Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Other Obsession(s)

Hi all. I know...Long time, no blog. I apologize for my absence.

Today I am working from home sidelined with a terrible late winter cold. No worries though because it is providing me with plenty of opportunity to indulge one of my other obsessions (besides horses) and that is sled dog racing. Before I came to work at Purina, I was fortunate enough to spend several years working with my husband doing exercise physiology research with sled dogs. These magnificent animals are capable of running over 100 miles per day indefinitely when properly fed and conditioned. The two most famous long distance sled dog races are the Iditarod (which occurs in early March) and the Yukon Quest (which is going on right now-check out http://www.yukonquest.com/ ). Both races are over 1000 miles long and cover some of the most remote, beautiful and brutal wilderness left on earth. These amazing dogs which average 45-50 lbs. and are mixed breed (very few purebred Siberian Huskies or other northern breed dogs are competitive racers) can burn in excess of 12000 calories per day while running. Their metabolic capacity is roughly 4 times that of Lance Armstrong.

And they absolutely love what they do. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing a group of sled dogs getting ready to start a run. They are all barking and tugging and carrying on, but as soon as the driver (musher) says Alright! they are off in silence. I am including a video of this phenomenon in my post. This was taken about 3 years ago. The musher is Jon Little and we were located in Big Lake Alaska at Happy Trails Kennel owned by 4 time Iditarod champion Martin Buser. This beautiful kennel has an incredible view of Denali (also known as Mt. McKinley) when the weather is cooperating and there are no clouds around the peak.

Sorry guys. The video I loaded may be too large to play. I am going to try to put it on You Tube and provide a link. Give me a few minutes....

I think I have it now...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRJgOZYQoD4

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