Final Preparations for the Gunflint Mail Run
Written by Chaplain Steve Peterson
Chaplain Steve Peterson is running the Gunflint Main Run to raise funds to create the Bethany Adams Memorial Fund which will send an underprivileged kid to camp each year in perpetuity. Read his story and donate here.
Our preparation for running the “Gunflint Mail Run” continues and intensifies. The last two weeks have been filled with finding, organizing and inspecting all the necessary gear and long training runs which simulate the race. We’ve also had to meet the demands of full dog sled ride reservations at the Y, cut up a lot of frozen meat, and make the final selection of dogs who will run the race.
Two weeks ago, I had narrowed my team for the race down to the top ten dogs, and during the last two weeks, I had to narrow the field to the final eight. To choose the final eight, I had to run all ten dogs on long runs and pay careful attention to which dogs were pulling the most consistently over the long distance. Some may start strong and have more power, but after going a long distance their tug line goes slack unless you slow way down. However, other dogs may be smaller and have less power, but they continue to pull at the higher speed throughout the entire distance. It’s also important to monitor their feet, their joints, which side of the line you need a dog and which side does a particular dog run on. We also have to closely monitor their appetites because you want them to keep eating well in order to maintain their energy.
I am pleased to announce the eight dogs I have selected; Eli- 9 years old, Zoey- 5 years old, Moose- 4 years old, Juniper- 4 years old, Yukon- 5 years old, Zenyatta- 4 years old, Rosie-5 years old, and Aspen- 4 years old. Aspen has a great story. A little over a year ago, Aspen was hit by a car and badly injured her leg. We almost had to amputate her leg, but here she is a year later making the racing team. There is no quit in this little baby.
On another note, we have raised approximately $7,000 toward our goal of $25,000 to create the Bethany Adams Memorial endowment fund. Thank you so much to all of you who have contributed. This goal means more to me than any goal I have ever pursued. This fund will send an underprivileged kid to camp every year in perpetuity honoring Bethany’s memory. Please consider helping us reach this goal.
A couple final things; 1) all of the mushers participating in the race will carry a spot tracker so you can see online where I am in real-time during the race by clicking here. 2) The Gunflint Mail Run Facebook page will have live video of the race start on Saturday morning. God Bless you all and I wish you a Happy New Year!