{Tsuga Siberians}

February 27, 2007 - “Can-Am 250 Preview”


Mike & Zirkle relaxing before the race

Well, we’re in the middle of packing up for the climax of our racing season. We will be on the road on Thursday for Fort Kent, Maine and our big experiment of entering two teams in the Can-An 250. We expect a full complement of 30 teams will hit the trail Saturday morning, leaving from Main Street. As of now, I’ll be bib 2 and Sue will be bib 21. I thought I’d fill you in on a few things to look for if you are “watching” the race from the Can-Am website -

http://can-am.sjv.net

First, about our teams… Most of the females in the kennel have decided to begin their heat cycles, just in time for the race. So, we’ve had to re-work our plan somewhat, and separate the males and females (mostly). I’ll take the boys, which gives me a few more puppies than I wanted. Sue will take the girls (mostly), and gets a few of our best dogs in the process. Our teams will be more evenly matched than we had first planned. However, this is Sue’s first race over 100 miles, and she’ll stay longer in checkpoints and take more breaks on the trail to keep herself and her team fresh. I hope my team will respond well to our best training year ever and be able to keep the pace up with the minimum rest allowed. If my four young boys begin to get stressed, I’ll pull up in a checkpoint and spend some extra time. With Yukon Quest coming next year, a positive experience for the most dogs possible is far more important than where I finish in the standings. But, if all goes to plan, look for Sue to take about 24 hours of total checkpoint rest and finish sometime early morning on Tuesday. If my pups can handle the heat and keep up with my veteran core, I will take about 15 hours of total rest and hope to finish around mid-morning Monday. If we both make it to the finish line with most of our dogs, the weekend, and year!!, will be a TOTAL success. We’ll do our best…

Mike's Team:

Stump
(M)
4 yrs old

Maple
(F)
5 yrs old

Gila
(F)
4 yrs old

Romeo
(M)
4 yrs old

Logan
(M)
1 yr old

Merlin
(M)
1 yr old

Hawkeye
(M)
4 yrs old

Hood
(M)
1 yr old

Wilson
(M)
1 yr old

Curly
(M)
5 yrs old

Gecko
(M)
4 yrs old

Jim
(M)
8 yrs old

Sue's Team:

Kobuk
(M)
8 yrs old

Mugs
(F)
4 yrs old

Squiggle
(F)
8 yrs old

Molly
(F)
2 yrs old

Lotus
(F)
1 yr old

Moon
(F)
1 yr old

Trip
(F)
1 yr old

Isis
(F)
1 yr old

Eliza
(F)
1 yr old

Reba
(F)
1 yr old

Cassin
(F)
1 yr old

Ambler
(M)
4 yrs old

As far as the overall race, here are some things to watch for… Look for Matt Carstens to win!! He’s won everything else recently, why not this again?? I don’t want to jinx him; I just think he can do it. Martin Massicotte, Don Hibbs, and Bruce Langmaid are all former champs, and I’m sure they’ll be shooting to de-throne Matt. Tim Calhoun and Rick Larson just finished first and second at the UP 200 in Michigan last weekend and will be running their first trip on the Can-Am trail. There are quite a few other teams coming back to Can-Am who have run the race multiple times. With 10 or more of these teams fighting to improve on their past finishes, the middle of the pack is likely to be not far behind the leaders, and tightly bunched. I expect the money positions in this race (to 12th place) to be hotly contested. I hope I can be in there. There are two other purebred Siberian teams in the race besides Sue and me, and we wish Lev Shvarts and Jaye Foucher the best of luck. Also, please help us in rooting for our good friends Christine Richardson and Kim Darst on their rookie runs. Our bud, Bill Matott, will also be out there with his Malamute team and we hope we get to welcome him to the finish. We wish the best of luck to all the racers and we can’t wait to hit the trail!!!

Thanks so much for your support and good wishes. Watch the Can-Am site this weekend and we’ll fill you all in on what happened with us as soon as we can after we get home next Wednesday…

Take care and Thanks!! - Team Tsuga.



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