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Saeward and team finished the Two Rivers 100 in 8th Place and received the Sportsmanship Award! Way to go! Thank you, Saeward, for taking such good care of the Ryno athletes and writing up this recap for all of us to enjoy!
The trail conditions were more challenging than we expected. First, it was very warm and sunny. Second, the first 20 miles of the race were deep sugar snow; in places the dogs would sink in up to their bellies. I think the yearlings were running in such deep soft snow for the first time ever, and it took them a while to get their running technique down. Everyone pulled hard the whole race, and they did great on the uphills. My 8-dog team actually passed multiple 12-dog teams on big uphills, and those other mushers were pedaling or running while I was on the drag mat. We averaged 7.8 mph for the first run, although some of that was due to frequent breaks.
Saeward’s bootie haul
For the first 10 miles, we moved very slowly and took lots of breaks in the shade. At first, the four yearlings were all high-stepping in the ...
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Ham, Saeward, Bowser
Saeward and Team hit the trail at 12:50 for the first 50-mile leg of the Two Rivers 100! The trail will travel from Chatanika Lodge to Two Rivers Lodge. The trail report warned of frozen glaciation, warm temperatures, and some fun technical sled driving. Go Saeward and Team!
Saeward ready to rock!
What do you think Faff is saying to Bull?
Just when you thought the Ryno Kennel racing season was over, we’ve signed up for one more race! Saeward will be running a team of eight Ryno athletes in the Two Rivers 100 starting tomorrow!
For the past couple months, Saeward has been conditioning four yearlings to prepare them for their first “longer” race. She’s taken them on camping trips and gradually increased the miles, so that tomorrow at noon, they’ll be ready to rock their first 100 mile race! Saeward and team drew bib #28, which is the 8th bib for the 100-mile racers.
Who will be in Saeward’s Team?
Ham and Ewok
Vanessa and Thresher
Flash and Bowser
Faff and Bull
Also, you may recall that Saeward handled for Kalyn during her Copper Basin 300. Now it’s Kalyn’s turn to handle for Saeward! The best place to get race updates will be on the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Facebook Page. Since this will be the yearlings first 100-mile race, Saeward’s main focus will be getting them to the finishline with wagging tails and energy to keep on running! (Which is important since the race ends at Pleasant Valley Store and Saeward will just run them home afterwards!)
While Saeward and Kalyn are participating in the Two Rivers 100,...
During our first expedition of the season, we had some spectacular northern light shows! Kalyn captured some fantastic shots of the aurora borealis over the Arctic Oven tent.
I’m hoping to write up a few good stories from the Yukon Quest, but in the meantime, what’s up next for our athletes?
Starting next week, the athletes and I will be hitting the trails on several expeditions in the Chena River Valley as well as the Alaska Range!
Saeward has been training up a team of yearlings and adults to run the Two Rivers 100 in just a couple weeks!
Ernie and Bert are growing like weeds and now bigger than Sasha!
And Scarpa and Petzl were total NATURALS their first time in harness!
Spring is one of my favorite times of year. We’re gaining over six minutes of daylight every day, and the trails are in perfect shape for mushing. So basically, we’ll be spending as much time outside as we can!
CJ and Cartel- so cuddly!
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We have lots of stories from the Yukon Quest as well as videos and photos to share, but what about those canine athletes?!
I’m so proud of this year’s team and am bursting with pride over their performances. While we finished with a small team, that was in no way indicative of the their drive and desire to run. And probably more important than being good sled dogs, they’re just wonderful dogs.
Lefty- This. Dog. Lefty joined the team in Carmacks. He led a significant portion of the race. He’s certainly not fast, and he’ll let the gangline get slack if the dogs behind him try to run faster than his pace, almost like a stubborn grump saying, “this is my pace, like it or lead yourselves.” That being said, he’s one of the most reliable leaders in the team. Overflow, blizzards, open water, summits- Lefty will navigate it. He’ll find a blown-in trail or lead off trail if we’re setting up a camp or maneuvering around an obstacle. I trust him with my life. He’s finished everything he ever started.
During the daylight hours, I tried to take videos to highlight the spectacular Yukon Quest trail. Here’s a video compiling all the short clips. Hope you enjoy it, and thank you to everyone for following along on our journey!
Thanks so much to everyone who followed along during our Yukon Quest and came to cheer on the team at the finish!
I couldn't be prouder of the team, especially the finishers Jana, Lefty, Katy, Cooke, Rucu, Uno, and CJ! While a small team, they had enormous drive and heart. Ironically, the last 20 miles into the finish down the Chena River and through Fairbanks was some of the most challenging conditions we had encountered all race! Cooke and Jana led the run into town, until after hours of breaking trail, young Cooke needed a break so Lefty took over. The Chena River was flooded with hidden overflow and open leads. With the trail and trail markers being blown away in the storm, we decided to hunker down for a short while until visibility was better. I never thought my first experience of hunkering down during a storm would be on a river bank below one of the houses of Fairbanks just six miles shy of the finish line! Ha! Thanks to the friends and family who patiently awaited our finish and even though the canine athletes aren't on Facebook (I don't think)- thank you to these wonderful dogs who...
After the mandatory 8 hour rest at the Two Rivers check point, the team is on their final push into Fairbanks! The “magnificent seven” headed out at 8:40 this morning close behind Nathaniel Hamlyn (thanks for breaking that path for us!) Over flow and fresh snow might slow the speed but not the excitement of crossing the finish line tonight.
Pictures and videos from the trail for you to enjoy while following the tracker at www.yukonquest.com
Leaving Two Rivers!
Ryne is showing off her make-shift waders! Fancy pants in anticipation of over flow.
Birthday breakfast in Central — #30!
Later in the day at Mile 101:
Resting under the northern lights in Central....
As the handlers make there way to Circle City, Alaska , please enjoy this video Ryne took on the first half of the race. Handlers will have very limited WiFi access until the Two Rivers checkpoint, so please follow the team through the live tracking on Yukonquest.com
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