A fun time was had by all this past weekend at the Two Rivers 200 Sled Dog Race!! Dave & Jason headed up last Thursday night for the Musher Meeting and bib drawing. Dave drew #11 and headed out from Chatanika Lodge at 12:20pm on Friday afternoon. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, with barely a cloud in the sky ~ temperatures were moderate, hovering around zero. Great for the dogs!
Dave had a great run into the first checkpoint at Pleasant Valley Store. Jason and I were patiently (yeah, right) awaiting Dave’s arrival and anxious to see the team – oh, and Dave too… After a 100 mile run everyone looked great!! Dave arrived just before 11pm and reported that he had tried to stop along the trail and bed the team down… but they wouldn’t have it. After the team devoured their snack, they wanted nothing to do with the straw that Dave had started to lay down for them… instead they started horsing around so Dave decided it would be best to move on – so that’s what they did. Dave’s run time for the 100 miles to Pleasant Valley Store was excellent at just over 10.5 hours.
Upon arriving in Pleasant Valley, Dave took care of the dogs and fed them a nice hot meal – which they slurped up. Once they were snoozing he headed in looking for a meal for himself. Hot meatball subs were available for the mushers, so as he refueled he filled Jason and I in on all the details of the his run up to that point. Dave commented that the trail was in excellent shape, and compared parts of it to a luge run since it was hard, fast and curvy ~ he said it was awesome!
With a full belly and a weary body, Dave called it a night and caught about 3 hours of sleep in the Mushers tent (unheated, mind you) before awaking to begin dog chores. Jason and I camped out in a tent in the back parking lot and caught about 4 hours of sleep – setting an alarm to make sure that we were up in time to chat with Dave for a bit before he departed for the second half of the race at 5am sharp. Temperatures were around -11 when Dave hit the trail for the Angel Creek Checkpoint 50 miles away.
Jason and I cleaned up Dave’s camping spot, snagged a couple of cups of coffee and made our way out to the Angel Creek Lodge for the next stop. We expected Dave at around 10am and just about kicked ourselves when we listened to the checkers who told us “Oh, we have a break in teams now for about an hour and a half.” Hmmm…are you sure?? We said to each other “There is no way Dave is going to take that long!”, but in our sleep deprived states we decided to venture back inside and force down some coffee. Leave it to Dave to arrive precisely at 9:58am – just 2 minutes ahead of his predicted run time for the 50 miles! Jason and I were caught inside with coffee in hand… we threw on our jackets, hats, mitts, etc and ran outside & around the building in an attempt to at least catch Dave while he was still with the checker. All of that waiting around and then to miss your musher when they come in!! Ugh – that to me, is the worst. Luckily we caught him…
Dave departed the Angel Creek checkpoint and headed for the finish at 2pm. Jason and I were on the cleanup crew again, and once our job was done we headed back to get ready for the finish. True to his word – Dave rolled in just 2 minutes past 7pm… finishing off the race with another nice 50 mile run and placing 6th out of 17 teams.
Way to go Dave on a great run in the Two Rivers 200 race!! Way to Shake n’ Bake!!
Stay tuned to all of Donna’s great updates on the Iditarod!!