Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our First Rig Race

There are not many people who are interested in mushing/canicross in our area. However, last fall when we attended Rig Rondy in Woodstock, Illinois we connected with several members of the Gateway Sled Dog Club out of St. Louis.

This lead us to become members of the club, and we were able to attend our first rig race on the Hamburg Trail near St. Charles.

The dogs did very well with their hook-up. They listened well, and were very calm on the way to the starting line.

First, we raced with Ruger, Denali, and Calypso. This was Calypso's first race ever while Ruger and Denali have participated in various canicross races. Ruger was our lead dog, and he and Denali did a great job. Calypso was a bit timid and we found out she is scared of bicycles. After the first bike passed her, she got scared and did not want to run. However, she did finish with a little coaxing. That being said, the 3 dogs completed the 1 mile race with a time of 6:10 - good enough for 3rd place.

Next, we raced Ruger and Denali in the 1 mile rig race. They did excellent! They took first place with a time of 3:54. The volunteer at the turnaround was surprised at how fast they were moving - he tried to get his phone out to take a video and just wasn't quick enough.

This was a wonderful experience for us because it gave us a chance to learn a bit more about the dogs, including their strengths and weaknesses. We were beginning to worry that perhaps Calypso does not like to run, but that thought quickly disappeared when we took her for a 6 mile training run Saturday evening. She did fantastic and was begging for more. So, we think she was just a bit scared from her first big race experience.

We are proud of all our dogs and the progress they are making. We would never ask one of the dogs to do something they did not enjoy, so it warms our hearts to know they really love running with us.

We have a few races coming up within the next few months. We have Payin' For the Spayin at the end of February and the Jackets Dog Jog the first weekend in March (check out our "Racing" page for more upcoming events). Calypso has been training hard for these two 5k races with our friend Jamie. Jamie has been kind enough to offer to race with Calypso so she can get a bit of race experience. The two do very well together and we are hoping they both have a fun, positive racing experience.

 Finishing up the 3 dog race

Ruger and Denali ready to start the 2 dog race

Running hard!

Absolutely love these three dogs. Look at their smiles!

The kid in the car parked next to us dropped all his Chex Mix on the ground. 
The clean up crew was ready!

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