few more articles.

Aliy did a Q&A with Julia O'Malley of the Anchorage Daily News. Click the pic below to link.

Emily Schwing from KUAC wrote this article for (click pic below to link).

This Alaska Dispatch article talks about the dogs and how they fared during this year's race (click pic below to link).

Monday, March 17, 2014

ID: Leaving Nome

Precious cargo has just left Nome bound for Anchorage!

The dogs are in their individual kennels flying to Anchorage as you read this where Allen, Mickey and Doug are waiting to pick them up. Meghan flew out about the same time as the dogs so will be there soon and Aliy, Moira and Bridgett will follow tonight after packing up the rest of the gear.

Mac-sized kennels and Boondocks-sized kennels and everything in between

Wrapping and loading precious cargo

Thanks to the team at Everts Air Cargo who took such great care with our friends to make sure they are safe and secure for their flight to Anchorage.

Thanks also to the wonderful volunteer team at the dog lot in Nome. It was such a comfort to know you were there 24 hours a day to keep an eye on our friends; replace blankets that blew away in the breeze, plump up straw and give them a kiss or two. You all did an awesome job and we can't thank you enough.

Aliy with long time Nome dog lot volunteer and SP Kennel sponsor Deb Davis (Deb and Hunter sponsor Shiner and Spark)