fall 2009-
winter 2010

Samoyed Club of America
Top Sprint Racing Team 2009
Organization for the Working Samoyed
Top Sled Dog Racing Team 2009

This was a very busy year for us! We decided early on that our goal for this season was to run enough sprint races to apply for the annual racing awards from the Samoyed Club of America's and the Organization For The Working Samoyed. We found out in late 2010 that we had won the top sprint award from both organizations and I couldn't be prouder of my racing team - Dia, Forest, and Mystic.

Training Photos 2009-2010
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Family Camping at Maplewood State Park ~ October 16, 2009
We managed to combine a family vacation trip with some dog-running this year while camping in northern Minnesota.

Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Dogsledding Class At The Minnesota Zoo ~ December 29, 2009
The Minnesota Zoo asked us to return and pesent a day-long dogsledding class this year.

[YouTube video]
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Training Run At Crow-Hassan Reserve ~ January 2, 2010
We met up with our new friends Karina & Tim who, despite the fact that they run Malamutes ;-), are super-nice people.

Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


White Oak Classic
Deer River, MN ~ January 9, 2010
This race is so much fun. Wonderful trail, well-organized, super-nice people -- it's the highlight of our racing season. This was our second year running White Oak. Last year I ran the 18-mile class with 6 dogs in 3 hours, 14 minutes. Two of those dogs have since retired from racing so I ran White Oak with only 4 dogs this year - Forest, Mystic, Dia, and Cirrus. Amazingly, those 4 dogs ran the same 18-mile trail in only 2 hours, 31 minutes this year! The recreational musher's credo is "Run the dogs you have" but it can really make a difference which dogs you choose to put in harness from the dogs you have available.
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


On the Crow River, MN ~ January 16, 2010
Tim O'Brien and Karina Burger of Winterstarz Alaskan Malamutes graciously hosted a weekend fun run at their farm in Cokato, MN. 45 people and 55 dogs attended this weekend of mushing and weight pulls. We chose to run the 12-mile trail that Tim and Karina planned on the frozen Crow River.

Unfortunately I was a little over-confident at the beginning of our run and thought we could handle a rather steep up- and down-hill start followed immediately by a hard haw onto the frozen river. Well... my team handled this just fine; I on the other hand crashed spectacularly off the sled and severely sprained my ankle. Through the blur of stars circling my head, I distinctly remember lying on the ice, one hand frantically clenched onto the sled, while I stared up at the crisp winter sky awaiting death. After 10 or so minutes, I managed to stagger upright and proceeded to do my best to stand on the dogsled while only putting my weight on one foot. This is impossible to do, mind you, especially on mile after mile of jagged overflow ice.

After a while, my mind just hazed over and I actually started to become aware of how lovely the river was. We passed deer, wild turkeys, and even some baked goods someone had put down to feed the deer. We were one of the first teams out and kept up a good pace - especially when compared to those poky Malamutes that most everyone else was running... ;-) I had to use my cell phone to call my wife Melanie to come help me up the river bank near Karina & Tim's farm as I could not put any weight on my bad ankle to climb up off the river.

Once the dogs were back in their boxes and I was safely packed on ice, Karina (who, like her husband Tim, is a horse veterinarian) graciously offered to tape up my ankle. Some interesting conversation ensued as all parties present tried to decide if I should be wrapped like a large animal (from the top down toward the foot) or like a small animal (from the foot heading up the leg).

Please read the marvelous and hilarious newsletter Tails Of The 2010 CrowDitarod Karina did documenting the weekend. Tim & Karina have promised to invite us back for next year's adventure, though I think our only purpose is to provide comic relief...

    Tails Of The 2010 CrowDitarod
[PDF File]
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Langlade County Trailblazer's Challenge
Antigo, WI ~ January 23, 2010
Day 2 of this race was cancelled due to poor trail conditions. Thanks to Kim Sampson of Chatanika Samoyeds for her hosting and dog-handling! Race sponsored by the Wisconsin Trailblazers Sled Dog Club,
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Medford Mush
Medford, WI ~ February 13-14, 2010
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Crosslake Dog Derby
Crosslake, MN ~ February 20-21, 2010
Thanks to Pam Landers of Sylvan Samoyeds for hosting Melanie, Gwen and myself; for helping with dog handling; and for taking some marvelous photos!

[YouTube video]

[YouTube video]
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Snowflake Classic
Duluth, MN ~ March 6-7, 2010
No pictures, sorry.


City On the Bay Sleddog Race
Walker, MN ~ February 27-28, 2010
Our first mass start. It quickly became apparent that Alaskan Huskies are faster than Samoyeds... ;-)
Click on any thumbnail to view a larger image.


Mush For A Cure
Grand Marais, MN ~ March 17, 2010
After having so much fun at last year's Mush For A Cure (and helping to raise over $23000 for breast cancer research), we were looking forward to running MFAC again this year. Alas, nature did not cooperate and by mid-March the trail had standing water. The organizers had many other events going on that weekend besides mushing but we decided not to journey north to the Gunflint Trail and instead donated our travel money to the cause. We hope to run in MFAC again, because we have a lot of ideas on how to "pink" our dogs! Thanks to everyone who pledged money on our behalf this year -- even though the dogs stayed home, the event raised $30000!