Well shoot. I had planned to stay local….but I just couldn’t resist signing up for one trip to the Mid-West. To a new race…the Beargrease 300!
Eagle Lake 100, January 19th, Eagle Lake Maine
12 dogs, 100 miles
Thanks to some dedicated volunteers and mushers, we have a fantastic start-of-season 100 miler again! Thanks hardworking Eagle Lake race committee.
This race is one of the toughest 100 mile races out there, and is a true 100 miles—last year my GPS logged it at 110 miles. Plowed roads, steep trail, snowmobile trail and soft dog-trail-only trail. Crossing a paved road at the very end in the dark! All in the course of a good race. Last year we also had the bonus excitement of overflow and open water.
One of the best parts of this race is the remote checkpoint of Moose Point Camps, who generously open up just for the race and offer stew, a warm fireplace, and some sweet secluded little rest areas for the dogs.
We have already signed up for this race, and should something dramatic happen and we are unable to make it to the Beargrease Marathon, we will run this race in stead.
John Beargrease Marathon, January 27th Duluth MN
12 Dogs, 300 Miles
I always had a lot of conditions for myself and my team to feel prepared to sign up for this race: a cool enough fall in the unpredictable Northeast, finishing ‘one more 250 mile race,’ and the right spirit in the dog team. This fall I felt that right spirit in the dog team, and after doing my homework, and importantly no mushers trying to talk me out of it (and I gave them all ample opportunity!), I’m just thrilled to sign up for this race for the first time. This will be the most challenging race yet, and require the most help we’ve ever pulled together to get not only to the finish line, but to the start line.
Wilderness Race, February 3rd, Greenville Maine
12 dogs, 70 miles
Well, if one believes in patterns, this race tends to run every-other-year because of snow. 2015 and 2017 were the last recent runnings of the race, so maybe 2019 it’ll run again!
But seriously, this is a fun race because of the community support, beautiful remote and quiet non-motorized trails on the Appalachian Mountain Club reserve, and the fact that the race starts and finishes at a lodge. This is a fun race to mix things up without a checkpoint.
Should something dramatic happen and we are unable to make it to the Beargrease Marathon, we will run this race.
Can Am 250, March 2, Fort Kent Maine
12 dogs, 250 miles
After taking a break from this race, it turns out I really missed it. I missed the challenge, the remoteness, and the feel and texture of some of those checkpoints. I, also, missed being out on the trail and working with the team through all those challenges. Races like this one are true tests of the dogs, and of teamwork. Ariel and Aurora can’t wait to take on those last runs to Allagash!