Yee Ha! Victory #2!! And our third win in four tries at the Tustumena 200.

Just got back from a great weekend on the Kenai Peninsula where the Tustumena 200 committee put on a fantastic event. I was particularly excited to bring the dogs to this race due to a recent run out the Denali Highway where the team just seemed to be on fire. Well, they really were. We covered the first 100 miles in 8 hours 8 minutes. A course record and certainly the fastest 100 miles that I’ve ever done as well (actually by a lot I think).

The team consisted of: Viper, Dollar, Statler, Charger, Titan, Teddy, Call, Sussex, Deets, Snoopy, Panda, Alamo, Cadet and Ross. (I can’t believe that I almost sold Ross a month ago, he was awesome! – whew!) If there were any surprises (besides just going so damn fast) it was Snoopy. This short-haired son of Spaniel was the only dog in the team I was worried about, just because I had never raced him before. But he really stepped up to the plate and I was tempted to stop and put him in lead near the final checkpoint. I’m pretty sure he just carved out a spot on the 2010 Iditarod team.

Team #2 run by Dave DeCaro had a stunning first half and chose to scratch in a conservative move to facilitate the upcoming Iditarod. All the dogs in his team, except one, are just 18 months old. They learned a ton and Dave thought it was in their best interest to not do the entire return trip. The team still ran a nice 150 miles and had their first camp out at a checkpoint with other dog teams – all of that excitement kept them awake for part of the night, but they’re catching on!

Check out the JibJab of Dave and I on my Facebook page! (Thanks to Melinda Smith) Pretty sure you’ll get a chuckle out of it….

I’d like to thank my stellar crew of dog handlers and strategists. CC Skinner, Dave ‘Dog Care’ DeCaro, Jason ‘9-toe’ Reppart, and newbie Caroline Sheftel (whose mother keeps FB-ing me). Kiwi Tracy kept the home fires burning and the entire team is getting together tonight to watch ‘The Hangover’.

Here are just a few pictures from the weekend….

Harnessed, bootied and ready!

Harnessed, bootied and ready!

A pre-race meeting of the minds - Jeff & Dave.

A pre-race meeting of the minds – Jeff & Dave.

Jeff's team heading to the starting chute!

Jeff’s team heading to the starting chute!

Panda & Snoopy ready to go at the start!!

Panda & Snoopy ready to go at the start!!

We will upload some more pictures to share with you from the weekend very soon!

The Denali Doubles is the next event on the roster. We currently have one empty spot and are hopeful that the race will fill by the February 11 start.

Stay tuned!!