Saturday, February 2, 2008

2/2/2008 Farmington's 5th Annual Dog Sled Race

See the big blue barn in the back? They had refreshments (someone grilling hamburgers on a countertop grill, homemade cookies and brownies for sale, and more) for sale in there including hot chocolate and coffee. This woman with the sled and all the ropes is getting ready for a race. She's in the parking lot area to the north which was pretty much all sled dog trucks (special trucks designed to carry a bunch of dogs, dog food, ropes, sleds, skis, and other related equipment.

Are these not the cutest distance markers you've ever seen? This one is at the start gate so I'm not really sure what it's marking, but I assume they have similar ones all along the course and hopefully, they're more accurate than this one.

These are the dogs waiting for the first race to happen.

And they're off! This is an event called skijor. According to some very friendly people that I stood next to for part of the morning, this is an event from one of the Nordic countries. It's basically having a sled dog pull you while you're on cross country skis. The human has on the cross country skis and a special harness with a big metal ring in the middle. You attach the ropes that are connected to the dog sled to that metal ring and off you go! There were competitors with one dog and some with two. We saw the 2 dogs located one in front of the other and we saw them where the dogs were side by side.

Somewhere out there are the racers. We could see them. Apparently a couple owns this land and lets the group use it. There is a 4 mile track, a 6 mile track, and a 10 mile track. The skijor racers were on the 4 mile track. What a beatiful day!

Here's one of the racers crossing the finish line.

As soon as this dog crossed the finish line he started rolling in the snow and eating snow with his tail wagging the whole time.

There was just one round of skijor (all the different classes were pretty much in the same race) and then it was time for sleds. The first event was 4 dog pro followed by 4 dog sportsmen. I couldn't tell the difference. Here you can see two teams (one on each side of the bales of hay) just out of the chutes.

I'm not sure who was a bigger winner today--the sled racing humans, the dogs, or me. What a glorious day! And I ran into Alan that works in the Ed. Center (we're both there late at night) and I had the chance to meet his wife. I loved finally meeting her after hearing so many wonderful stories.

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