The Cosmic Canines won the Hamburger Run Last Saturday. It is a fun race that usually runs from Pleasant Valley Store out to Angel Creek where mushers can have a hamburger, but due to bad trail conditions the race was rerouted. So we did a 25 mile loop back to the Store where we could have burgers provided by Quickie Pizza. The race is just a fun race, no purse, just prizes for different categories such as “Most Disorganized Musher” and “Happiest Musher.” It was kind of a warm day so I was going to where my shell parka, which is kind of plain, but then I overheard that there would be a “Best Dressed Musher” category and I happen to throw Jim’s Parka in the truck which is similar to mine, blue and yellow stars, just minus the skirt, so I threw it on, because I knew I wasn’t going to win “oldest musher” or “Ugliest dog truck.” The race is a Mass Start, which means the clock starts and then everyone has to hook up and harness their dogs, the first one done, is the first one out. I was at a disadvantage for this in two aspects, I had no handler, which most mushers had, to help me and I decided to run with the full 12 dog team that they allowed, most chose to run with 10 or less.
They gathered us around the starting line after the Skijorers left.
Susan Admundson looked at me in Jim’s big parka, “Where are you headed Abbie, the arctic?”
“ Ha, ha. Best dressed musher is mine. And I’m going to be the first musher out of this yard too.”
Suddenly the race marshal yelled “GO!”
Holy crap! Usually they wait until everyone is at their truck and they throw a hat in the air, then you can begin. I turned and I ran as fast I could to the truck which was all the way on the far side of the parking lot.
I didn’t have a handler but Sharka Meyer volunteered to hold my leaders for me while I hooked them up. She also had no idea we were going to start right then. So she was standing calmly with her 2 small children next to my truck. As I was running towards them full speed I saw her eyes get wide. Then she turned and scurried her kids behind the truck to the safety of their nanny and went to the front of my gangline.
Now I set myself up well. I hooked the dogs next to each other on the truck that would be next to each other on the gangline. So I grabbed 2 dogs at time and then I would put their harnesses on at the gangline then run back for 2 more. Back and forth, back and forth, I was sweating and out of breath in my huge parka. Last dogs hooked up, I looked around, holy cow! I was the first done. No time to think about it I pulled the snub line and off we went.
Half outta breath, pumped my fist in the air, “Yeah, 1st one out! 12 dogs, all by myself!!!” They all looked at me puzzled. Then I got on the trail. Ahead I saw Susan Admundson. I let out a deflated, “Ohhh. I didn’t see her leave.”
I caught up to her quickly. And we smoked past. She only had 6 dogs, no wonder she got out first.
I saw the mushers behind me for about 5 miles, and then I saw no one. I kept looking behind me, searching for someone. So I decided I would try to catch the skijorers that left before we even started hooking up. But skijorers are usually faster than dog teams, believe it or not, so it would be a challenge.
No of course since it is a local race, we had to pass the house. This race it was at mile 21, so it wouldn’t be too hard. They passed easily but they always get a little pouty when we do that. I know they are thinking, “Hey dummy….um….we just passed the house, do you know what you are doing?” So lots of encouragement is necessary. I saw a skijorer ahead, and I had to race somebody so I keep calling the dogs up but they were still whiny about passing the house, so I didn’t get much out of them. Slowly we gained on the skijorer. I felt kind of like a slacker behind her. Here she was skate skiing the whole time and I was just standing still on the back of a sled. So I started pushing. About 1/8 of a mile from the finish line I passed her. I felt kind of bad about it but she said she didn’t mind, she wished I passed her at about mile 15 so she could have drafted me the last 10 miles.
So we won the Hamburger Run, the next musher was 20 minutes behind. That’s quite a margin for a 25 mile race. And we had fun. And we did win best dressed musher because the officials liked how my parka, my dog truck, my sled, and my harnesses all matched. So we won 50 booties, and Gila Dolif was raking in the prizes, she won many of the categories, so she also gave me 50 more booties that she won.