By Jim Herriges, Race Director
Great Showings by Junior Skijorers on a Three-dog Day.
Although most skiers raced with the aid of only a single dog, the cold, fresh, slow snow left all skijorers wishing for a three-dog team at the Birch Hill Skijor Races on Saturday. And junior-aged skiers proved themselves capable dog-drivers–winning the 4K one-dog class and anchoring the first and second place relay teams.
Gentry Johnson (with Wrangle) won the 4K one-dog class in 9:36, followed by fellow junior Swaesy Johnson and Hodgins in 11:46. Greg Jurek, with Jet and Rika, cruised to a very fast 12:05 win in the 2-dog 6K class, followed by Emilie Entrikin with Apex and Che in 14:32.
Sara Elzey, the sole three-dog driver on this three-dog day, ran the 6K course in 14:15.
The tightly contested mass-start one-dog race ended in a mass finish of five teams. Jesse Warwick and Joba recovered from a spill early in the race caused by another team, and was leading a tight pack up the final hill, but caught a ski tip, crashed, and finished fourth. Bruce Miller and Roy put on a final sprint to finish first in 22:04, six seconds ahead of Erik Schoen and Lefty. Sunnifa Deehr and Clyde finished third in 22:14.
Erin Trochim’s leaders Tarsis and Onion did a little visiting with spectators near the finish, losing 12 seconds to winner of the 9K class, Matt Sprau, Itty, and Gremlin (27:24).
The Red Lei team of Jamie Johnson with daughters Swaesy and Gentry (and Kiska, Hodgins, and Wrangle) won the relay competition in handy fashion in 15:02, followed by the White Lei team of Erick Schoen with Lefty, Sunnifa Deehr with Clyde, and junior Leni Stolz with Foxy.
Thanks to Nordic Ski Club Fairbanks and FNSB Parks and Recreation Department for great trails and facilities. And much thanks to these great volunteers: Andy Warwick hauled his snowmachine to Birch Hill and marked and cleared trails, as well as timed. Sara Elzey and Lisa Stuby set up trails, Liz Kane registered and timed, Chris Burrow handled dogs at the start, and Jim Herriges served as Race Director.
|Alaska Skijor and Pulk Association|
|13th Annual Birch Hill Race|
|Saturday, February 23, 2013|
|6||Greg Jurek||Jet, Rika||12:15||1|
|2||Emilie Entrikin||Apex, Che||14:32||2|
|4||Jamie Johnson||Kiska, Bode||14:40||3|
|3||Staphanie Maggard||Tundra, Gunner||20:28||4|
|5||Gail Davidson||Cocoa, Darna||21:14||5|
|1||Sara Elzey||Faero, Kate, Rupert||14:15||1|
|22||Matt Sprau||Itty, Gremlin||27:24||1|
|21||Erin Trochim||Tarsis, Onion||27:36||2|
|Relay 2K One-dog|
|Red Lei Team|
|White Lei Team|
|Purple Lei Team|
|Yellow Lei Team|
|*First leg time did not include hand-off time|
|Temperature -6 F|
|Fresh snow, well groomed|