Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dan Snyder Sr. Memorial Race Day 3

Today was day 3 of the Kotzebue Dog Musher's Association Dan snyder Sr. Memorial Sled Dog races. The day dawned rather overcast and dull, with the kind of white light where you can't tell the ground from the sky. By 11:30 a modest crowd of mushers, handlers and spectators were gathering down on the ice. Even with the sun hiding out it was a comfortable 7 degrees causing Fred Jackson to exclaim "Great weather for racing!"

One of Paul's dogs waiting while the rest get hitched.

This is one of Buddoo's leaders. He's a handsome dog. I have posted several pictures of him in the past.

Here's another one of Buddoo's dogs waiting to get hitched up.

Buddoo was the first across the finish (remember winners are determined by time).

Here is Paul and Cyrus coming towards the finish line. Paul had some trouble at the start of the race. The neck line on one of his dogs kept coming off and he lost about 1 minute and 20 seconds trying to get the problem fixed. This allowed Cyrus to gain some time on him.

Oh no! Paul's dogs have veered off the trail. Maybe they were trying to take a short cut to the finish line.

He had to throw his snow hook and stop his team, run to the front, grab his leaders....

....and haul everybody back on the trail.

Meanwhile, Cyrus and his team are bearing down on him as Paul runs back to his sled.

From where I was standing it looked like they were going to end up in a big mess of balled up dogs and tangled lines, but Cyrus was able to go on by as Paul picked up his snow hook and took off.

They shared the trail side by side for the next 100 yards.....

...and crossed the finish together. Even with all the trouble that he had, Paul was still able to hang on to second place in overall time.

Last into the chute is Uncle Bung.

The race trail starts of on the ice in front of Fred's house and over towards Lockard Point. From there it heads towards the Little Noatak and about 7 miles out loops around to the left and heads back towards town on the Noatak trail. The racers took off, one at a time, promptly at noon, with Virgil Naylor Sr. keeping the time and setting off one musher every two minutes. "The trail had a pretty good base", said musher Cyrus Harris, "But anywhere off the trail is soft. We had to be careful to stay on the narrow trail we had in this open terrain". Other mushers had similar reports of trail conditions, "It was pretty good", replied Bung Nelson, "Better than yesterday".

The KDMA's next race will be the 8 Dog Championship (12 mile) held March 15th and 16th. The races start at noon both days with a total purse of $5,000.

Kotzebue Dog Mushers Association Dan Snyder Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race Results
Day 1
1. John "Buddoo" Gallahorn 57 min 49 sec
2. Paul Hansen 59 min 40 sec
3. Cyrus Harris 60 min 47 sec
4. Arvid "Bung" Nelson 68 min 49 sec
Day 2
1. John "Buddoo" Gallahorn 52 min 15 sec
2. Paul Hansen 61 min 18 sec
3. Cyrus Harris 62 min 28 sec
4 Arvid "Bung" Nelson 71 min 15 sec
Day 3
1. John "Buddoo" Gallahorn 60 min 50 sec
2. Cyrus Harris 64 min 47 sec
3. Paul Hansen 66 min 48 sec
4. Arvid "Bung" Nelson 68 min 05 sec
1. John "Buddoo" Gallahorn 179 min 54 sec
2. Paul Hansen 187 min 46 sec
3. Cyrus Harris 188 min 02 sec
4. Arvid "Bun" Nelson 208 min 09 sec


Becky said...

"That was Cathy in Kotzubue with another fabulous update on the Dan Snyder Sr. Memorial Race. Thank you, Cathy...and those photographs of the dogs can only be described as fabulous. Beautiful, aren't they? And they look so excited when they run. We're looking forward to more from Cathy as we get closer to the granddaddy of all the mushing events, the Iditarod. Thank you, Cathy. And now back to John in the newsroom for our weather update..."

Cathy said...

Hahaha....thanks Becky. I wish I could see the end of the Iditarod. The lead Iditarod mushers are in Unalakleet now so it won't be long til they reach Nome. I wish I could see the end of the Iditarod but it's awfully crowded in Nome this time of year.

The Dude said...

I love, love, love the pics of the dogs in motion. they are so great-looking! They really seem to love it, too. ALmost like they are playing...

June said...

These are some fantastic shots. It's not an event many people get to see and document, so I appreciate your bringing it to us.

Meredith said...

WOW!!! Stupendous pictures!!! Beautiful family! We are here in coastal Maine. Hello to a fellow New Englander!