2-14-2019 9:10 AM
Good morning race fans! Happy to report that teams are on the move again. Congrats to Deke and Jason for finishing a tough race! I see that Andy, Rob and Curt are moving along toward the finish as well. Teams have started leaving 101, and that means there is a more than excellent chance that everyone will be done by the finish banquet. In recent years generally that is the case. But there was a time when it wasn’t. I can remember sitting in the finish banquet and hearing the announcement that a musher had just entered the building straight from taking care of their dogs at the finish.
I think there are a lot of factors that contribute to this, advancements in gear play a role for sure. But one of the most important improvements is the amount of knowledge we have about how to care for these amazing long distance athletes. And what people may not realize is that a lot of that knowledge comes from research being done on races like the Quest and Iditarod. In addition to the army of volunteer vets who are there to support the teams there are almost always vets there specifically to do research and further our understanding of distance dogs. Mushers have the option of being involved, and like Dan and I most mushers happily elect to be involved. Of course, they would. It is mushers and their dogs who will ultimately benefit. For example research done on long distance races led to a greater understanding of nutritional needs for racing sled dogs. Here is just one example; Learning Fat Burning Secrets from Sled Dogs.
And while we are talking about the science of sled dogs I would love to share a post I did a few years back about some of the things that make sled dogs such amazing athletes. The Top 10 Reasons I LOVE my Dogs!