With the Copper Basin 300 just a short 11 days away, we've been going out on our final big training runs and campouts before crunch time. Known for big climbs, open water, and rugged trail conditions, the Copper Basin will be a major test. We've been preparing by training in similar conditions. Here is a photo and video from a couple days ago of the main team breaking trail up to the top of one of the highest points in Two Rivers. We were racing the sun in an effort to reach the top during daylight, and boy, was the view worth it.
This is an exciting year for me in particular because for the first time ever, there are options for the main team. Ryno Kennel is still relatively new (3 years old), and my team has always been comprised of the 12 available dogs. Occasionally, 12 Ryno Kennel adults were not ready to race, so I borrowed dogs from fellow mushers and kennels to help fill out the team. This year, we're training 26 athletes (5 returning from Amanda Gecas at Boundary Kennel), of which all are 2-years-old or older. Picking the final 12 for my Copper Basin team will be a challenge, but one for which I'm thrilled! Depth is important for any sports team, and we're finally getting to a point in our growth that Ryno Kennel has enough athletes to choose the best 12 for each race and situation. Bring on the Copper Basin!