F600-mushers have started

Author: Kjetil Svanemyr (transl. Femke van Gastel)         Publish date: 01.02.13 17:56

At 16.01 Dag Broch and his 12 dogs were the first out on the trail in the F600-class. The question is how long he will be allowed to remain the first on the trail.

The narrow dog-trail up through Kjerkgata in the centre of Røros was surrounded by more than a thousand spectators when the race started. A fantastic soundperformance from the speaker, enthousiastic dogs and shouting people - the start of the senior's Femundrace became exactly the spectacular festival in wonderful winterweather that the organizers had hoped for.

Dag Broch probably has to take into account that there are many others that would like to trade places with him as head of the field, that in total comprises 52 toptrained 12-dog teams.

The Femundløpet is not won in the first stage. However, everyone that has driven the first stage in the Femund can tell how much stress there is out on the trail in the first few hours.

The nerves are probably at its worst before the ready signal goes underneath the startbanner. Also after the mushers have come safely outside the town's borders, there are many mushers that find it easy to forget that the race is 500 km and that there is at least two and a halve dags left before the race is over.

But also the most experienced and skilled mushers are focused on getting to the front of the field as fast as possible. To be in lead often means that you get the best trail, you don't have to worry about what can go wrong if you want to overtake someone and not least, you get away from the problems of diarria infection among the more than 600 dogs that are starting in the longest class.

The first into Tufsingdal will not be able to claim that he or she 'leads' Femundløpet. But the times up until the first checkpoint can probably give some indication about who has something exciting going on - and who maybe has to count on a long and heavy roundtrip in the Fjellregionen.