Saturday, August 3, 2019

Canine 4K

Today was the annual LAPS Canine 4K in Frisco, CO.
Jack and Rudy got to run their first summer race with me - wheeee!
About 10-20 yards from the start and look who is already in 1st place - the sled dogs!!!
Ok, so it's not skijoring; but what else are we going to talk about in the summer :)

We took the last few years off from running the Canine 4K as Max & Zorro were getting older (they'd rather rest in the summer and save themselves for snow :)  But, with 2 and 1 year old Jack and Rudy, we need to put their bodies (and minds) to work all summer too!

I was not sure how the two youngsters would do with all the dogs surrounding them at the start; would they want to sniff & play or listen to me and run? Max & Zorro always took off like rockets at this event and we were ALWAYS in first place within the first 10-20 yards of the race. Well, look at the photo above and look at perfect Jack & Rudy - within 20 yards and we are sprinting along already well in front of the rest of the participants! Go boys go!!!

A few steps further and a little closer look at the sprinters (them, no me! :)
"Hi Mom!!!!" says Jack flashing a smile to Nancy & Zorro taking this shot.
"Going, going, GOING!" says all-business Rudy.
A few more steps and nice side shot of beautiful running Rudy. As Rudy is bigger than Jack, all you can get from this angle is Jack's tail tip as he is eclipsed by big Rudy :)
Beautiful form Rudy!
Cute white tail tip Jack :)
Just as was always the case with Max & Zorro, we were far in front of the crowd by the first turn.
"We are going to WIN!!! Come on human!!!" say the sprinting pair.
But, as was always the case with Max & Zorro, the big slow human could not maintain this fast pace for the whole 4K. There are always some "real runners" in the field who always catch and overtake us as the reality of my slowness settles in...

Finally, as is always the case - here we come to the finish with Jack & Rudy still looking at fit & fast as at the start!
"Over already? We could go another round!' state the endless pair cruising to the finish line.

So, how did we fare? Well, the better question is "how did I fare" as Jack & Rudy could have easily won the race. The slow human was second in his age group and 8th overall.

Sorry guys, these old legs cannot go any faster :)

Well, that's our summer fun. Ok, ready for snow. Bring it on - Pray for Snow!


Monday, July 1, 2019

July Skijor

Our first ever Skijor in July!!!! Woo Hoo!
Happy sled dogs, nice views and skijoring in July!!!!
If you have been following along, you know that we had near record snowfall this past season in the Colorado High Country. The season was highlighted by a super May which dumped a ton of snow on the already solid snowpack in the mountains. This lead to our best June of skijoring in the last decade (Yes, Zorro & I have been skijoring for ten years!). I had secret hopes that we would actually get our first ever skijor in July. With a hot last week of June, we were anxiously awaiting July 1st to see what snow was remaining for us to enjoy. Well, as you see above - SUCCESS!!!!

How do you skijor in July? Well, you find a snow patch long enough to skijor back & forth again and again and again :) We found a beautiful patch of snow on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort to do just this - skijor back & forth and back & forth, repeat, repeat, repeat, .... :)
Cruising across a perfect patch of snow on Peak 8.
Come along for today's video showing one "back & forth" across the snow patch on Peak 8. We ended up doing 11 "back & forths" across this snow patch. Skijoring in July - wheeee!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

It was short with a non-standard sequence of repeated "back & forths", but it was skijoring in July. Great time, right guys?
"We'll go back & forth all day to be on snow & skis in July!" says the happy & focused trio.
Today was our final run of the 2018/2019 season. As you see from the small snow patch in the video, it is getting hard to find any contiguous patches of snow to string together a real skijor outing. There are still plenty of snow piles on the mountains, so we will switch to "hiking to roll in the snow" for the remainder of summer.

It has been quite the interesting season. We started back in October with Jack entering his first season of "skijoring without limits" while young Rudy was on short & tight limits to start the season. Zorro, Jack & I dropped Rudy once a week to get in a long skijor. Rudy started with 30 minute skijors with 2 mandatory long breaks along the way (so we were only running about three 7-8 minute intervals). As far as the trio could run within the limits is what we did. Each month we removed one of the mandatory breaks until we were running 30 minutes straight as a four pack. We then added 5 minutes a month to the "Rudy limit" and it was amazing how far my three partners could travel in 30, then 35, then 40 minutes, etc.

Finally mid June arrived and we were able to skijor without limits. In a normal year, we would be done skijoring by mid June; but we were graced with an incredible season of snow and got to see three sled dogs skijoring without limits for the last half of June (and 1st of July). Wow, what a year!

Today's outing was short, but it was skijoring: 0.5 miles traveled (in 11 back & forths) with 100 feet of elevation gain.

2018/2019 Final Stats: 137 days on the trails covering 803.8 miles with 75,250 feet of elevation climbed.

That is a pretty impressive season given it was Jack's first full season and we had "Rudy limits" on the team almost the entire year. What a season of snow!!!!

We'll be back with skis on snow in October and, who knows, maybe even September!
Pray for Snow!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Janu-June

Look at all the snow on the top of Buffalo Pass!
"Amazing - just AMAZING!" exclaims ecstatic Zorro.
"Perfect for snow angels!" adds the goof twins :)
26th of June or 177th of January? You tell me...
Looks like the 177th day of January not the 26th day of June!
We returned to Buffalo Pass this morning to continue our incredible endless June of 2019. Sadly, things are finally starting to melt everywhere except the top of the pass. How's the following for some narrow & sketchy conditions?
It might not look pretty, but, heh, the skis and Rudy are still gliding on snow!
Interesting changing of the guard in the prior photo. In Zorro's first 9 seasons skijoring he was always the one to keep toes on snow at all cost and keep the skijor going. But, at 11 years old, it appears as Zorro has handed the torch to Rudy and young Rudy is assigned the job of trotting with me in the soft and slushy shoulders.

Despite deteriorating approaches to the top of the pass, near and at the top was still incredible this morning. Wheeee!
Just beautiful up high on this January 177th.
Today's video highlight is full of dips. We start in a gentle trot and then I almost lose it in a large dip. Then Jack takes a dip to the right to grab a mouthful of snow before rejoining the team to cruise along (think of a marathon runner taking a dip to the side to get a shot of water :) Lots of dips, but lots of fun!
[watch on youtube if no video loads below]

A quick break in the action along the way. Everybody having a good time?
"Yes! Is it really the end of June?!?" reply happy Zorro and Jack.
"Sniff, sniff, do I sense moose in the area?" suggests Rudy.
Despite Rudy's speculation, we did not find any moose (or elk, deer or other delicacy that is tickling his nose :)

Remember that it really is late June, not mid January. That means even Zorro will join in on the snow angels antics now and then to cool off.
"Ahhhhh!" says Zorro.
"I'll roll angels with ANYONE!" adds Jack.
"Now let me get this straight - *I* am the goofy young one?" asks mellow Rudy.
Here is an amazing stat: it is June 26th and today was youngest Rudy's first 10+ mile skijor. I never dreamed he would hit 10 miles this year since he was not mature enough to consider it until June. Well, welcome the record June in the Colorado High Country giving Rudy his first 10+ mile skijor: 10.1 miles traveled with 1000 feet of elevation climbed and a top speed of 16 MPH.

2018/2019 Season to Date: 136 days on the trails covering 803.3 miles with 75,150 feet of elevation climbed.

Are we done for the season yet? Of course not! I think we will get one more outing, probably on July 1st. Stay tuned...