Greeting Race Fans!

We are all alive and well at Denali. However the blog just never seems to be a high priority for me…good thing Carrie’s here or you guys would never hear from me!

The dogs are in Wasilla today getting their ECG’s and will be home tonight. This test is theoretically confirming that any abnormalities/anomalies of the dogs cardiovascular system are detected before the race. They also receive a complete blood chemistry exam. Not a stone is left unturned for these dogs – that’s for sure! The dogs are certainly a top priority, however nobody has even asked to check my temperature! What gives?!?

We will be departing tomorrow afternoon with the top 20 race dog candidates for a 4 day, 190 mile training run in hopes of triggering the dogs metabolism to burn that most efficient food category – fat. Combined with Caribou Creek Gold kibble (which is already 35% fat) we feed a human grade poultry fat that we get from ADF (American Dehydrated Foods) in Springfield, MO. The stuff really is incredible, and we’re really lucky to have access to a source for this.

We went to Fairbanks to watch the end of the Yukon Quest on Tuesday and it was well worth the trip. A close, exciting finish! In my opinion every dog in the top three teams was something to be proud. Smooth gaited, good weight, no lameness anywhere. Well done gentlemen! We were however mostly rooting for our good friend Jon Little who loaned us several of his great dogs last year that finished in both my second place Iditarod team, as well as my All Alaska Sweepstakes team. This year two of Jon’s dogs will return to our team and I have every confidence they will be a tremendous asset again this year. It will however be the first time that I have ever had a dog in my team that just ran the Yukon Quest prior to the Iditarod. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that someone clearly demonstrated this can work well. I won’t mention any names… but it rhymes with…‘tacky’. Haha.

NOW for the details…

-I’ll be leaving Wednesday for Anchorage.

-Thursday morning I’ll be at the Millennium Hotel for the Mandatory Mushers Meeting.

-Donna, Carrie and David Cranmer will be down Thursday to handle pre-banquet responsibilities.

-Thursday evening we will head to the new Dena’ina Convention and Civic Center for the 2009 Wells’ Fargo Mushers’ Drawing Banquet.

-The dogs will be coming down on Friday with Dave and Jason.

-We will all again be staying at the wonderful Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites. We will be available for an up-close and personal visit during our “Meet and Greet” from 3pm – 4pm on Friday, March 6th. Stop by and say “Hi”!!

-From there, we head to Aurora Fine Art for what will be at least our 15th year of send off parties with Diane and Jerry. Each year complimentary beverages and snacks are available to guests – as well a raffle that benefits a local Anchorage charity. We encourage anyone that can make it to come on down! Aurora Fine Art is located at 737 W. 5th Avenue in downtown Anchorage.

-Race start is at 10am on Saturday, March 7th in downtown Anchorage.

-Race re-start is Sunday, March 8th at 2pm. We will be taking off from Willow Lake at the Willow Community Center.

After that I’ll be headed for the arch in Nome!!!

Hope to see you in Anchorage next week!

Happy Trails,