Team Lapland

Taisto's blog !

sun, 27. nov 2016 - 21:08 h
Snow more than enough !

We got plenty of snow the last days before our training race, but I had nobody to race against...well, it is maybe better not to race this early in season, if the dogs are not ready and you can´t control your speed. ( I have had the same problem myself): I have decided how to run, but when someone else drives faster than expected, I have aswell gone faster than planned. Not very smart, but common misstake. I am extremely impressed about my team, so far. I have had superb teams some other years, but now I feel this team have more dogs than ever with the qualities I have been aiming for. I will see if I can find a race to test the new team members in good time before I fly to Toronto and drive further to Haliburton for the IFSS world championship long distance race. Start date is 30 January. /Taisto

sun, 30. oct 2016 - 05:39 h
Finally winter on the way; - 10 C Saturday night

The smaller lakes are freesing, frost on the ground and we are ready for longer runs with the two 16 dog race prospects - yesterday me and Jan did 34 km with them for the first time this fall. As soon as we get little more snow we can increase the distances lot more. Dogs are ready for it... / Taisto

fri, 21. oct 2016 - 19:37 h
Seasons main goal is Haliburton !

Training is still on track - i am only on 28 km at most so far, I have done lot more shorter runs before stepping up in distance this season compared to earlier years. I will try to "build a more solid ground" for the team, in order keep them in top shape longer time this winter, because the main goal is to have the dogs ready for top performance in the IFSS World Championship long distance race in Haliburton, Canada 30 January to 1 February and still have them in shape for Finnmark and Tobacco trail in mid and end of March. This year I also gave kennelcogh vaccin to ALL dogs over 4 months, in order to try to avoid the enire kennel from getting it...its not free for 100 dogs, but worth it if we can keep them healthy all season. Actually, I have two 16 dog teams that at this moment are doing extremely good. but I also realise that it easier to impress when distances are not longer than they are ... / Taisto

mon, 26. sep 2016 - 19:49 h
Signed in for Finnmark...

I was thinking more than twice before I signed in to the 2017 Finnmarkslöpet, limited class. But in the end I could not resist the temptation. I know it is little too close to Tobacco Trail, but I may have two different teams that I can compete with, if only I can keep them partly away from tourist tours... We have now been running about 10 days on 15 km and could go longer already now, but I will wait until the weekend with it.The teams still look magic ! We are waiting for cold weather and snow and it looks like it will get colder next week./ Taisto

tue, 13. sep 2016 - 19:17 h
Teams looking very good !

Now we have run all teams 8-9 times and my dogs are looking very good. I just recently extended the distance from 6 to 9 km, testing to do more runs on the 6 km than ever before going up to 9 km. Already beginning of next week I expect we are running 15 km runs, since the two 16 dog teams with race prospects was doing the 9 km without slowing down at all... I also got back (traded her back with Brownie from Doug Swingley) one of the two X litter girls that Jan Slosar bought as puppies - her name was Roxy - I renamed her to Xeroxy and will move her over to the second race team very soon. Also I am looking at the IFSS World Championship in Canada as the most interesting race for me this upcoming winter. Good time of season, perfect distance on groomed snowmobile trails - only disadvantage is that it will not be for free to take 12 dogs to Canada and back.../Taisto

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About Taisto

Taisto Thorneus' former occupation was machine engineer & mechanic. He left that branch in 1983 to work full time with sleddogs. Since that time he runs the wilderness tourism business Lapland Wilderness Tours in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland. Taisto is married to Karina since 1974. They have one adult son.
The first sleddog race Taisto participated in was in December 1980. In 1981 his first longer race - the first edition of the Nordic Marathon - took place. In 1982 Taisto’s so far best result was 4th place in the limited class of Nordic Marathon. In 1983 he became second in Nordic Marathon open class.
The season 1983-84 was his best season so far - unbeaten in all sleddog races he participated in: Amongst them the first edition of Gausdal Marathon (250 km) in limited class and Nordic Marathon open class.
Already in 1985 operating the own tourism business started to affect his competition activities but he finished second in Finnmarkslopet and third in Nordic Marathon.
1986: 4th in Finmarkslopet – after what Taisto feels the biggest strategic mistake he has ever made (or could make again) in a race: In Mollisjokk, about 75 km from finish line in Alta, he had an over three hours advance, but also some tired sleddogs in the team. He decided neither to rest nor to leave the tired dogs at the checkpoint in order to break the all in time record… After short stop for feeding the dogs in good shape ate the food and got even more geared and eager to go, while the tired sleddogs did not eat. Starting from Mollisjokk the fresh dogs put up a real high speed, resulting in that the tired dogs could not keep up… Arriving to Jiesjarvi Taisto had two dogs travelling on the sled and one more dog getting to tired to keep up. He decided to make a real long stop to rest and recover the tired dogs.
After over 8 hours rest he had been passed by three sleddog-teams (Sven Engholm, Stein-Håvard Fjestad and Kent Hugosson). Two of the tired dogs had recovered enough to run in slow speed to the last checkpoint (Joatka) about 15 km away, while the 3rd still was riding on the sled. After taking it real slow to Joatka, Taisto dropped the three dogs at the checkpoint and took off with the ones in top shape. Unfortunately the distance to the finish line was too short to catch up any of the three musher’s ahead…
1988: Taisto took part in the first edition of the Alpirod. 12th overall
1992: He won the Vindelälvsdraget individual class – still unbeaten track record – also outrunning 6 relay teams on the 400 km distance.
1993: Taisto went to Alaska to compete in the Iditarod but caught salmonella 4 days before the race started and of course wasn’t able to participate in this sleddog race.
1994: He organized and coached the 77 year old Mushing legend Joe Redington. Joe raced with Taisto’s sleddogs in the Olympics' demonstration race in Lillehammer. He finished 3rd in the 300 km competition…
Taisto took part in the Finmarkslopet 1000 km and finished 7th.
1995-2004: The business took all his time so Taisto didn’t race at all; though he continued the breeding-program with Alaskan Huskies and searched for the “perfect team”…
2005-2008: There was still no time for Taisto for serious training, but he started in some races to see if he was on the right track… Now the realization of the new competitive sleddog racing kennel had reached a stage that he decided to pick up serious racing again. A less active part in running the tourism business is still enough work...

Still Taisto felt one part was missing for the launch of a real competitive sleddog kennel: Some proven and experienced dogs. That was solved by buying four experienced top quality Alaskan Huskies from Ken Anderson who finished second on Yukon Quest (beaten only by 15 minutes by Lance Mackey).
Bahdra, 5 years old male & Jango, 6 years old female, both run full Quest and Iditarod.
Jango finished Yukon Quest in lead, Ken and his team finished Iditarod as number 4.
Suraya 5 years old female, finished Iditarod in lead. And finally an now three years old big male, Jordan, who was dropped half way to Nome, because he was working too hard and was loosing weight, according to Ken Anderson.

2009 - forward: Now the new sleddog racing team is there – it is just to prepare it!

Why Alaskan Huskies ?

Does not need to be Alaskan Huskies, but if I answer that question I would say: For me it is not only the reason – it is because Alaskan Huskies in total. If I add all aspects and expectations I have regarding dogs, the Alaskan is outstanding compared to any other type of sled dog. I am talking about the more of an “Indian village” type of Alaskan Husky than the more “Houndy” & ”Euro Hound” type of Alaskans:

...they are more versatile than any other type/ breed
...they are fast enough to compete even in shorter race on a high level.
...they have stamina
...they have coat enough to cope with Arctic weather conditions
...they are easy to use for people with limited experience
...they are also very friendly or ignorant to foreign dogs and other animals
...they have by nature desire to run fast

Alaskan Huskies respond relatively fast to training and have very few if any genetic problems. (The problems in my opinion, gets bigger that more “houndy” the Alaskans are – you “buy” little more speed by “paying” with more sensitive/fragile feet/pads and thinner coat… which force you to support the dogs more in terms of more bootie use, fabric coats on the dogs, more food just to keep them warm and so on.)

Yours

Taisto

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