As we feared, our first race of the season, the Sheep Mountain 150 was cancelled due to lack of snow. Since we didn’t spend last weekend racing, we used the time to continue to train for the next race, the Gin Gin 200, which is scheduled for Dec 28-30. Snow is not abundant there either, but we are hoping there is enough to have a safe, fun race. Colleen has twice competed in the Gin Gin, finishing 3rd in 2005 and 2nd in 2006. We are hoping she can clinch a first place victory in 2007, but we’re sure the other very skilled competitors are also hoping they win. If Cole doesn’t place first, it definitely won’t be because the dogs weren’t trained enough and gassed out early. We have been training rigorously in the Caribou Hills for weeks, making several long sled runs up to Ptarmigan Head and Caribou Lake, often going from 1,000 up to 3,000 feet in elevation gain, and frequently breaking trail and dealing with some brutal windstorms. Our team may not be fast this year, but they will definitely be strong. On Monday we put in an eight-hour run, which will be the last of the long runs before the race. From here on out we will likely be doing 40-50 miles runs just to keep them in shape, and then something even smaller a few days before the race itself. Until then there is lots of salmon and horse meat to cut for race snacks.