The Mallie club like to run two races in one weekend, rather than having two heats like the SHCV does. This allows people to attend for part of the weekend, or get two events in quickly, and being so close to Melbourne, there were many people who did go home overnight. Those of us who stayed enjoyed a pizza - delivered to the camp site no less! - around the camp fire and an early morning start.
Because Ishka has been retired this season, and Frankie was going to run with me, J was down to two dogs. He's been training with Czar and Bolo, and been impressed at how their running has improved without the older dogs in the team, but apparently there should be a saying in racing along the lines of "raced with four dogs, never go back".
The kind ladies at Snofall Siberians offered us the use of two of their girls, Chermani and Layla, for the Sunday morning race. Layla is an absolute powerhouse, and runs brilliantly with her sister Chermani. These girls were going to set a challenge for our boys!
As always, the view as they took off from the start chute was impressive. Even more impressive was that they finished with the other Snofall team, who were running five dogs, with a time that took them to second place in the four dog class. J said having the two girls kept the boys running the entire 5.3 kms. There were a few pauses and some passing practice, because it was a little warm, and a little early in the season.
Especially impressive was the performance of our "problem child" Bolo. Although he is a born runner who loves to put his head down and pound down the track, Bolo's poor socialisation as a puppy in a neglected home prior to becoming a rescue dog makes him unreliable around other dogs. All of last year, Bolo ran on the left side, and J stuck to a strict "keep left" policy to ensure that Bolo had no opportunity to get too friendly with any passing teams. This year, J has been trialling putting Bolo up front with Czar and even in single lead. Today, he coped well with passing the other Snofall team on a couple of occasions as they leap frogged down the track, and he remained totally focussed on running.
So proud of all my boys!