Things have settled down quite a bit now that the Gausdal Marathon is finished.
The dogs got a few days of well deserved rest and I started planning for my own race.
The weekend after Gausdal Marathon, I ran the Vikerfjelløpet.
It did not go as planned!
We loaded up the dogs and drove down to Vikerfjell at 4:00 AM, to be there in time for the mushers meeting at 8:30.
I had borrowed two dogs from Stig Kampesveen, and one of them had gotten kennel cough the night before the race, so I was forced to run Splint instead of Morgan.
We had a nice chat with some friends before the race, and I was glad to see that the pre-race-nerves that had plagued me so during Marathon, were not bad at all at Vikerfjell.
We hooked up the dogs and I left the starting line at 9:46. The dogs looked amazing. They were like an out of control freight train. Whether we were going up or down or flat, the dogs were averaging 17-19 km per hour. I was holding them back and letting the leaders set the pace, and went out slower to allow the old boy in the team, Laffen, to warm up and get all his blood pumping.
We made it to the halfway point in under 2 hours, and suddenly Freya who was in lead got sick.
I certainly would not want to run a sick dog, so into the sled bag she went. So suddenly the poor team had another 25kg in the sled that they now needed to pull all the way back.
I was quite worried about Freya, and the dogs sensed that I think because they set a very fast pace back. We had a big hill halfway back that we had just reached the top of when the sled I had borrowed broke. The handle bar snapped in my hands, and the team went on their merry way without me.
Much to my surprise, Soka (my super dog) turned around and saw that I was not there. She stopped the team, nice and smooth. No tangles, no nothing!
We came back to the finish/start and had Freya checked. She was fine, just stressed they said.
It seemed odd to me that even though I let her set the pace, and the pace was one I knew she could keep up for longer than the race, that she still got so stressed that she started to vomit and fall apart.
Thanks again to Stig and Atle for the loan of a dog each for the Vikerfjell race. Laffen is an awesome old dog.
Anyway, since then we have been doing fun runs and training the puppies a ton. One of the puppies is running in lead on the easy fun bits of trail, and we have big hopes for her being a leader in the future!
We have a race coming up in a few weeks, and should be ready and rearing to go.
I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am having running puppies!