Training for the Gunflint Mail Run: Continued
In my last post I gave you an overview of what training for a race like the Gunflint Mail Run looks like. We have been working hard getting ready for this season. The colder temperatures really help the dogs, but for us mushers the colder temperatures can mean almost painful experiences especially while still training on the ATV. On the ATV, the musher is relatively motionless for long periods of time and the cold really begins to affect them. Their hands get especially cold because they are steering the ATV.
This season, we have already had a morning with temperatures as low as -10 degrees when we were out running. I have to remind myself that the temperatures we’re experiencing here are nothing compared to what I will have to endure during the race in January. The race is being held in Cooke County, Minnesota where temperatures often dip down to -30 degrees to -40 degrees throughout the night. However, the cold in Minnesota is a damp cold, not a dry cold like in Colorado where we’re training. I guess I’d better toughen up!
Training has been challenging this year because we are training for two very different events. While we’re training for the Gunflint Mail Run, we’re also training for the tours we do at Snow Mountain Ranch, which are quite different. If I hope to be competitive in the race, I need to be running at an average of 13-14 miles per hour and be able to sustain that over 65 miles. Whereas the tours we offer at Snow Mountain Ranch average around 10 miles per hour with frequent stops. Therefore, I train a few days a week running at the much faster speed and increase the mileage along with it, while the other days of the week, I run longer distances at a slower average speed. We’ll see how it works!
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