Nathan’s Trail Report

12645156_448488445348915_1997752859889440180_nThis Beargrease was amazing, 4 wins!! Another tough and fast race. It is always tough, even if it is slow. I always hope the hills get smaller with each year, it doesn’t happen. (I think they get bigger). Hats off to the Beargrease, the board members, the volunteers and all the fans. (Even if you have another favorite musher.) It was a job well done.

 

The start was amazing, I passed everyone and was first into Finland. I did have to stop after passing Jason, he told me he saw a cougar and I really wanted to talk to him about that. I had to know if he really did see one. The team going too fast, I was worried about the speed for the first half, I was trying to slow them down ( I even stood on the drag pad with both feet) so that they would not burn out at the end. We had a “chat on the trail” and I told them to ” slow down and they did. But there was a moment when I thought that I slowed them down too much. It was hard to get them going at the last few checkpoints”. I wanted to rest more in the begining and have energy for the end. At every race we make decisions checkpoint to checkpoint, hoping that you are making the right one whether it is dropping a dog or how long to rest, how much to feed the dogs and when to feed them.

Over the race I had an amazing handling team. I could not have done this without them. My dad, Vern Schroeder, and Jake Hway took excellent care of the dogs and the gear. Needing to change runners on the sled or anything else that needed to be done.   Brett was so helpful and was in handler training along the way.  He has a great work ethic and never stopped moving. Carmen was the team “mom” taking care of everyone, organizing the checkpoint, feeding the team, packing the sled, making sure both the team and I had what was needed.
There are so many people to thank, I don’t know if I will remember them all. First, All my friends and family, this is not possible without you. And all the people who have sponsored a dog, checkpoint or miles in the race. Sarah at Trail center for the race miles sponsorship and the Camp Chow food. Kerry Nelson for the Facebook updates and sponsorship monitoring. Linda and Bill for all the support overall and helping to connect the Green Mill event. Huge thank you to the Green Mill and donating the total amount from the gift card’s purchased. Pheasants Plus for the support, fundraising event, and letting the team train on your land. Minn Alaska transport for the drop bag transportation and Granite Gear for helping out with the dog collars.
This would not have happened without my sponsors, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. Thank you to the brothers and sisters from Local 1348 and 548 for your sponsorship & support!
Big thank you to Duluth Trading Co, the generous donations have kept me and the team warm and able to work and function in the winter weather throughout training and the Beargrease! I honestly love these clothes, they are durable, warm and can be adjusted for the weather easily.
Thank you again,
4 time Beargrease Champion and 2014 Iditarod rookie of the year,
Nathan.

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