Training run number 98 for this season

Today with only 8 days to the start of Femundlopet 400 / World championship limited class race, I did seasons training run number 98
with the 8 dogs I finally selected for the race – well, Hannelore is still on the way somewhere in Sweden, on the way back from LGO, and I run her a couple of times with the B-team to see if she is in good shape and if I still can control her speed and working intensity after her “Odyssee” with Milos – Milos leased her and Gump & Gadaffi first November and have been training and racing them since then. It use to take some runs for a dog to adapt to another team and musher, but since I have had her for many years I hope she convert quickly to my way of running again…if not, it is not end of the world – it is not easy to take a place in team I have selected for the race anyhow…reports of the trail conditions in Röros area have been sometimes good and sometimes worrying – from hard and fast trails with not much snow to 40 cm overflow on lakes on first 100 km of race…well, I hope for cold and fast trail./Taisto

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Team for Femund/WC limited class is almost selected…

Still having 9 dogs in my team I think is good enough to take place among the 8 I finally choose for the race, and one outstanding dog in Pavols team and hopefully also Hannelore back from Grande Odyssee in ok shape in 10 days, I will have a team I would not want to change with anyone on the starting line. 22-23 January is Tromsquest. My plan is to run in “open” class with just 9-10 dogs, so I can see which one/s from my team I could leave from the team. The natural thing would be to run in 8 dog class, but then I would need to leave a couple of dogs without a chance to prove they deserve a place in my World Championship team. Pavol have got more injuries among his dogs, so he may need to put in a couple of little less trained dogs in his team…now we would had use for the 3 dogs I leased to Milos for Grande Odyssee. But they are anyhow all ok and doing good and will be back home in 10 days- not in time for Tromsquest, but there is other races coming later on…/Taisto

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New year – same goals

Unlike most others I am not fully done with my longer training runs. Since we had not enough guides, I had to work quite alot with my race dogs the last two weeks, so I feel I need another week or so with distance training before they are ready for the “tuneup” for the races. I have had Van out of the team for a while, but today he was ok and ready again. No other injuries… Milos is ready to leave towards south tomorrow. He has a good looking team. All 3 he lent from me got their space among the 14 for his Grande Odyssee team. Also Aki is sending his handler Juho driving south quite soon – but he and his wife, Malla will fly to Geneva and meet the dogs and Juho there…also Aki have an competitive team as far as I understand. I will call Ketil tonight about what he expects from his team. Anyhow, my guess is that all 3 will be among top 8 in the final standings of Grande Odyssee 2011. – in about 17 days we know if I am right… Happy New Year!/Taisto

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Training race is on Sunday – Monday

Our training race will start early afternoon on Sunday – totally we do around 155 km, with one 2hr and one roughly 10 hr mandatory rest. Not so many teams have signed in, but some real good ones: Two teams preparing for Le Grande Odyssee: Aki Holck and Milos Gonda, and last seasons Finnmark 500 Champion – Ole Wingren, to mention some of them ….and yes, I will run a team myself and at least one other team from me with Pavol Gonda as musher. Hopefully also Lubo with our “puppy team” if I can find another snowmobile driver what is needed to remark trail during the two hours break… Still two free places before field is full./Taisto

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First 1000 km on sled is done

This weekend I did the two first longer runs for this season – 2 x 102 km and today I passed the “1000 km pole” on sled this season.
Well, that is for the main team, I have of course done some runs on sled with other teams aswell… In total I am still little behind last years total distance at this time, but within a week I have catched up last years distance, not that it is so important, but anyhow.
I still run with huge, heavy sled with steel as runner “plastic”, two big truck wheels and a big wooden box on the sled. Today I almost comitted unwanted harakiri…I am training my arms using ski pole and after an “intervall” uphill with skipole I put it on top of the box without fixing the pole…not so smart: the pole jumped down, one end stucked to the trail, the other end speared my stomach. Lots of clothes saved me but the pole now have shape of C…and yes, it still hurts…/Taisto

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End of October and all looking good…

We are now alternating between ATV(Rhino) and sled…today me and Pavol did 49 km with two 14 dog teams and heavy sleds.Until end of October my main teams dogs ( 28 ) have between 742 and 867 km this season – and longest runs only 48 and 49 km.Still lot less than last season, but exactly after my plan. In November I plan to do little more trainings than last year but still not so long and fast runs. This winter we will have our training race much earlier: 4-5 December. We make it to fit especially for the Grande Odyssee teams = Aki and Milos. The race is planned to go like this : First leg 55-60 km, 2hr rest, then around 40 km, 8-10 hr layower and then last leg about 50 km. We will have space for totally 12-14 teams. It will be good training even for us others who don´t go to France for the Grande Odyssee…/Taisto

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Winter is here!

On snow – with a sled !
This morning I did my first sled training this season 31 km with a 10 dog team…heavy sled with steel instead of plastic under the runners. We have +20 cm snow but all swamps are unfrozen, so it is better to stay on dry land…except of that it is like winter conditions. Pavol run another 10 dog team about same distance with sled, having our new guy, Rene´ sitting on the sled and than a 7 dog team with an empty sled – all the other dogs we train with our Rhino:s. It is getting colder – 9 just now, so tomorrow trails are even better./Taisto

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Signed in for Finnmark 1000…

I finally made up my mind for what I will do after Femund/WC…it will be the Finnmarkslopet 1000. I was little late for signing in so I missed the first drawing, but in a 1000 km race it does not really matter how many extra minutes of rest you got added to 16 hrs…
My training is still going close to perfect. This weekend I did 3 nice trips between 35 – 42 km and the dogs will now rest some days because tomorrow(Monday 18 ) it is time for the “Nose vaccines” against kennel cough. I think we give them a break until Friday. Then on to it again… We had for some days real good conditions with 3-4 cm snow, but today it warmer and little rain, so the break is also in right time. I have been testing new leaders as well and it looks very good on that front too. Looks like I will not be as depending on a couple of leaders as earlier years…I just checked on TrailTab: We have used all together 30 dogs as leaders so far, and six of them in my main team./Taisto

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Lots of news and changes…

Last week has been really different. Lots of expected and unexpected happenings – some sad one too…at first our Parrot Max suddenly died ( he used to wish me and everyone else”God morgon” every morning) – then yesterday evening one of my good leaders, Lillspider get sick and died last night. To the more expected news: I sold 55 dogs, Mushers Lodge & Wilderness Lodge to Daniela & Jan, who both have been working for me for many years. They will run all the “ordinary” longer tours we did earlier. My company: Lapland Wilderness Tours is still operating shorter and exclusive tours, but this change will hopefully give me more time to concentrate on competive racing.Talking about racing: I signed in for Tromsquest 22-23 January. Pretty close to WC in Röros, but I want to do that race race as well. Closer to the race I will decide if I run the world championship team or not in Tromsquest. Pavol will also run a team in Tromsquest, but I even so, I will have another competitive team even if I rest the “A-team”… The training is going all after my plan. We are now slowly getting up in distance. Next week looks to be colder, maybe even snow. With 85 dogs in training I am not in a hurry to swap to sled and smaller teams – it is easier to run big teams with our Yamaha Rhinos…/Taisto

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Back from training in Finland

The fall training have been good fo far. I decided to not run as much as last fall in August and September and hope it was the right way to go. I just returned from very short “training camp” at Aki’s place, he has so many trail options to choose from now this time of year when we at home have less options until swamps and ponds freeze. In any case, it was nice change for the dogs and for 8 young ones it was first time they travelled in box for so long. Aki have got a lot of new (younger) dogs of good quality in to his race training. Both Aki and Juho will have better teams this season than ever. My self I have so far only signed in for Femund/ the World Championship race in limited class…I think I will not go for Alaska( Iditarod) after the Femund, so I will sign in for a couple of other bigger races in Europe. Not sure yet what races, but Finnmarkslopet is of course a bet with low odds…/Taisto

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