Monday, March 30, 2009

My Team Line-up

Leaders: Newman and Coffee
Swing: Patsy and Marshall
Team: Rob, Mirror, Dealer, Swift, Elmo
Wheel: Socks and Bill

GO Team GO!

Heading To The Race Tomorrow . . .

The time has come to drive to Wolverine Lodge on Lake Louise. Today we finished bagging booties, food, and other gear that will be needed during the race. I also ran the team another 30 miles. Some of the mandatory gear that needs to be in the sled are: two bundles of booties for each dog, an axe, snowshoes, cold weather sleeping bag, cooker, and 2 lbs. of dog food for each dog. My sled is going to be very heavy for the first 110-mile leg of the race. I will have to haul all my gear and dog food that I will need for 220 miles in my first 110-mile stretch due to there not being a food drop at McLaren Lodge. I am feeling good about this race. I am really happy with the team that I have. As of now, I will be running a team with 11 dogs. (See the team roster in the above post) I will not have the opportunity to update my blog beginning tomorrow so you need to access information on how I am doing at this website: My mom will also be posting a daily up-date on my blog site.
Please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days . . .

Sunday, March 29, 2009

30 Mile Run

There was a light dusting of ash on the ground when we got up today. I continued to gather gear and wrap booties into bundles of four this morning. I ran an eleven-dog team this afternoon along with Ray's team. We ran for three hours and covered about 30 miles.
(How fast were we traveling?) The day was overcast and around 35+ degrees. The snow was wet and slushy. Parts of the trail had small amounts of overflow or water on it. On our way back to the kennel we saw a big moose hiding off the trail in the willow trees. It was a great day to get back into the groove of mushing dogs. Tomorrow, Ray and I will be running a few more miles. I am not too sure how many more, but I know whatever we do will help condition the dogs for the 300-mile run. As the race day gets closer, I am getting more anxious to get up to Wolverine Lodge on Lake Louise
and start running!
Here is a math problem for the Houghtaling Dolphins:

Ms. Taggart needs two bundles ( a bundle is 4 booties) of booties for each of her twelve dogs. How many booties will she need altogether?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Made it into Anchorage . . .

Last night (3/27), after a slight delay due to another eruption of Mt. Redoubt, I made it into Anchorage. Today, Ray Redington picked me up and brought me to his home in Knik. We were working on food drops this afternoon and gathering gear. We were planning on going for a 30-mile run this evening but decided against it due to receiving a light dusting of ash. Depending on the ash fall overnight, we may truck the dogs 3 hours up the highway to Sheep Mountain Lodge and run out of there. Sheep Mountain Lodge is owned by Iditarod musher Zack Steer. I am hoping that I am able to get a run or two in before the race starts on Wednesday, April 1st. There is an ash advisory and high-wind warning around the Paxson area for tomorrow. Here is a website you can check to see the weather for Paxson:,alaska/

So until tomorrow . . .

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taiga 300 Here I Come . . .

I am heading to Anchorage tomorrow (3/27) after school to prepare for my 300-mile sled dog race. I am a bit nervous . . . 100 more miles than the Knik 200 that I ran in January. . . Hopefully, the weather will be a bit warmer than -48 degrees! This race will bring me closer to my goal of participating in the 1,100-mile Iditarod. I will be at Redington's, in Knik, sometime on Saturday where I hope to get a few runs in with the dogs that I will be using for the Taiga.
I have been keeping an eye on what Mt. Redoubt is doing with its eruptions, and I am praying that the ash stays far away from where I will be running the race.
My mom will be updating my blog when she can while I am racing. You can also go to the Taiga 300 website to see the results that they post:
Thank you again to everyone who has supported me financially and through encouragement and prayers! You all ROCK!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Serious Training

Last weekend I started to get serious about getting back into the swing of things - primarily training in Ketchikan for my up-and-coming race, the Taiga 300. Above is a glimpse into my training with my trusty huskies at my side.

The race will begin and end at Wolverine Lodge on Lake Louise. Mile 16.5 on the Lake Louise Road—turn off at mile 160 on the Glenn Highway (27 miles south of Glennallen). The race will start at 11:00a.m. on April 1, 2009 - at 2 minute intervals. The race will be a continuous event of approximately 312 miles, consisting of 4 segments. The 1st leg will be a 60-mile run from Wolverine Lodge, most of which will be hilly, returning on the Lake system to Wolverine for a mandatory 6-hour layover plus time differential. No handler assistance or planned help allowed here. Teams will then continue on a 110-mile leg to the Maclaren checkpoint. (Maclaren River Lodge at milepost 42 on the Denali Highway.) This segment is entirely on lakes and rivers. There will be a mandatory 8-hour layover at Maclaren at which straw will be provided for the dogs. The 3rd leg will be a 30-mile loop east on the Denali Highway, and returning through the mountains to Maclaren for a 4-hour layover. The last run will return to Wolverine on the 110-mile leg.

This race will last a bit longer than my last race due to the extra 100 miles and layovers.