Snowhook, Iditarod, Us
As a lot of you know, this blog and many people who come here – especially those energetic Plunderers – are big supporters of Snowhook Kennel up in Alaska, their superb racing dogs, and the wonderfully humane owners, AJ (musher) and Rebecca (CEO). The Iditarod is coming up – ceremonial start March 7 – and here’s a pre-race report from Rebecca. The photo is of AJ and team at the recent Knik 200 (where they placed a very good 4th!) and was taken by Chuck Ashley. Note the names of two of the members of the nation within on the team!
Part of racing is to be nimble and adaptive to your circumstances. It could be a missing drop bag, a broken sled, or a stomach bug—all of which AJ has experienced on the trail at least once. This year, the need to be adaptive not only holds true of what may come on the trail, but also leading up to the starting line.
The announcement earlier this week that the Iditarod restart would move from Willow to Fairbanks due to poor trail conditions was not a total surprise. AJ and the dogs faced down a race for the record books in 2014. While the dogs crossed the finish line unscathed, Snowhook’s musher and sled were beaten, battered, and broken. Not only is the change in the restart location not a surprise; it is the right call to make. With the safety of our family in mind, we find ourselves zigging when we first set out to zag.
Snowhook’s new race strategy is being drafted. Drop bags are being repacked with food and gear for dogs and musher. The details of logistics, budgets, and plans are in the process of being assessed and finalized. We zig. We zag. We adapt. We change.
What has not changed is the time, effort and care that AJ has put into training the dogs this season. His commitment to the dogs showed when the team crossed the finish line of the Knik 200 race in fourth place—not a bad showing for a musher who left the starting line of that race with getting the dogs accustomed to other teams as his main goal. Who was on the fourth place finishing team? —None other than Bernie and Iggy!
I am very proud of AJ and the dogs, very proud. As proud as I am of my musher and mutts, we are honored to have Chet and the Plunderers as part of Team Snowhook again this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 8:11 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.