Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gin Gin 200, Dec. 28th 2009

Hello Gin Gin 200 fans!

It's that time of year again!

The 5th running of the Gin Gin sled dog race will begin tomorrow with the women's division setting off in a mass start at 11am-sharp. The men will mass start just one hour later. We're here now at Wolverine Lodge - it's 11:15pm and mushers are still arriving. Mackey's are all checked in, Abbie West was cheerful and Mike Ellis seems to be looking forward to the trail.

There's been thick fog on the Lake Louise for the past 2 days making visibility quite poor. John went down the trail by snow machine to mark the trail and turns as needed. His report; Very Foggy for 16 miles. There's hope it might clear off by tomorrow afternoon. It's warm tonight (19F) and cloudy. We arrived this afternoon & stayed busy checking rabies cert on dog teams arriving, checking the outbound trail and ....preparing our own team for tomorrows 200 mile race.

We are always excited to put on a quality race with safe and well marked trails. Good Luck to all the Gin Gin 200 dogs and mushers!

Fast facts:

There's a women's and men's division

The top three places in each division will be paid and given a special Gin Gin 200 medal- gold, silver and bronze.

The entire trail is pretty much flat running on a river system: Lake Louise to the Tyone to the Su to the Maclaren.

One way: Wolverine to Maclaren: 109 miles

There's a mandatory 8 hr layover at Maclaren Lodge.

10 dogs per team

The Gin Gin 200 is an Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier.

The Gin Gin sled dog race was named after a special dog I fell for after having fallen for my husband:) His dog, Gin Gin. She was old and dying of cancer the year I had put this thing together. She was on some of John's best and most memorable dog races...the most worthy to note; his winning Quest team in 96. Gin Gin was kind, independent, a tough ol thing with perseverance and determination. She never felt sorry for herself even as she grew weak and more fragile. She took care of the yard. Dogs had respect for her. I admired her. She would now be the great grandmother (and grandmother) to some of my more talented racing dogs. Gin Gin lives on.....

*special note- she would be grandmother to Storey who is on the team and great-grandmother to Fender. Fender is just over a year old and this will be her first race.

John will do his best to write updates on this journal. Bare with us-John is our race marshal this year and our dropped dog driver for the race running between Paxson and Wolverine.

Thanks for your support! Happy Trails!