We have officially signed up for all our races for the 2015-2016 race season!
Why is this a big deal?
Signing up for mid-distance races has become extremely competitive. Races like the Copper Basin 300 and Knik 200 filled up within minutes with an extensive waitlist, creating a "mushing cyber-race." How quickly can you type in your information and click a submit button? Luckily, we have access to high-speed internet (by Alaska standards), and my accounting experience has given me ample time to practice my speed typing. Joking aside, overcrowded races is a great problem to have since it means the sport of mushing is as strong as ever!
To alleviate the stress of signing up, some races have revamped the sign up process. For the 2016 Copper Basin, top ten finishers from the 2015 Copper Basin had the opportunity to sign up early. The remaining slots were filled on a first come, first serve basis starting at 10 AM. I was allowed to sign up early, but we got an adrenaline rush signing up the Ryno Kennel Team #2 run by Maliko. The huge surge of mushers attempting to click the Submit button overwhelmed the server, causing the CB website to crash. A few emails and phone calls later, and Maliko made the list! Thanks to all the CB volunteers who worked hard to fix the problem and document sign ups.
The Tustumena 200 tried a different technique, allowing the top 15 Iditarod finishers from 2015 to sign up first, then everyone else signed up between 8 AM and 5 PM last Friday. A drawing was held on Saturday night for the starting order. Spoiler alert- Ryno Kennel will be starting #28! I've never raced the Tustumena before due to its proximity to the Yukon Quest (it starts the weekend before), and the race has been cancelled the last two years due to lack of snow on the Kenai Peninsula. Fingers crossed it will run this year!
So what is the 2015-2016 Race Schedule?
December 5th- Alpine Creek Excursion Race (55 miles): Ryne and Maliko
January 9th- Copper Basin 300: Ryne and Maliko
January 23rd- Two Rivers 100: Maliko
January 30th- Tustumena 200: Ryne
February 6th- Quest 300: Ryne and Maliko
March 5th- Iditarod Sled Dog Race: Ryne
**The race schedule is subject to change based on weather, trail, and above all, the well-being of the athletes.