WOW. The New Year has arrived on schedule and the Husky Homestead team is on track to arrive at the Iditarod Starting line in early March. Our first race of the season in mid-December was the Sheep Mountain 150 Sled Dog Race. Over 45 teams assembled to take on this challenging mountain terrain. The field included many top names – including past Yukon Quest and Iditarod Champions. After a dubious start that included an unexpected slam into a snow-covered obstacle that broke one of my sled runners in half, my team surged over the last third to win the stormy race by a narrow 20 second margin!
The dogs have never been in any better health. Thick, shiny coats, voracious appetite, and daunting amounts of raw energy abound in the team this year. Clearly the SportDOG supplements have complemented our feeding and training program resulting in happy, healthy dogs. Their vigor and stamina impressed mushers and spectators alike at the recent Sheep Mountain race. In particular, SportDOG’s hydration product is a clear favorite with the dogs, and therefore with me. Keep up the good work.
Now our focus is on preparations for the Iditarod – coming in less than two months. We have 20 adult dogs in training vying for a spot in the 16 dog team that we will be taking in our 22nd running of the Iditarod. Today we will be loading the dogs up and taking them to a remote snow covered trail for a 120 mile, 24 hour training marathon. Our emphasis will be on training the dogs to match the speed which my years of racing experience tells me is perfect for an 1100 mile adventure. That speed is 10 miles an hour. Talking the dogs in to going 10 miles an hour when their psyche tells them they want to go 20 miles an hour is our biggest challenge. But we are up to the task. Pundits have researched my training philosophy and have found that my slow start ends up ultimately in a fast race. The old adage “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” is my mantra.
To be sure to do my part personally, I have been working out with a personal trainer improving my own health and fitness as I look forward to a record 5th win. Prior to the Iditarod our race schedule points us also to the Kenai peninsula for the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race which will be held later this month. If you want to follow this race, check it out at http://www.tustumena200.com/.
Thanks to SportDOG for your support for the 2012 Iditarod,
Jeff King is recognized as the “Winningest Musher in the World.” His victories include not only the 1,049 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 1993, 1996, 1998, and 2006, but also over two dozen first place finishes in races all across Alaska. During the past 20 years, Jeff has logged more than 100,000 miles on a dog sled. Jeff will be going for a fifth Iditarod win March 2012.