This is the leg!

Pål Karlsen Haugsnes about the leg between Karasjok and Jergul

Written by: Ole Martin Jøraholmen transl. Hans Ole Sandring
Date: 11.03.2012 20:45

Pål Karlsen Haugnes runs Gargia lounge in the bottom of Alta vally, and this a perfect place for combining work and spare time with dog mushing. In 2010 he finished FL-500 as a rookie, and he did the same trip in 2011. This year his ambition is to beat his own record time- especially the leg time from Karasjok to Jergul.  

-Two years ago he used 11 hours on this leg. With parking on the way, this felt like an endless journey, Haugsnes says.. – The last parking I had 5 kilometers before I arrived the finish line, and the dogs didn’t seemed to have any plans to continue.  Then Pål had to run in front of the dog team as far as possible, but it was useless. – In the end we just had to take our time, and after a while we were off. It didn’t seem to matter that we were delayed, because we had a fantastic experience with the sun on our way to Jergul, he says. This brings out the contrast with last year when the trip from Karasjok to Jergul went perfect. But not all were that happy as Haugsnes: - When we approached the checkpoint in Jergul I passed one musher that got the same problem as I had on the same place last year. As he flew past him he grab the parked dog team and made them run, and made it to Jergul according his plan.

Haugsnes describes the leg as tough, and especially the first 10 kilometers with a continuous uphill is really hard.- The speed is slow and the dogs don’t have the same strength as up Detsikalia in the first part of the race. I don’t exercise so much, so for me it is always a big challenge waiting when leaving Karasjok, he admits.- But after a while the foot starts to move automatically in the uphill, and it is like more and more like a reflex.

Karlsen Haugsnes, as a veteran in Finnmarksløpet, has been lucky with the weather, and the leg between Karasjok and Jergul has been a great experience now so far. – Last year it was almost like Easter, and for a while I raced without a cap and jacket, he says. He don’t fear the bad weather ether, because he has spent many hours training over Beskades with a lot of wind and unpleasant weather.  After a while it gets a routine, and you learn some tricks, according to Haugsnes. This year he has set himself one goal. He want to make it to the gas station in Karasjok before it closes at 22:00 pm were he can grab a desired hamburger- and if everything goes according to the plan, he leaves the checkpoint with his junk food this year as well.