The Year That Was 2018 – GNSHC Great Northern Classic II
I woke on day two of the Great Northern Classic to a crisp, cold yet clear day. Up early with Nardine and Richard to walk and toilet all the dogs, and not a drop of rain, sleet or snow in sight.
Next, we headed to meet everyone at the forest. All cars and people were again checked through at the gate, forming a long convoy to wind our way into the setup area.
Once everyone found their spot, all mushers and volunteers gathered for the days briefing.
While mushers busily prepared for racing, I legged it down the starting straight to set up for low angle (lying flat on the ground), oncoming shots of the teams. It was still very dark within the trees, even though I positioned on the corner with open sky above me.
The rigs were first to come hurtling down the straight.
My second position was at the finishing line, capturing rig teams coming home. This time I was low, kneeling with speckled sunlight breaking through the trees.
Some teams finishing fast. Some with a steady pace. All with big smiles on their faces.
As soon as the rig teams were through, I dashed off to set up at my prized position for the day. A ford, one of three on the course.
First image below is of the approach as the dogs and mushers see it.
Next, my set up. Fantastic open light, lying flat on my stomach for a low angle view.
Third image is me in my makeshift gumboots 🤣 Spot the green bag mentioned in the last blog!! Had my hiking boots on, but they were not waterproof enough to walk through the water to my spot and stay dry. So, two plastic bags with large rubber bands to hold them up did the trick just fine.
Lastly, caught Laura and Mel checking out the ford and trail before race start.
Single dog scooter through the ford.
Then two dog scooters with a little more pace.
With the sun beaming down throughout the morning, the cold ground slowly heated up. This created a beautiful mist rising around the start/finish area.
The little kids race, known as Peewees, was run as the mist cleared.
Veteran dog teams and Canicross finishing off the day.
With blue skies overhead, the dogs were walked out, watered and settled in their trailers, vans or cars. Mushers reminiscing about the days events, as everyone readied to convoy out of the forest.
Prizegiving was held back at the hall in Waiouru.
Thanks heaps to Nardine for letting me jump in and travel up with her and the team and the comfy barracks accommodation, as well as Richard for having me join him in the lead vehicle of the convoy to grab photos of the convoy.
Big thanks also to Laura for giving me full access to all areas of the racing and Mel for photographic tips and encouragement.