This is a success

Author: Erlend S. Rokseth/Victoria Fleming     Photo: Erlend S. Rokseth     Publish date: 02.02.14 19:34

Mascha Verweijs stated ‘This is a success’, her words thick with irony. Edmond Schoemacher came into the Søvollen checkpoint at 7:30 this morning with their dog team and they are still there now. They are the only team left from the F600.‘We do not understand what is happening. The dogs are in good shape and eating well. The vets said they came in as the happiest team of the day. But they just will not go.’ says Mascha Verweij.

A negative development
The team noticed right from the start that there wasn’t the normal enthusiasm and eagerness that the dogs usually have. And this attitude did not improve over time, in fact it got worse.

Mascha was not only disappointed and frustrated but she was also surprised. This does not resemble the team that had completed the Finnmarksløpets 500km twice, La Grande Odyssée and F400 in 2011. These races had all been completed with the same dogs that she was using for this race.

Slower speed
Results from the tracking revealed that they had taken almost 12 hours to go from Drevsjø to Søvollen with an average speed of 6.1 km / h. Edmond Schoemacher was disappointed, but he points out the obvious of "That's life."

Taking time to rest
Currently Mascha and Edmond are choosing to rest as long as they can in hopes that a break will light a spark in the dogs. They know that they don’t have all week to complete the race and there are deadlines by which time they must leave the checkpoint. By early Monday morning they must choose to either leave Søvollen and head to Tynset or choose to retire from the race altogether.

The couple is from Belgium, but live in the Netherlands where they have a kennel of 18 Alaskan huskies. They normally train with carriages on the bare ground, but in preparation for Femundløpet they have been taking their dogs to Sweden to train on snow.