Birch Hill Races

By Jim Herriges, Race Director

Great Showings by Junior Skijorers on a Three-dog Day.

Although most skiers raced with the aid of only a single dog, the cold, fresh, slow snow left all skijorers wishing for a three-dog team at the Birch Hill Skijor Races on Saturday. And junior-aged skiers proved themselves capable dog-drivers–winning the 4K one-dog class and anchoring the first and second place relay teams.

Gentry Johnson (with Wrangle) won the 4K one-dog class in 9:36, followed by fellow junior Swaesy Johnson and Hodgins in 11:46. Greg Jurek, with Jet and Rika, cruised to a very fast 12:05 win in the 2-dog 6K class, followed by Emilie Entrikin with Apex and Che in 14:32.

Sara Elzey, the sole three-dog driver on this three-dog day, ran the 6K course in 14:15.

The tightly contested mass-start one-dog race ended in a mass finish of five teams. Jesse Warwick and Joba recovered from a spill early in the race caused by another team, and was leading a tight pack up the final hill, but caught a ski tip, crashed, and finished fourth. Bruce Miller and Roy put on a final sprint to finish first in 22:04, six seconds ahead of Erik Schoen and Lefty. Sunnifa Deehr and Clyde finished third in 22:14.

Erin Trochim’s leaders Tarsis and Onion did a little visiting with spectators near the finish, losing 12 seconds to winner of the 9K class, Matt Sprau, Itty, and Gremlin (27:24).

The Red Lei team of Jamie Johnson with daughters Swaesy and Gentry (and Kiska, Hodgins, and Wrangle) won the relay competition in handy fashion in 15:02, followed by the White Lei team of Erick Schoen with Lefty, Sunnifa Deehr with Clyde, and junior Leni Stolz with Foxy.

Thanks to Nordic Ski Club Fairbanks and FNSB Parks and Recreation Department for great trails and facilities. And much thanks to these great volunteers: Andy Warwick hauled his snowmachine to Birch Hill and marked and cleared trails, as well as timed. Sara Elzey and Lisa Stuby set up trails, Liz Kane registered and timed, Chris Burrow handled dogs at the start, and Jim Herriges served as Race Director.

Alaska Skijor and Pulk Association
13th Annual Birch Hill Race
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Bib # Skijorer Dogs Time Place
4K One-dog
10 Gentry Johnson Wrangle 9:36 1
8 Swaesy Johnson Hodgins 11:46 2
11 Brian Charlton Bonnie 12:15 3
12 Ally Burton Malu 12:45 4
7 Emma Charlton Clyde 13:00 5
13 Leni Stolz Foxy 14:10 6
9 Phil Marshall Skye 15:00 7
6K Two-dog
6 Greg Jurek Jet, Rika 12:15 1
2 Emilie Entrikin Apex, Che 14:32 2
4 Jamie Johnson Kiska, Bode 14:40 3
3 Staphanie Maggard Tundra, Gunner 20:28 4
5 Gail Davidson Cocoa, Darna 21:14 5
6K Threee-dog
1 Sara Elzey Faero, Kate, Rupert 14:15 1
7.5K One-dog
14 Bruce Miller Roy 22:04 1
19 Erik Schoen Lefty 22:10 2
18 Sunnifa Deehr Clyde 22:14 3
20 Jesse Warwick Joba 22:23 4
16 Nina Ruckhaus Sasha 22:24 5
17 Amanda Byrd Katrina 28:15 6
15 Lisa Stuby Killae 50:03 7
9K Two-dog
22 Matt Sprau Itty, Gremlin 27:24 1
21 Erin Trochim Tarsis, Onion 27:36 2
Relay 2K One-dog
Red Lei Team
Jamie Johnson Kiska 4:20 1
Swaesy Johnson Hodgins 5:40
Gentry Johnson Wrangle 5:02
Total 15:02
White Lei Team
Eric Schoen Lefty 5:11 2
Sunnifa Deehr Clyde 5:06
Leni Stolz Foxy 7;05
Purple Lei Team
Gail Davidson Cocoa 8:29 3
Nina Ruckhaus Sasha 6:01
Bruce Miller Roy 4:43
Yellow Lei Team
Sara Elzey Dylan 4:50 4
Amanda Byrd Daria 6:51
Stephanie Maggard Gunner 7:52
*First leg time did not include hand-off time
Temperature -6 F
Fresh snow, well groomed

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