Race report and pics from the Sled Dog Association of Scotland race at Darnaway Forest

By Colin Spalding and Suzanne Moore

This weekend we were racing at the Sled Dog Association of Scotland race at Darnaway Forest near Forres. We travelled up on the Friday and raced in 3 categories, bikejor (Dexter) 1 dog scooter (Cupar) and 2 dog scooter (Diamond and Granite). The course was a mix of grassy trails, hardpack trails, and mud with lots of steep hills and the infamous leafy heights which is a trail along a cliff top covered in leaves.

On day 1, Dexter ran well but unfortunately a crash on rocks covered by leaves dropped us into 2nd place and a fast clean run on the Sunday clawed back some time but not enough to get into gold medal position but we were really pleased with silver. In the 2 dog scooter Diamond and Granite had a great first run and were in 2nd place but on such a physical course couldnt repeat this on the 2nd run and dropped to 3rd which was still a great result in a very tough competition. Cupar in the 1 dog scooter had 2 great runs with the physical course really suiting him and he stormed to gold which is amazing for a dog nearly 9 years old.

It was another great race weekend in amazing surroundings.

A big thank you to our sponsors CSJ for their continued support.

Our next race is the BSSF British Championships race 2 at Newborough forest North Wales on 7th to 9th January.

Colin And Suzanne

Colin Spalding – just back from the European Championships

received_1332371896807826By Colin and Suzanne Spalding

We have just returned from the IFSS European sled dog championships held in Thetford Norfolk over 3 days with 17 nations 310 teams and 800 dogs taking part with teams from Finland, Czech Republic, Spain, Norway, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, France, Germany, Belguim, Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Andorra, Ireland and GB.

The European nations were very strong and posted some incredible times

We had 3 teams selected for Team GB which was a huge honour for our small team.

We travelled down on the Wednesday and on the Thursday had vet check, course inspections, team meetings and then the opening ceremony.

The course was a very fast 5k on a flat grassy trail with teams running in 8-dog, 6-dog, 4-dog, bikejor, 2-dog scooter and 1-dog scooter.

On the Friday I had 1-dog bikejor with Dexter, our 2 year old GSP in only his 3rd race he averaged 30km ph over the 5k course and placed 19th out of 29 and was first British team home.

On the Sat I had 3 teams to run and on the Sunday 2 teams our 2-dog scooter team was out first and only 14 min later our 1-dog scooter team was due to start. This was always going to be tight and as I crossed the finish line, I heard the race commentator announce “Colin Spalding – 40 seconds”

My team of helpers took off the 2 dogs, changed my number. I ran across to the start, attached Cupar with 10 secs to my start, with many of the European nations looking on in amazement.

Diamond and Granite ran really well to finish 5th in their class and Cupar our 8 year old GSP ran 2 good races to finish a very creditable 16th. I was really pleased and proud of how our teams ran in their first international race.

The standard of competition was extremely high and the professionalism of the European teams was amazing to see. The times of 8min 20 secs for a 5k bikejor and 12 min 36 secs for a 5k canicross are unheard of in the UK.

We would like to thank our sponsors CSJ for providing food and supplements for the dogs and also the support they give us and Galen Therapy Centre for their warm up and cool down treatments on the dogs.

We learned a huge amount from the weekend which will enable us to continue improving and are so proud to have been part of team GB.

Colin and Suzanne Spalding

 

 

Colin Spalding – 3rd quickest in the British Team so far…

15139343_10154794253561554_2091802087_nIt was good to meet Colin Spalding for a chat yesterday. At 10.02 over 3 miles, he came 3rd quickest in the British Team bikejor. The conditions were excellent for the dogs.

Here’s Colin with Dexter above and below with wife Suzy and dogs Cupar, Granite and Diamond. Cupar is 8 years old and is running in the 1 dog scooter race. Both Cupar and Diamond are rescue dogs.

Sleddog & Bikejor Silver Success from Colin Spalding

Posting by Colin Spalding

We have been racing in our first race of the season this weekend at the IFFS world cup race and BSSF British chamionship race at Bowlands Trail…. On a very physical technical course and despite crashing 7 times in 6 races, we came home with 3 silver medals:

  • Dexter in the open elite bikejor
  • Cupar in the 1 dog open scooter
  • Diamond and Granite in the 2 dog Nordic scooter.

There were 30 teams with 600 dogs were at the event. Our next race is the European Championships at Thetford from 18th to 20th Nov, so some hard work from now until then for the dogs and myself.

A huge thanks to CSJ for supporting our teams.

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