JACKSON, Wyo. – Christiana Gibson of Carlton competed in the 2019 Stage Stop Eukanuba 8-Dog Classic on Jan. 26-27.
The vet check was in Jackson, Wyo., on Jan. 24.
Races were from Alpine and Pinedale on courses of 25 to 30 miles the following two days.
Awards were given Jan. 28.
“The team exceeded my expectations at Stage Stops Eukanuba Classic,” said Gibson. “It was my first time running dogs in Wyoming and it was absolutely gorgeous. The trail was beautiful and the mushers on the trail were very friendly. Everyone was very welcoming to a rookie of the race.”
Although she’s been training for mid-distance races, usually around 100 miles, she took the opportunity to try a stage racing that is faster than the longer distances.
“Because I’m gearing up to run some larger events in the next few years, I wanted to take the opportunity I had this season to go race a different kind of race, a stage race,” Gibson said. “I wanted to see another side of the sport.”
This year’s stages were 28 miles the first day and 25 miles the second.
“Going into the race I was expecting to be finishing at the back of the pack,” Gibson said. “But the dogs had other ideas. We finished third overall and had rocking times for both days.
“My two best race leaders, Nellie and Brother, led both stages of the race,” she said. “The dogs did very well. I’m beyond proud of them, regardless of how we placed.”
The racing season is coming to an end, Gibson said, with one more short race coming up.
“We’re getting ready for spring and both myself and the dogs are ready for some time off,” she said. “We do lots of hiking and play time in the off season. The dogs love to go for walks in the woods during the evening while it’s cool outside. Some even like to go swimming!”
Gibson can be followed on Facebook at Whiteout Racing Kennel. She also has a website at WhiteoutRacingKennel.com.