Thursday, January 20, 2011

Race Time! -- Hallingen 160

First of all - it´s been over two months since our last update, for which I apologize dearly.

I took so many pictures, made so many videos from training runs, and gathered so much information about our team´s progress, but I never got the time or energy (or very often both) to post them here. In this year´s intensive training season, all I pretty much focused on was running dogs and sorting out some challenges such as the loss of our training trails, our great handler Filip´s leaving due to accute serious health issues, and other things that needed to be sorted out immediately and sort of "on the run".

Anyway, I promise to chronologically add the updates here rather soon, as things are kind of starting to fall into place finally.

But now to the exciting news -- as I´m typing, we are headed southwest, to Norway, to our first race of the season and the sfirst race after a two year break!!! Yeee-haaaw!

It is called HALLINGEN LOPET, and is 160km (100 miles) long, running through some of very beautiful Norwegian mountain areas.

You can follow the race and check more information at www.hallingen.org.
You can also check for updates, which Jachym and I will try to bring as often as possible, either here on the blog, or also on Facebook, where I have already started sending information and photos from our journey. ïf you are not friends with us on Facebook yet, just go to http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1212238076

But now back to the team, and the race ahead of us.

Right now, we are passing Särna, which is a start/finish of Polardistans. We actually dropped dogs at the Löfnäsvallen checkpoint, passed the last checkpoint Sir Michael and drove over the bridge, under which the teams cover the last couple miles before leaving the ice and heading into the finishline. We refilled gass right opposite from the tourist info building, which serves as the race headquarters. Lots of memories of our first Polardistans came to my mind. Some of the dogs that are on the Hallingen race team actually ran/finished it. This all made me realize even more, how much I have missed racing the past two seasons. And I feel like a child couple days before Christmas!

On Facebook, I shared video from one of our last training runs before the race. I wasn´s sure yet which dogs exactly would make the team then. Friends have been asking about the team lineup for a while, so without further due, let me announce who the 12 athletes are! :)

The girls: Galena, mom and daughters: Tazlina, Snowy and Krtek, Rapid Ziggi and Magpie

The boys: Frostie, Chilli, and three brothers/litter mates from the amazing G litter: Goosak, Nugget and Grayling.

The team looks great, although we´ve had some issues with lack of apetite resulting in weight loss in some of the dogs (later we found out it was due to salmon getting hush in the meat, due to storring issues). They all picked up their eating again and are in good condition and I am sure we´ll manage to put some weight back on them pretty fast.

They all amaze me with their will and drive, and determination. We have come a long ways during this training season and learned a lot, and along the way, became even closer. We truely are one team and I often feel like the 13th dog out there :) It is a great feeling, indeed!!

We have some pretty tough trainings behind us, lots of trail breaking this year, a number of campig trips and bad weather conditions, so the guys are pretty will powered.

The goal for this race is to finish it with happy, healthy dogs and new experiences, no matter what the placement will be. This is our very first distance race, which I will be running with a 12 dog team, so there is a lot to learn and figure out, in those terms, as it´s a bit different, running and taking care of a large team under race conditions.

We´ll be running 50 miles, then taking mandatory 4 hour rest before heading for the final stretch.

Hope you will enjoy our race coverage and a huge thank you to all, who made this adventure possible for us by helping differet ways!

A namely thank you goes to our wonderful sponsors: our parents Ivana and Vlady Palecek and Eva Lukesova, Troll Dog Food and Mushing Equipment, Grann Garden Strömsund, Cathrine Domeij DVM, and also Adela Kluchova, Hela Leitlova and Barbora Zelenkova for great race musher´s snacks!

Stay tuned for next report from Norway!

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