Posts Tagged ‘Iditatod’

Congratulations, Snowhook!

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March 18th, 2016 Posted 7:33 am

Our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth. Here’s an informative – and pretty moving – final report from Rebecca, CEO of Snowhook. We thank Rebecca for taking the time to send us reports during the race. It’s great to have an insider’s perspective. Rebecca and AJ and all your terrific members of the nation  within: get some rest!

He started the race with seven lead dogs, each with his or her own strength. Yet, with each call from the drop dog coordinator, I watched the number of lead dogs still on the trail dwindle. ‘This could be cutting it close,’ I thought to myself more than once. A dog team without a front end is an unguided missile. As the race continued and I watched his speed decrease and his rest time increase I determined that two things were happening: the dogs picked up something on the trail, and he only had enough lead dogs to go around. Upon is arrival in Nome, I would find I was right on both counts. That he nursed the dogs through a stomach bug was shared the dog lot, but my theory about limited lead dogs was confirmed as I watched the team run to the burled Arch.

Running next to Amy in lead was one of our rescue dogs, Harris. If she did not have his heart before, she certainly had it now. Running out of options, he made the command decision to try Harris in lead. After a couple looks of her shoulder in the early miles out of Kaltag from her new found position, he reassured her, “You’re doing good.” This encouragement was enough for a dog who once had no future to lead the team to the arch in Nome.

Once at the finish line, he wasted no time lifting his heart over his head to award her Snowhook’s biggest honor. With his first finish in 2011, a Snowhook tradition was established—lifting a dog who showed something extra on the trail to touch paw to burled arch. Well done, little one, well done.

***

I am proud of AJ and the dogs. Despite dropping leaders, a busted race sled that was swapped for a tank of a sled, and stomach bug—all reasons that can lead to a scratch—Snowhoook reached the goal line with eleven happy dogs. I could not be more proud.

Lead dog Harris (with namesake):

Hobbit n Harris

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