Friday, January 6, 2012

So much for taking time off!

Schnulle at the start of Iditarod 37,
March 2009
After racing a very exhausting competitive season last year, Sebastian Schnuelle announced that he would take the 2011-2012 racing season off to go sailing and visit friends and family around the globe. Schnuelle tried to take a break the season before, but quickly found himself signing up for the big races around Alaska and Canada.

This season, Schnuelle gave many of his dogs over to another musher and headed outside to "see the sun," as he put it. Soon, though, Schnuelle actively followed the first races of winter, giving his advice and online commentary via his facebook accounts. Then news broke that he would be running the Copper Basin 300 race (being held next weekend). He posted that he was working on his CB300 drop bags, and begrudged his unwavering obsession.

Then rumors swirled earlier this week that Schnuelle had signed up for the Yukon Quest. Some fans scoffed, his name was not on the race website, Schnuelle was taking a break from the big races.

Schnuelle put that talk to rest this morning with his update to his facebook page: "signed up for the Quest. Damn, I AM addicted."
The Yukon Quest is the second most popular long distance sled dog race in Alaska, and the only international race in North America. The race begins in Fairbanks and crosses over the Canadian border. While the Iditarod is now known as the "glamor" race with its well groomed trails and temperate weather, the Quest is known to be brutal. Many Quest mushers who go on to run the Iditarod pump the Quest to be the more challenging of the two (though Hugh Neff took that back after the difficulties of last year's Iditarod).
The 2011 Quest was an exceptionally challenging one, with many of the top names having to scratch due to adverse weather conditions. Once front runner Hugh Neff scratched (a dog died on the trail, which devastated the musher, who then ended up trapped on the mountain during a snow storm), Schnuelle was poised to take the title, but flooding on the Yukon caused other mushers to become trapped on the ice. Schnuelle helped several out of danger, including the eventual winner, Dallas Seavey, who came in just minutes before Schnuelle.
The Quest begins Feb. 4, 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment