tisdag 15 mars 2016

No start at Finnmark race 500 but Polardistance 160, 2016 instead

After about 275 miles of training the dogs were very well prepared for the challenge Finnmark race 500 (extended to 554km). The Saturday before departure Håkan took them out on a final practice round, they would sit more or less during our trip of about 170 mil to Alta so it was a good idea to let them run to get rid of extra energy. The tour was fantastic and the dogs worked like never before. It was about -10 degrees and a thin layer of snow covered the patchy icy gravel road. When I on a Sunday morning came out to the dogs, I immediately saw that Ergo was in pain. He did not put down left front paw. I squeezed and felt through the paw but also the entire leg and shoulder but he didn´t show any pain and I didn´t feet anything strange. When all the dogs had had their breakfast and were rested, I took Ergo for a more thorough investigation and soon discovered that he felt sore on the left triceps.
Since Ergo was one of the most important dogs in the team that would go Finnmark race and the team had already been weakened since Deimos because of a stretching (which he suffered when he was on the stakeout at the Vildmarks Race) had eaten Metacam and thus was in the waiting period (14 days in Norway and 28 days in Sweden), after a lot of thinking we took the heavy but, from the perspective of the dogs best, facilitating decision to refrain from driving Finnmark race. Without Ergo and Deimos, our strong wheel dogs, the race would be too tough for the dogs. We had trained the dogs 2750km running with sled or wagon, walked each dog about 20km a week with backpack from the end of March to the end of July to strengthen their back and other muscles so as the decision was taken, it felt rather inglorious just running a single race, Vildmarks Race . Since the start of Polardistans was Tuesday, Wednesday, 9th-10th March and we had taken time off from our jobs, we decided to go to Särna so that Håkan and four Samoyeds would participate in the PD160 with pulka and skiis. The start of the B-dog pulka160 was on Wednesday. Håkan started 13:52 with four eager dogs, Corona, Etna, Geist and jotka.

It was a gray day and about -5 degrees . After 9 hours and 57 minutes the reached the checkpoint after having covered a distance of 95km . There were conducted veterinary control under the obligatory rest of 10minutes and after a total stop of 13 minutes they were back on track towards finish line, 80km away.  It was a cold night, as the team was at the CP, the temperature had dropped to -19 degrees. Cold for Håkan but comfortable working temperature for the dogs. The team struggled on through the cold starry night and at 9:17 they reached the finish a little tired and furs full of frost . The final 80km run in 9h 15min and the total time in175km was 19 hrs 25 mins including mandatory rest . We could once again enjoy a first position on the PD , this time Bielkersmils team beat the second team by more than 10 hours.

Etna och Corona

Jotka och Geist

This year's PD was a bit special because there were three teams with totatly 16 Samoyeds notified - all dogs from our breeding . Beat Stäger started PD 300 with pulka and four dogs but had problems with a shoulder and chose to break . Lars Jämtsved went with sledge and eight dogs PD160 six own dogs from Bielkersmils breeding and two borrowed from us , Lava and Mieto . Lars ran his first PD . He and the dogs fought well and can feel like winners - everyone who gets around the PD is in my opinion a winner! Congratulations to Lars and his team!

Beat and his four dog team

Lars and his eight dog team