Copper Basin Countdown: 4 Days

I'm sure many of you are anxious to hear who's on the Copper Basin Team?! Well we can't tell you that today because we're still making our picks, but we can drop some hints, tell you who's sitting this one out and who their musher will be!

Amanda will be running her first Copper Basin 300 with the young bucks of the race team! This will be her first 300-mile race (insert bug eyes here). She'll be sticking with her "ABC's" when it comes to her canine athletes which includes....The A, B & C litters! Anchor & Ace are hardly considered rookies after their performance in last year Quest, but for the B & C litters, this will be their first 300-mile race (and believe it or not, Anchor's first as well). They joined Amanda & Luther last year on the local Two Rivers 200 trail and kicked butt posting some of the fastest run times in a couple of the check points! Granted they were running a non-competitive race schedule (meaning equal run to rest), they still did a stellar job as yearlings.  However that race is not an easy feat and has a tendency to surprise "away" mushers with it's hills and technical trails.  Our local trail boss would always say, "If it's a 1,000-mile qualifier, the trail should reflect a 1,000-mile qualifier."  Ergo, the young team has seen some adverse conditions and have flourished.  Now it's time to move on up in the world and tackle some new and exciting trail.  Copper Basin 300, here we come!

More about the B & C Litters:
At this junction, we can confidently say who will not be joining Amanda on the race trail.  First pooch on the bench is Boomer, aka Boom Boom.  He's not sitting out from a lack of desire nor from Amanda not wanting him on the team (he'd be her first pick!), but poor ol' Boom Boom has a sore shoulder.  Have no fear! It's nothing that time won't heal and he's been in the healing process for the last couple of weeks, thus taking him along would just aggravate the injury.  Boomer thus should be ready to make the 1,000-mile trek to Whitehorse come the 3rd of March!

Neither Barley, Banjo nor Badger will be making the race team this year.  We're finding that the B litter is taking a little longer to mature comparatively to the C litter but that's OK! Maybe this means their big brains need longer to develop into strong fierce leaders! Whatever the reasoning, we'll allow them time to mature at their own rate. They'll get a shot at making the A-team again next year.

Cobra is one of the last of the 2.5 year olds sitting this race season out.  Why? Well it's certainly not from a lack of energy! It's actually because this boy has SO much of it, that we decided early on to make his cut from the race team.  This big 60-lb boy never stops moving and while at his house he spins around and around and around and around and around (you get the point). When it's time to run, he's used up ALL of his calories & energy and is pooped. He eats 3x as much as any other dog in the kennel, yet he doesn't run the miles. Requiring this much food makes him a very "hard keeper" and not the most ideal race dog.  So King Cobra has resigned to the tour team to do shorter runs so it's easier to keep his weight healthy and his brain happy. Maybe one day, he'll figure out when it's time to rest and when it's time to run.  Until that day comes, this big boy will be leading the charge at the Homefront!

Is the Basin team compiled of ALL rookies?! Don't worry, we have some very experienced veteran leaders making up the front half of the team.  And one starts with an...H!

What are our goals for the race?
Our goals are to pace the team, make it fun and get as many of those young guns to the finish line as possible. We'll be running a "competitive" race schedule meaning we won't take more than the mandatory rest of 18-hrs.  However, we're not in it to win it in the sense of the crossing the finish line first (we'll leave that to the seasoned veterans), so if it's decided that they need more rest, we'll take more rest.  Easy peasy. 

As of right now, we're just about to finish tying our drop bags for both the Copper Basin & the Yukon Quest (1,300-miles of trail).  That's a feat in and of itself.

For the next couple days leading up to the Basin the dogs will continue training in preparation for those 300-miles ahead.  We'll pack up the truck on the 12th to head south to Glenallen for Vet Checks and Food Drops.

Saturday January 13th, it's race time!