Friday, March 10, 2006

Onwards to Ruby!

So the first half of the field have arrived at the halfway point (Cripple) and many have continued on to the first checkpoint on the Yukon River (Ruby). Hugh and the Laughing Eyes Kennel team are doing great! The plan this year was to take it easier in the beginning to hopefully finish with a stronger team in the end. So far it looks like Hugh is following this plan. He has been taking longer rests and trying to keep his runs shorter. He kept all 16 dogs until Ophir (500 miles into the race) - a record for him for sure. He has since dropped one dog in Ophir and one in Cripple but at 14 still has a lot of dogs compared to other teams. Although officially the team is in 19th place, they would appear to be closer to the top 15 when taking into account leapfrogging teams (pretty good considering 83 teams started this year and probably 40 of them are contenders). After taking 5 hours of rest on the trail into Cripple and another almost 9 hours of rest in Cripple it would appear that Hugh plans to run straight to Ruby (a 9 hour run) and take his 8 hour mandatory rest there. There's a lot of teams within a few hours so it will be interesting to see how things shake out. I spoke to Hugh in McGrath and he seemed upbeat about the race so far and how his dogs were looking. So far the trail has been great - a bit of new snow and not too warm for the dogs. Currently the thermometer has dropped a bit and it's been hovering around 40 below at night with some wind thrown in for good measure. Good for dogs, hard on mushers. The forecast is for warmer weather this weekend on the coast. Hugh wanted me to mention that his plans are to do the Kobuk 440 race in early April and then spend the month of May on the road travelling to the lower-48 to do another school tour talking about the Iditarod and living in the north. If you know of any schools that might be interested please send me an e-mail so I can start figuring out the scheduling (laughingeyeskennel@hotmail.com) Happy Trails!

2 Comments:

At 7:41 PM , Blogger Laughing Eyes Fan said...

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At 7:45 PM , Blogger Laughing Eyes Fan said...

Hi Tamra,
How exciting is this! Hugh is moving up steadily and I just wish they would interview him or at least put a pic of him and the dawgs on the cabella or iditarod website! I watch the websites and check the blog every three or so hours for any and all news! Do you know which dogs he's had to drop? I've been hooked on Laughing Eyes since you emailed me last year! It's the most awesome race and you, Hugh and the dawgs bring it all to life for those of us who watch it from afar. Keep up the good work! Thank you so much!

 

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