Yes it’s Christmas eve and we need to get a longer run in. The Knik 200 is 11 days away. Realizing I am still on the night rotation from work, I make it to the 6PM Christmas mass. There is a 9PM, Midnight and 10AM (Sunday) mass. The 6 PM is the best one for me to keep on the night schedule and not rush training.
Mary waters and collars the dogs. I am re-loading everything into the dog truck as it had to have a sensor for the blower replaced the previous day.
Apparently Bear and Cyphers had a difference of opinion and got into a scuffle. They are kennel mates and Bear looks after Cyphers as Cyphers is Bear’s little brother. Cyphers, who is taller than Bear, got the best of bear and injured Bear’s front left paw. It must be injured because Bear is sitting looking at me holding his paw off the ground. Not good this close to the race. So Bear is off tonight.
I get to the track and tell Mary that we should be out about 10:45 PM and will should be home around 7 AM. She tells me Bear is moving around the back yard fairly effortlessly. This is good news for the team.
There is some fresh powder on the trails and they haven’t been groomed. It looks like one other sled has been here before me. The run was planned for 50 miles. Realizing there is fresh powder on the trail, the run is going to be slower than normal. I keep Luna up front and try to use Mae, but she has decided in the last week she doesn’t want to lead. My only other leader on the team is Zia who is in season. Zia is a back-up leader and still lacks a little self confidence when she is up front. I have a few girls between the leaders and the boys, and we have the trails to ourselves, so I move Zia up front. It was a slow run and Bear’s leadership was missed, but we made it through. We broke trail for a few miles here and there and I decided to call it a night after 45 miles. With all of the trail the dogs had to break, I figure they made up the last 5 miles. This was our longest straight through run to date.