between long races

After Femunden, we continued training. Dogs seem to be happy go lucky. We are not the most competitive in the sport at all, and short runs and long runs come and go as time allows. Mushing with friends is the most interesting……and February is not the month to mush from home. Skier’s time!!! But we manage, we manage. Johanne has had to travel again, and Marte and a new kennel helper Tiiu have fed dogs. We want to fatten them up!
Paperwork before races has become a nightmare. Layers and layers of signatures, passsports, documentation, vaccines, —I don’t understand how a vet. paper from Mattilsynet can make a one-day drive through Sweden safer than without the paper. The biggest danger is the car, speed and icy roads. I am a thoroughly negative -to-bureocracy person and hate to spend money and time on nonsense. But I know that bureaucrats always win, because they think following rules is the most important thing in the world. And the worst of them get the jobs where they can stop others……I want a job where the main task is to make people HAPPY, so maybe I should work more on my clowning career???
We entered the NSHK Folldal- Grimsbu – race. I let Oda run my dog team of 6, and then I added two to Johnny’s team and ran that one. Unfortunatly we all lost the trail on the first km of the race and lost lots of time…….But they ran ok. And we had a blesssed time.
Folldal is nice! And the people who make the race there are sweeeet!
Now home to work work work and preparing for the race. Finnmark is a big media event but no-one has ever focused on the back of the pack. I feel that this race is actually not only about winning, but about mastery! I am more and more negative to all the HYPE around speed and so called big sponsor show off. I like the odd participants, the ones that have overcome obstacles, have things against them, are truly nice and helpful and have tons of charme. I participated in the “Get Ronny to Finnmark” endeavour, and feel it is a BIG issue that he gets to go……he is such a NICE musher. I like to be participating too. I have a good feel for the dogs NOW, but you never know. What I do know is that I have a TEAM of dogs, they are friends, they like me, they like to run, and they have experience. And I am blessed with a good handler team too: Oda and Terje. For the first time I am not so nervous, not even about the weather. I don’t think they will park on me, I don’t think we will get lost, and I feel that my car runs ok. BUT: you never know……(or I am never too sure…)
I am getting a bit older. But my body and brain are still pretty ok. I can ski fast, I can work a lot, I am structured enough and I like being on the sled.
So one more year……here we come!

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Femund to and from

Finished! Marte is over the finish line of Femund 400 with 8 healthy, happy dogs.
This was the smothest race ever. “Dyrt og deilig” as we say (expensive…)(I know, as I am also the main sponsor….)
Of course trail and weather were on our side, but that is true for everyone. The team was extremely manpower strong. Me as the driver- though I disike winter driving at night – co-supported by professional driver Terje. Sanne as headwomen for logistics, a true control – freak and list master: she knew just everything from where the booties are to exactly how many minutes are left for waking up Marte according to time use at LAST checkpoint…..Experienced handler assistant Oda who is to join at Finnmark, and four leftover dogs that we had forgotten to get babysitters for, so they came along (Limpopo puppy ate Terje’s trailer contact and cage-mats, Tipp dreamed of former days as king of trail, and Tana likes to be with Oda whereever she is, as is the truth with Nanuk and Sanne too.
It was little Sajo (1 year 8 month) ‘s first long distance beyond Hallingen, but the rest of the team did almost all Femund and whole Finnmark last year, and are full of routine. They surely know racing from training, and now even recognice the Femunden trail and know distances and checkpoints well.
Marte had a psycic down just before start, but a good breakfast and some dog care lifted the spirit.
The rest of the running was according to the clock and plan, almost. Marte is slower at checkpoints and faster in trail than the plan anticipated. Sanne (and I) are time keepers and competitive, so we try to push rest time. All in all Marte rested nearly two hours longer than the plan, and raced more than half an hour faster……But the benefit was that all 8 dogs went through the race with no problem whatsoever: no injury, no stomack problem, no limping, no coughing, no appetite loss of any severity. I have a full dogteam for Finnmark! And they seem happy and content. So do Sanne and Marte to be honest….after-race full of giggle and humor – getting high on fresh air!!!????
Marte placed best of the SH girl rookies that I had awarded a price for. A few senior SH mushers ahead of her and some behind, as it should be. Norwegian SH teams are no longer the back of the pack!