IPSSSDR Stage 6

This is the 2nd toughest stage of the race and our goal was to have as many healthy dogs as possible for this one.  Last year we had only 9 dogs and Bruce had a miserable 8 hour run.  The trail today was hard and fast and we went out with 10 dogs.  Three were coming off the injury list and we had some concern about their ability to handle the steep declines.  Fortunately, the team held together except we had a leader that had to be bagged and then she decided that she didn’t want to be bagged so she went  back in to the team and made it to the finish.  Most teams went out with 10 dogs and a few came back with dogs in the bag.  Many teams are struggling right now to come up with healthy dogs to put together at least 10 dogs for a team.  We’ve noticed that the hard, fast trails this year have caused lots of injuries and the team sizes are much smaller than last year.   Bruce really worked his butt off on this run.  The parking area was at 8,000 feet in elevation and they climbed to over 10,000.  The air was pretty thin and there were tons of hills that he had to climb.  He felt the team did well and did as well as they’ve been trained.  We are real pleased with the yearlings.  One yearling, Mikka ran for her 4th day in a row today and was just amazing.  The superstar of the team this year though has been a little female, Mary, that almost didn’t make the cut and we made a last minute decision the day before the race!  She brought the team into the finish line today with Cracker.  So now she’s even decided to add “LEADER” to her resume!  The final result was another 9th place.  He came in before Jarle and Warren, but not in enough time to change the overall standings.  There is an 8-minute difference between Bruce and 8th place so tomorrow will be huge.  We’d like to come up with 12 dogs for tomorrow’s stage, but it’s not looking like we’ll have enough healthy dogs.  There’s supposed to be 6 inches of fresh snow on tomorrow’s trail.  Stay tuned   PS – We’re getting fed lots this year for those of you wondering – I might be gaining weight this year 🙁

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