By Tracy Thomas
On a weekend when the snow was probably at it’s deepest on every road to Moray, our dedicated mushers made their way to Culbin Forest for the SDAS CSJ Championship series day and night race. Anyone traveling north on the A9 will agree they’d have been quicker parking up their vans and having their dogs take them to the venue on a sled! …oh, but for the legal implications…
Typically, the snow hadn’t settled in the forest, but some flooding gave the race organisers a nice, last minute, challenge to re-think the race route! Culbin is a large forest with loads of lovely twisty trails and as some last minute sign checks were completed, participants started to arrive.
The morning race got under way, it was enjoyable, very relaxed, with a lovely atmosphere, the newly chosen trail didn’t disappoint, twisty and windy sections to keep the dogs interested, with some long straights to build up a bit of speed. To live closer to this forest and train in it regularly would be fantastic, there are miles and miles of grassy trails.
The start & finish points were close to the parking area, keeping everyone close together, friends old & new chatted and shared stories of their experiences on the trails.
The snow fell throughout the day, adding to the atmosphere
Almost 50 teams raced at the event, with a number of entrants taking part in more than one class, some raced round the course as a bike-jor team, at phenomenal speed, to have a quick change of dog and equipment, and do it all again on a scooter!
Juniors included, completing the course on a rig before cani-crossing with their beloved pets, & not just once, but twice in the same day! These guys & girls follow in their parents footsteps, developing a passion for the sport from an early age.
After a short break to rest and eat, it was time to go again! Everyone helping out to get marshals in place and competitors to the start line, the trail was equally enjoyable in the dark & before long we were announcing the winners, who received some tasty treats for their dogs, CSJ 100% Salmon Fishcuits, CSJ Salmon Oil and CSJ herbs.
Thank you so much to CSJ for their continued sponsorship, it’s great to receive products we can use, I know my dogs love the Fish Cuits! Huge thanks to our members who travelled to attend this race, many we know had as much as 15 to 20 hour journeys home through the snow.
Race images taken by, and used with kind permission of AGlew@Journey Beyond
Just 2 more race weekends left for this season, Ford Estate on 7 & 8 March and Bowland Estate, 3 stage event on 21 & 22 March, where the SDAS CSJ Championship Series winners will be revealed.