DURANGO, Colo. (KDVR) — The mushers from The Grateful Dogs based out of Durango, are currently on the road competing in extreme terrain mushing races.
“It was 100 miles, big steep hills but it was gorgeous,” Meghan Forrey, one of the mushers said.
Forrey said this was her first time competing alongside long-time friend and fellow Grateful Dog musher Jesse Flory. They competed in the 100-mile race at the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge and finished in 10th and 11th place.
It took the duo, both on their own sleds with eight dogs, each about 24 hours total to finish the race.
“We finished with all of our dogs happy and healthy. That’s what we really care about more than time,” Forrey said.
Flory runs the kennel in Durango and trains the dogs. He spends part of his time training in Alaska, specifically during the summer.
“Durango usually has good snow. So we’re set up by December to start running on snow with sleds,” Flory said.
Another advantage, Forrey said, is being able to train all the dogs at high elevation.
“In Durango were at 9 to 10,000 feet elevation so our dogs VO2 Max is much higher than the dogs training at lower elevation,” Forrey said.
The duo is now heading to Montana for a 300-mile race starting in Lincoln. Flory expects that race, with 12 dogs pulling, to take about three to three and a half days.
“These guys are pretty well conditioned they should be able to do 100 miles a day,” Flory said.
You can follow the team’s journey on their Instagram: thegratefuldogssleddogkennel or Facebook.
Sled dog season lasts from the start of January until end of February.