It is late, the truck is packed, Dan is sleeping, and as soon as I share some info with the friends of Dew Claw I am off to bed myself. Tomorrow in the early AM Dan will be headed down to Glennallen for the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race. This year we are sending one team instead of two. Since neither of us needs qualifiers we can make decisions based on what we feel is in the best interest of our dogs, and have decided to focus on one team for this event. Dan has always really enjoyed the Copper and it made sense for him to run the team. I will be holding down the fort and working on some of the preparations for my Iditarod drop bags, a huge task to be sure. He will be traveling down with a great friend and experienced race handler, Rick. He has handled for us on the Copper before, and we can totally count on him. Yes we are very lucky to have friends like Rick.
Wanted to share a little about the race, and give y’all some info about following the race online. Billed as the toughest 300 miles in Alaska, and for good reason, the Copper Basin is an excellent place to test your team & yourself. I had always felt if I could not handle the Copper then I still needed more work before trying the Quest or Iditarod, for that reason I ran it twice in preparation for my Idita-Quest rookie runs . There are sections of trail the require good technical sled driving skills, plenty of opportunity for water and overflow to challenge you, and the weather usually kicks in to add to the excitement (think bitter cold and/or deep snow and/or high winds). In spite, or maybe becuase of all that, it is a really fun event. The checkpoints have wonderful hospitality, and the race organization puts on a first class event. You can see a video of Allen Moore (past Copper Basin Champ) talking about the trail on YouTube “Pre-CB300 Talk With Allen — Part 3 — Trail” The race start will be in Chistochina, making for a slightly different order then Allen is narrating in the video, but the sections are the same as he describes. By starting in a different checkpoint each year it changes the strategy somewhat, and also allows different communities to host the start and finish. Here is this years race map.
The race organization also does a great job of keeping fans informed. As part of this years event they will be posting information on the Copper Basin Website. In addition they will have live radio coverage streaming online from the starting chute! OK it is always a bit un-nerving to be a the start line and have a microphone put in your face, but mushers are all doing there best to answer the questions and share with the fans, and it gives y’all a chance to hear what they sound like in person.
The webpage will update the Current Standings by checkpoint. And a new feature they will be trying, is some live video coverage. The Copper Basin facebook page is sure to be very active, so check there for photos and comments.
In addition Go Mush is an excellent resrouce for mushing news. As is Northern Lights Media. Also check out the Team & Trail blog at the Alaska Dispatch. You can also learn more about the race in the new DVD by Husky Productions “Running Copper Basin” for sale on their website. Rumor has it there is footage of Dan & I, as well as some of the Dew Claw kids.
So please join me in following from afar, and in wishing Dan and the kids all the best of luck for a fun adventure at the Copper Basin 300. Also join me in thanking all the volunteers who make this such a great event. People have been hard at work behind the scenes, from trail breakers to organizers, logistics to web site work; nobody gets paid (or much sleep for the next few days), it’s all for the love of the dog and the sport! We can’t thank the volunteers enough!
Dan’s race team will be: