Fjestad's Insight

Rovdyr, caféracere og hviling på sporet.

Written by: Lise Ottem/transl. SM Arctander
Date: 11.03.2012 14:53

Dogs are predators. Predators pray are grass eaters. Natural diurnal rhythm for grass eaters will be grassing during daylight, ruminate and rest at noon and grassing again towards sunset. The predators follow the same rhythm, the pray is easiest found when active. When dog-teams are running, they hunt as a pack. In other words, the best periods for the dogs are between 6am and noon; and 6pm and midnight, if we think schematically.  

The best mushers in Finnmarksløpet run about sixty per cent and rest forty per cent. So one should try to get into the same rhythm with running and resting between the mentioned times of day, even though you may stretch it a bit. Out from Levajok everyone’s rhythm has been altered a bit, which means that they will end up running at the warmest hours of the day. Unfortunate, but it is the same for everyone.  

To Tana Bru it is far, 117 kilometres according to the schedule. These are not always accurate, but a good indication. Nevertheless, this is the longest leg.

Some of the first mushers left Levajok 1 early, with straw in their sled. That means they leave the trail and camp. The dogs are better rested since they are not disturbed by other dogs, people or mushers at the checkpoints. Earlier this was more common, but the development has been towards “café mushers” with caravans. A development the race organizers maybe should look into, and consider to take action?

At Tana Bru the first mushers will take out their 16 hour mandatory rest. The best teams probably will go longer; maybe to Neiden 1 or all the way to Kirkenes before they take out the mandatory rest.

As mentioned above, the first fourteen teams arrived at Levajok 1 within two hours. And after a short rest most of them started out again also within two hours. The order had changed a bit. I expect the leg to take anything between 7 and 9 hours. Now we should expect that lap time will differ.

Thanks to Team Sørlie who gave me lift to Tana Bru.

Now I’m tired and would like to sleep.