This year was my third year as committee secretary and MC for the Northern Victorian Sled Dog Classic, and it was awesome!!
We got a bit lucky this year, no issues or injuries, no emergency services required, but we also had a fantastic committee! Some awesome new members bringing fresh ideas - like why didn’t we think of moving water cans to the portaloos by Mallie team before? And some founding members returning and bringing local connections back - wonderful coffee, pizza and baked potatoes available on site, as well as sponsorship of our raffle by delicious local businesses like the Chocolate Apple Factory and Cheeky Grog Company. After months and months of work, the committee pulled together like a dream team for the mammoth weekend - set up started on Thursday and ran hard through wet conditions on Friday, followed by three days of racing for over 100 competitors, and then our best pack up ever. It really is important that we all support each other for this endurance event - I don’t know of any other three day races, or any other fields of such size, in Australia’s nearly 30 years of mushing history.
Of course, the weekend wasn’t perfect - we had a small group of mushers who were unhappy with part of the track conditions and withdrew from the race in protest. We had some teams have issues on the track. We had unavoidable logistic issues with getting so much racing done in the best temperatures of the weekend, and some human errors due to the sheer exhaustion of running it all. And of course, the ancient plumbing in the shower block gives us a new challenge every year!!!
While I was busy enjoying my own voice booming over the loud speakers, J and Czar competed in Veterans. They were competing against DW and Lupo, who was fostered with J when he was first surrendered to SHCV Rescue. Lupo and Bolo, famously, did not get along, and there were some fond memories of these two crazy boys being shared. J and DW decided to compete to take out the mushing version of a wooden spoon - the red lantern. After running a respectable heat on Saturday late afternoon, the Sunday heat turned into a farce - stopping to get pats from spectators and a ridiculous performance at the finish line, which included J throwing himself on the ground. 🤦🏻♀️
And of course, the littles got their turn at Pee Wees - Wee Monster and J were loaned Bear and a rig, while Lil Bunyip snoozed in the baby carrier with me and Czar.