Racing at the Femundløpet
I’ve just come back from being part of the vet team for a 650km race across Norway. While I’ve being working with racing dogs for a while, most of what we do in the UK is sprint and middle distance racing, so to have the opportunity to be involved in a longer race was incredible. The British national broadcaster (The BBC) had a wonderful two minute summary of the event, which can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-51367408/mayhem-and-mishaps-during-norway-s-gruelling-dog-sled-race)
The dogs were primarily Alaskan Huskies, with the odd pure Siberian team thrown in (there was also one Greenland dog team which finished and one Malamute team which unfortunately had to scratch part way).
The Femundløpet is one of the races covered by the Qpaws Arctic Series (https://www.qrillpaws.com) which meant there was a constant live stream available – highly recommended for those who can’t get to the events themselves. The next event covered in the series is “The Last Great Race on Earth” – yep, the Iditarod. I’ll be back out in Northern Norway working on a different race, so I’m looking forward to alternating caring for my own teams and watching the race in Alaska.
Yes it was cold and I got about 4 hours sleep a day for the 5 days of the race, but seeing so many happy, excited dogs ready to do their jobs, and the wonderful bond between musher and team made every bit of the sleep loss worthwhile, and reminded me once again how lucky I am to be able to work with such incredible people and animals. Back at home, I’m so excited that Running Dog can help enhance the relationship between pet dogs and their runners by getting them out to have fun together.