Musher's "tribal language"

Ord og forklaringer fra hundeløpsverden

Written by: Karoline Leistad-Jonas/ transl. Elisabeth Simonsen
Date: 13.03.2012 15:51

During FL-2012 expressions that are not known to everyone might appear. Here is a short list of words and explanations:

  • Handler: Person(s) helping the musher during the race. Care for dogs that are left behind, can not help the musher care for the dogs on the inside the restricted area on the checkpoint where the dogs get food and attention.
  • Rookie: First time runner.
  • Veteran: Has participated in the race one or more times previously. You have to have completed the race to be considered a veteran.

Kjell Brennodden and magical Mira. Foto: Glenn Gjøran Skum. 

  • Parking: Musher that experience a stop in the dog team because a mental breakdown in the leader dog. Sometimes the dogs just refuse continue and the musher has to work to motivate all the dogs to keep moving. A parking is not necessarily about the dogs being physically tired, but is a mental state. A parking can vary in time. The whole race the main focus for the musher is the wellbeing of the dogs. When experiencing a parking the musher has to wait until the dogs are ready to go again.
  • Snowmobile belt: Breaking devise behind the sled that the musher stands on to reduce the speed. Part of a snowmobile belt.
  • Snack/Snacking: Small, often frozen piece of meat/fat that is given to the dogs to keep up energy along the way.
  • Checkpoint: Stations the mushers stop at during the race. Here they can rest, care for, feed and water the dogs. And eventually leave behind dogs that for various reasons cannot continue the race. Mushers are clocked in and out of the checkpoint.    

Checkpoint Kirkenes: Kjell O. Brun. 

  • 8-dog team or 14-dog team: The number of dogs you have at the start of the race. 8 dogs for FL-500 and 14 for FL-1000.
  • Run plan: Strategic plan for the race. Secret for your competitors.
  • Mandatory rest: All mushers have to rest for a given amount of hours during the race. In FL-500 the mushers have to rest for 20 hours, but they have a mandatory rest at checkpoint Jergul for 6 hours. In FL-1000 they have two mandatory rests. One 16 hour rest that is usually done in Tana, Neiden 1 or Kirkenes. And then there is a mandatory rest for 8-hours at checkpoint Karasjok.
  • Socks: Socks that are made to protect dog paws from getting sore during the race. Socks are used as needed during the race.

Stein Are Harder and handler. 

  • Coats: There are several different types of coats, for protecting the dog’s body, genitals for especially male dogs, and bellies for dogs with little fur. The coats are often custom made for the dogs and can be used both when the dogs are resting and running.
  • Paw cream: Cream used to prevent or treat sore paws.
  • Snow anchor: Anchor shaped to be used in the snow to keep the dog team from moving. Always hangs on the sled.
  • Lead dog: Dog running in the front of the team, leading the dog team from checkpoint to checkpoint. They direct and can lead the other dogs on the right way.
  • Tow line: The wire connecting the dogs together and to the sled.