{Iditarod studies} Race to the Sky 2012 - MelyndaCoble.com

{Iditarod studies} Race to the Sky 2012

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It’s Iditarod time at our house. We are using the upcoming sled dog race as an excuse to read lots of sled dog books; learn all about mushing, Alaska and dogs; pull each other around on sleds and shout out commands; and watch a sled dog race.

On Sunday, we drove up to Lincoln, Montana, about 3.5 hours from here to watch the start of the Race to the Sky. I wanted to the boys to see, feel, and smell what a race is a like. The Iditarod is a little far for us this year, so we looked for an in-state race. I’ve never been to a sled dog race either, and I was probably the most excited of all.

One of the racers we were anxious to see was Jenny Greger, a 16-year-old who lives right up the pass. Her parents board our dogs. Rigby and I went to dog school with Jenny’s mom, Kara, when he was just two-years-old. (I wrote a story about Kara and Jenny a few years ago.) Jenny competed in the junior division and is headed up to the Junior Iditarod next week.

I wanted the boys to meet Jenny so they’d have a personal connection when we follow the race online.

The Race to the Sky is actually three races. There is an 100-mile eight-dog adult race, an 100-mile junior race, and a 350-mile 12-dog adult race.

When we first got there, we had about and an hour to walk around and meet the teams. The handlers, mushers and crew were getting the dogs ready. Then we lined up to watch them start in three minute increments. On ye huskies!

Warning: there are a lot of pictures of malamutes below. You’re welcome. Some of these photos are stolen from Henry’s Facebook page.

The race start and finish.

This is where the magic happens…and the hot cocoa.

Checking out the teams.

Hello, malamutes. I want to take you all home with me.

Don’t tell Rigby that I was cuddling with all sorts of puppies and dogs.

The dogs who weren’t racing get a pink line on their heads to indicate the vets did not check them out. All the racing dogs get a thorough check-up to be sure they are healthy enough to race.

This big guy is the sire to the adorable malamute pups.

Jenny Greger’s sled. It was cool for the boys to see these sleds up close.

Booties to protect canine feet.

Playing in the snow while we wait for the start.

Snow angels.

Look at Finn’s face and what he is holding. That little snack dog better watch out.

Alaskan huskies are the most common dogs used in this race. All the 12-dog teams carried a rider. The race organizers sell these seats to raise money for the race. Hint: if you are looking for a Christmas present for me next year…

Most of the dogs were Alaskan huskies, like these dogs.

The malamute team gets ready. Mals are strong, but not fast. The musher, Morgan, knew she wasn’t going to win. She just loves the sport and wants to represent the breed.

Anxious to get going!

By the way–Jenny won the race!

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