This year’s Quest 300 highlighted one of the most amazing aspects of dog mushing: community support. At the starting line, I felt like a Nascar racer with an amazing pit crew working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. Founders members, Chris Swisher and Randy Foland, and my two AMAZING handlers Derek and Tom were essential in getting me to the starting line. When we realized that the youngsters could reach their Quest identification tags on their collars and were chewing them illegible (the tags are what allow veterinarians to identify each dog), Chris and Randy quickly removed all the tags and secured them out of reach of anxious puppy teeth. Derek and Tom helped organize the sled, snacks, dogs and anything else.
In addition to all their help, I was thrilled to see my neighbors and coworkers venture out to watch the race and cheer on the teams. Not only did my employer, Feniks and Company, encourage me to take time off during the busy season, but they all came out to cheer us on! Thanks so much to Melody, Danielle, and Suzanne! Kristina, Enli, and Jake brought delicious treats that gave me a sugar high on the trail. Lynne and her kids as well as Dominique, Noah Jane, and Merica Gale gave me hope that maybe the future will get hooked on this ridiculous sport.
A HUGE thank you to Founders Members near and far for being a part of the Ryno Team. We could not have raced without you!