Winter is here in force. We still have no snow, but with nightime temperatures down into the - 30's in some places, we are feeling winter settling on our little home.
The dogs are in the midst of our hardest training month now. We are training frequently and training long runs of 6 or more hours on average, with our longest being almost ten hours long.
We have a new lead dog! Soka has come to us from Ketil Reitan. She has finished all of the long races in Europe, in the front of the pack, and is only 4.5 years old. We are hoping that we can have a litter with Soka in the spring and that her puppies will be the next generation of dogs, and the first generation of Ropphaugen stars!
Kaia is training hard with the dogs, as it will be Kaia qho will run the Gausdal Marathon this year instead of me. Contrary to the name, the Marathon is not a standard marathon length, but rather a full 230 km long. The dogs run to the halfway point and rest for 5 hours before leaving again, and cruising back to the start area for the finish early in the morning on Sunday.
Not one to be left out of the action, I have agreed to give race updates in English on the gausdal marathon website! So all of you interested people can keep an eye on how the race is progressing.
I am planning on running at least one race this year, but my main focus will be puppy training. We still have those 20 pesky pupipes running around at Ropphaugen, and they are not so little anymore. They are all ready to start training some short puppy runs soon, and we are looking forward to see what they are made of in their first foray into what will hopefully be a fun and exciting career for them!
We recieved our first shipment of our new dogfood yesterday! I have been working hard with Dr. Tim Hunt to set up a distribution deal for his food, and Kaia has been working hard alongside me as we translate all of the promotional material for the dgfood from English into Norwegian.
We are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new dog jackets. We are working with JB Utstyr to create the best jacket on the market. We have designed this jacket together, and have high hopes that it will be the best we have used! The very first complete jacket should be coming to us today or tomorrow, and then it is testing testing testing to see what adjustments we would like to make to them before the next production of more jackets in February.
Our little buddy Kodiak has been thrilled to get the cast taken off of his leg after a long month of healing after a scuffle in a puppy pen left him with a a clean compound fracture of his right front leg. His leg has heal beautifully and aprt from looking a bit strange with all the atrophied muscle, should be as good as new in short order.
I will be going back to the US in mid December for a quick visit, and Kaia will be going on an extended training/camping trip with the team.
I hope everyone has a wonderfull holiday season!
updates as events warrent.