Team Lapland

Taisto's blog !

wed, 16. mar 2016 - 10:09 h
Ok Finnmark race

We did as good as we could in the Finnmark race. It was + 550 km long this year and some parts in beginning where soft and wind drifted snow, so I decided already after 3 hours of running that I will run this race without any pressure, not pushing at all but try to go with minimum/mandatory rest only. I have not run a race like this since 1994 on the 1000 km Finnmark...Unfortunetely I have to leave one of my 3 main leaders, XL, already at second checkpoint: Jergul, because when I drived from the Straw/resting place the 30-40 m to starting point, one veterinarian said he was limping and was not allowed to continiue. he was just little stiff and was definetely not lame - 2- 3 mintues after I left the dog to my handler and I took off the handler asked another vet. what is wrong with XL and after checking the dog rthat vet said "nothing, as far as I can see"... Well, that slowed me down a little and made me to work more myself. At Skoganvarre mandatory vet check all the remauíng 7 get ok from vet to continiue, but I was suspecting Sula to have some small issues and left her behind and continiued with just 6. At the last 30 km I had some dogs getting motivsation problems, a nd had to go quite slow. I finished 11:th out of 79 teams. And at the final vet check all 6 was in good shape, some of thenm was already after 10- 15 after finishing down at 80 in pulse. And I got my "5 year price" aaswell, finishing my 5:th Finnmarkslöpet./Taisto

sat, 27. feb 2016 - 20:21 h
We are back and ready for Finnmark !

I had some bad luck earlier in season: Really ill during Troms Quest ( finished 4:th) and could not start in Femundlöpet/EM
because of the same flu, but I think that illness was a good thing for the team regarding Finnmarkslöpet - the team is in shape and no sick dogs ! This years race is the longest limited class distance race in the world = 548 km. Still I look forward to it, even if I prefer little shorter races there I can run faster. Anyhow, I will run this race only with dogs from our own breeding. I have selected out 9 dogs and 8 of them will be on the starting line next Saturady noon in Alta. the 9 is: Nulato, XL, Xsakko, Xena, Xappo,
Sula, Zev, Zuna and Yomo. They all did very good on my last long training yesterday and last night, so I am not sure who will left behind./Taisto

sat, 28. nov 2015 - 15:56 h
No race next week !

Unfortunately the river ice is not safe to cross the river, and to run on only one side of river is too difficlt in terms of marking a trail that everyone can follow...SO WE HAVE TO CANCEL FOR NOW. If we can run 10 & 11 Dec. I let you know./Taisto

sun, 22. nov 2015 - 18:42 h
Kauppinen Wide Open: On tuesday we know the date

The Ice on Torne river turned quite bad/danger after the big snowfalls early last week, but now it is very cold: - 23 C and we hope river will be safe...If not: We can still run, but only on south side of river abd that will mean we are operating in much smaller area and will most likely make the ttraining race shorter than previous years. In that ´case we run around 50 km + 2 hr rest, +around 30 km in evening and finally around 40 km next morning...But if we can bross the river, the distance will be around 160 km...Date will either be 28-29 Nov. OR 1-2 December. /Taisto

fri, 6. nov 2015 - 17:16 h
FINALLY: SNOW !

It started snowing - finally, after one of the longest slippery periods I can remember: It have been very difficult to run dogs in about 2 weeks. - In the morning I did just 16 km with one team and decided not to go anymore before it get better... I hope it is better tomorrow. TOBACCO TRAIL: We have only 8 people signed in so far - we are hoping for 30 or more teams...we where very late with opening the "sign in" , but now you can sign in . DO IT ! /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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