Kicksledding this winter has been fun but painful. I’ve had a few spectacular wipeouts. First run of the season…I made it through the entire run without wiping out. Got to the parking lot and the dogs took a sharp corner to get to Don and I ended up with one ski caught on a snow pile covering a curb and flipped on my right side. Don was so busy laughing and videoing that he forgot to catch the dogs and the sled as they ran by.
Today was my best wipeout ever. We were 1/2 way through the 4km run at Blackfoot. During a steep downhill run, Spirit stopped to gobble up a frozen ‘poop-sicle” on the trail. The sled caught up to her and was going to hit her so I bailed. Got the tow rope and one of the sled skis tangled around my ankle as the dogs took off running again. Big boo boo and fat ankle. Hope this won’t end my Iron Paws season 💔😟 (and yes that is dog hair all over my socks….can’t vacuum with a boo boo right?! 😂). I am hoping that at least I can get some sympathy points…maybe some spoiling and extra attention from the skinny guy. A girl can dream?!??!?
This week’s Howliday fun challenge was to play One-eyed-Jack-is-wild virtual poker game. You have to answer 5 questions and your answers are decoded into poker cards. Let’s just say we aren’t going to win the game. You can tell by the dogs’ expressions that we have a really crappy poker hand.
Just for a little winter fun and motivation, I have signed up for the 2019 Iron Paws Stage Race. It is a 6 week virtual sled dog race. The whole idea is to get you and your dogs out and active and meeting up with local like minded people. It also includes some fun challenges that you must do each week.
For our first week we have been challenged to create a magazine cover featuring our team. This is what I came up with:
We accumulate points by participating in races, going on group training runs and participating in regional events. As long as we do at least one run per week we should earn a medal at the end of the 6 week program. The real reward is the time spent and memories made with your dogs.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep motivated during a cold Alberta winter so I am hoping this virtual race and meeting up with other Kicksled/canicross/skijor/bikejor teams will keep us going out and about.
To start our New Year off on the right foot and accumulate our first points, the dogs and I did the Running Room 5km Resolution run as a canicross team.
We received two new official titles in the mail today. Brodie got his SD-MACH (Sporting Detection Master Champion) and Spirit got her silver level SD-E (Sporting Detection Excellent Title). They sure love this sniffing game. So proud of my “kids”.
I can’t believe that she is 4 years old already. Time continues to fly by too quickly. Our girl has had a good year. She earned both her Rally Novice and Intermediate titles as well as her Sporting Detection Excellent title. So proud of her.
Here’s a trip down memory lane:
When we finished our last trial in October I thought that would be the end of our 2018 season but I was wrong. When I saw the premium for the K9 Scentinels trial in Surrey BC, I just knew we had to enter. The best dog teams in our sport were going to be there and we would have the opportunity to trial along side them and learn so much. Traveling through the mountains at this time of year can be very treacherous but we were lucky and had great weather both ways. It is very rare to be able to see the top of Mount Robson…it is usually hidden in the clouds.
Brodie only needed one more Q in Excellent Interiors so I entered him both Saturday and Sunday hoping that he would pass one of them and earn his Master Championship. I also entered him in Elite for both days but we didn’t get a spot on either day. We ended up first on the waiting list for Saturday and 3rd on Sunday. Spirit has been “off” on scent work lately so I did not enter her at all. A few days before the trial we got the great news that someone has cancelled on Saturday so Brodie would get a chance to do an Elite run.
For Excellent Interiors you have 15 minutes to search 3 rooms. One will have 1 hide, one will have 2 hides and the other will be clear. You cannot leave a room until you call it clear or finished. As luck would have it, Brodie passed his Excellent run in 2 minutes and 40 seconds and earned his Master Championship on Saturday. K9 Scentinels made a video of each dog’s run and shared it with us after the trial (thank you!).
Since Brodie didn’t need his run on Sunday, K9 Scentinels allowed me to substitute Spirit in for him and switch it to Exteriors. I was so proud of Spirit. She worked her little heart out (slow and steady) and not only got high in trial but she earned her Excellent Title. Here’s Spirit’s video It was early Sunday morning, -2C and the whole search area was on a steep frosty covered hill (concrete and grass). There were 3 hides.
We ended up getting the opportunity to run Elite on both days. Elite is so much harder than all the previous levels combined. There are an unknown number of hides, you have to deal with converging and pooling odour and it is a real head game for the handler. Unfortunately not a single team qualified in Elite either day. I was so hoping to see history made and witness the first team ever to earn their Elite Championship or Grand Master Championship. There are two teams that just need one more elite title to reach both of these milestones.
After Brodie’s learn to pull class last weekend, I had planned to take the dogs out this weekend and introduce Brodie to a kicksled and then if things went well, connect them to the kicksled as a team. Mother Nature actually cooperated and gave us a good dump of snow yesterday, so rather than pulling the sled on grass they got to work in the snow with me riding and kicking behind them. We didn’t get much speed or distance but it was a decent first effort.