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Dogsled race photos and videos

Gail P
February 22nd, 2010, 04:07 PM
So far this season we've been out competing at 3 races, with one more yet to go this weekend (in Apsley). Unfortunately when I'm racing I can't take any pictures myself, but a friend who is always there has been taking some pics and videos too and has set up a facebook page for me called "Silhouette Racing Rescues" and all the pictures and videos can be seen there. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silhouette-Racing-Rescues/312112968035?ref=ts

Dog Dancer
February 22nd, 2010, 07:52 PM
Very cool pics and video's. The dogs sure do enjoy that don't they. It's wonderful to watch them just doing what comes naturally.

Gail P
February 22nd, 2010, 11:25 PM
They love it! They go crazy if I even touch the sled.

growler~GateKeeper
February 23rd, 2010, 03:06 AM
Great pics & videos :thumbs up

luckypenny
February 23rd, 2010, 06:18 PM
Are those photos and videos ever cool :highfive:. You must be so proud Gail :goodvibes:.

I especially loved the pics and captions of Flurry with the "dog whisperer" :laughing:.

Gail P
February 23rd, 2010, 10:01 PM
Are those photos and videos ever cool :highfive:. You must be so proud Gail :goodvibes:.

I especially loved the pics and captions of Flurry with the "dog whisperer" :laughing:.

It was an excellent weekend and I am very proud of my pups :thumbs up (and my daughter too!) The so-called "dog whisperer" (btw, pics shot and captioned by a friend, not me) is Ken Davis, the coach for the Jamaica Dogsled Team's sprint musher, Damion Robb. The other JDT musher (Newton Marshall) competes in distance and will be running the Iditarod this year, being coached by none other than Lance Mackey. Last year Newton was training with Hans Gatt and ran the Yukon Quest. For the past couple of seasons Robb and Ken have become "neighbours" of mine, staying in our general vicinity while competing on the Ontario circuit. Great guys, lots of fun to have around and race with.

And speaking of the Iditarod, we have a local entry competing this year. Hank Debruin from Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton, Ontario is currently on his way to Alaska, traveling in his dogtruck with 20 dogs, his sons and his brother-in-law as his handler. Last time I checked the facebook page titled Winterdance Dogsled Tours - Iditarod Bound (or something like that) they had reached Edmonton.

Dog Dancer
February 24th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Your dogs go crazy when you touch the sled, kinda like mine go crazy when I touch their leash (or in Halo the lab's case her food bowl...):D

mummummum
February 24th, 2010, 08:10 PM
Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cool Gail. I'm now a "fan".

Gail P
February 24th, 2010, 10:01 PM
Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cool Gail. I'm now a "fan".

Excellent!

After this weekend in Apsley there will be more added. Not sure yet what my daughter's doing there she thinks the skijoring might be a bit too challenging there with all the hills and corners and head-on passing (so far she's only done loop trail races, none that are out and back the same trail with head-ons), and I won't decide about letting her enter the novice class until after I see who else is entering. For some reason that race has brought out some nasty dogs in the past that I've had to deal with passing when I was competing in novice and I don't want to put her and our dogs through that. Once you get into the 4 and 6 dog sprints you're generally dealing more with the "pros" whose dogs are better with passing.

mummummum
February 25th, 2010, 12:26 PM
Yup! You're an ADDICT alright!!! :D

Gail P
February 25th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Yup! You're an ADDICT alright!!! :D

:D I spend all year waiting and training for one month of racing. We need more races in our area, some in January (there is one in Jan. that's about a 4 hour drive away that I haven't yet gone to) and in early March. I wait and wait through the summer for the weather to be cool enough to begin fall training with the dryland rig. Then I get started with that and wait for the snow. Snow comes and I start training with the sled, waiting for the races to begin. Once they do, it's a bit hectic. The Friday before a race is always a rest day for the dogs but lots to do for me, waxing sled runners, packing up the truck etc. Then an early, early morning, and racing both Saturday and Sunday usually. Get home, unpack the truck, rest day for dogs on Monday and then we may train any/all of the next 3 days before beginning the cycle all over again. Before I know it, the month of February is gone, the sun is getting warmer and the snow is softening. I'll do some longer/slower fun runs, packing along lunch and enjoying the snow before it all melts, but also thinking ahead to how to prepare for the next season. I do also do some dryland runs in the spring until it gets too warm. The longer I can keep running them the easier it is to bring them back into condition in the fall. Once the geese come back though and we start working them it's harder to make time for the dryland training. In the spring I need to train early in the morning when it's cool and that's also when we go do our "goose patrol".

hazelrunpack
March 10th, 2010, 11:31 PM
omd, Gail, the videos are so much fun!!!!! :goodvibes: (<-----hazel is excited :laughing:)

Gail P
March 11th, 2010, 11:36 AM
omd, Gail, the videos are so much fun!!!!! :goodvibes: (<-----hazel is excited :laughing:)

Yay, you got to see them! You see why it's so addicting? :D The speed and excitement of the races is so much fun, but so are the longer spring trips. I just wish the season was longer. Yesterday I went out and ran the snowmobile trail at the end of my road (all the trails are now officially closed for snowmobiling). I got out later than I really wanted to so the snow was soft and a bit slushy in places and there were a few bare spots but it wasn't really too bad. I'd really like to see if I can find someone who's willing to give me a set of crappy old beat-up plastic for on the runners, something that they're no longer using and then I would use that for these spring runs so it wouldn't matter what I drag the sled over. Instead, whenever I came to a bare patch too big to easily go around I was telling the dogs "easy" and making them walk past it while I tried to lift the sled over. Mud and bare bedrock is not good for the plastic I might still want to use for racing next year. Waxing them helps, but it can only do so much so I don't want to totally trash them. Most of the racing sleds are equipped with the QCR (quick-change runner) systems where all you have to do is undo one bolt and the plastic slides right off the aluminum rail so it's really easy to change it back and forth. There are apparently even newer and better systems, but I find the QCR is great.

hazelrunpack
March 11th, 2010, 01:34 PM
I didn't realize the runners had plastic sheaths on them! Makes sense, though--especially in spring when you potentially will run into rough ground!

I could see why it would be addicting just from the stills, though. :D The videos were just icing on the cake! :thumbs up

Gail P
March 11th, 2010, 02:37 PM
I didn't realize the runners had plastic sheaths on them! Makes sense, though--especially in spring when you potentially will run into rough ground!

I could see why it would be addicting just from the stills, though. :D The videos were just icing on the cake! :thumbs up

With the wooden sleds the runners are wood too and they can either have screw-on plastic mounted on the bottom that is not so easy to change, or they can have the aluminum rails screwed on and the plastic just slides on and off the rails. The plastic has a groove all the way up the middle and fits over the rail. Our bigger older sled has the screw-on plastic and my sprint racing sled has the QCR system. There are also some fancy high-tech sleds that are made from aircraft aluminum or something (I'm not really sure) and they probably have the other newer systems. There are systems called Rex and Matrix system that I really don't know anything about, but I've heard that once you switch to them you won't go back to QCR, that it's supposed to be "outdated" now. With QCR you can buy different types of plastic that is suited to different snow conditions, some is harder and won't scratch as easily, some is softer. The yellow is hard, white is hard, black is softer. You can also get some other funky coloured ones and they are supposed to be somehow impregnated with different waxes for different conditions. When I bought my sled it came with black and over the last couple of years it's been getting more and more scratched but I try to take care of it as best I can and wax it for racing. This year a friend also gave me something new to try, something he called "slick black" a very dense, tough kind of plastic. He said it is so dense that it is not waxable, so you want to use it only when snow conditions are good. Once it gets too scratched up there's nothing you can do to fix it up. But when new, he says it is "slicker than snot on a glass doorknob" :p I used it only for one race on really good snow conditions and then put the old black back on and waxed it for the next two races with more marginal conditions and/or road crossings. The road crossings have snow put on them but there is is always some grit or gravel that comes up through so it's harder on the plastic.