HUSKIES.CZ, Jana Henychová, Horní Maxov 176, Lučany nad Nisou, 468 71, CZ, tel.: +420 724 045 565, e-mail:

Jana, you have already spent three winters in Northern Norway to train for
Finnmarkslopet. You have completed the race three times: twice 500 km and once 1000 km. Why
Norway? And why so far up north as Finnmark?

It is quite easy. Finnmarkslopet takes place in Finnmark, so I decided to train right there, in Finnmark. The first two winters we stayed in Alta. Then I felt it was time to move and train in a different place. I had lovely experience with people from Tana, whom I met during last year´s Bargebylopet. I also thought the land there had something magic to it and I wished to spend time there again…

There is quite a lot of snow in Tsjekkia, is it not enough for training?

We we have plenty of snow in the Czech Republic, but training for long distance races is not easy there. The mountains, where I live, spread over just about 200 km2. That´s all. It is such a small area with far too many skiers and other people. I can say that if you go for a 40 km long trip in the Czech Republic, you really have to fight for these kilometres and use a lot of your own energy as if you go fot for a 100 km trip in Finnmark.It is not easy to explain…

How many dogs did you bring to Finnmark when you came for the race in the last three years?

I came with with 16 Siberian Huskies in 2008, last year I also arrived with 16 Siberian Huskies and this year I came as a handler of a German musher T. Hoffmann. We came with 33 Alaskan Huskies.

Did you meet any Norwegian mushers? Did you get any help along the way?

First of all I met you, a Norwegian musher Johanne Sundby, and thanks to you I decided to go for Finnmarkslopet.My thanks belong also to Gaiir Wiik and Hans Christian for their help. These three people and The Siberian Husky Club of Norway supported me to come here. I got a lot of help from Roger Dahl in Alta and I found a great friend in Arnt Holgar Jensen, also in Alta, whom I can really call my best friend. I feel the same for his whole family.

I met two fantastic people this winter Jan Oysten Dervo and Jon Borge Stina, who also helped me a lot.

What do you think about northern winters? What do you find the most challenging and on the other hand the best part of them?

Everything is amazing in this time of the year. You and your team of dogs depend so much on the wheater up here.The landscape without trees is fantastic and mysterious. When the wind starts to blow you can get lost ever so easily. It is a great feeling to be in such open space and be alone with your dogs. You know that it is all down just to you and them. Nobody can help you, you have to trust yourself to get through. This trust is tested every day, you just have to believe that you can do it…

How do you train the dogs?

I try to run them for as many kilometres as I can, but I can see it is still not enough to compete with Norwegian mushers – they manage to get twice more in the „dogs paws“ during the training period.

What is the main difference between training in Norway and back at home?

As I said, we haven´t got enough space for it. Everything about training in Norway seems so easy to me.

How do you manage to keeping your kennel at home up and running and go away for such a long time?

I have a good young friend who loves my dogs and he enjoys to live let´s say „in my shoes“ when I am not at home. I have been very lucky to have him…

You have great sponsors and you are quite active in the media, how do you manage that?

Well, I am old enough and I have bred and raced dogs for more than 10 years now. I write articles for sport magazines, I have been invited for quite a lot TV interviews and I am very serious about my web pages. Many people are interested in what I do, how I live, what I do with my dogs etc. A lot of people are quite fancinated by my life, as many of them would wish to live just like me, but they have so many other things to do…

You usually train Siberian Huskies,, but this year you trained and mushed Alaskans. Is there
a big difference?

Yes, it is very different. The biggest difference for me is that Alaskans don´t have such a strong hunting instinkt. That means that much less unexpected things happen during training them – unlike with Siberians. You can feel save with 16 Alaskans in the team…you still know that you can´t stop them, but you also know that they just follow the trail and they are not interested in anything else happening around them.

If someone else from Europe wanted to come to Finnmark, what would be your advise to them?
Infrastructure? Training? Getting to know people?

Staying in Norway is extremely expensive and it can easily break all your plans. Norwegians are very nice and friendly people, but it takes time to get to their hearts. I would say, you have to come here at least twice, before you can say, they are warm and friendly. It is different to be politely friendly and warmly friendly. It is a different culture compared to ours.

Would you like to come again? What would you do differently?

I like Norway and especially Finnmark very much and I wish to come there again. I unfortunately have no more money for that and generally speaking no more reason. I finished 500 km with my dogs and I also finished 1000 km with my dogs. If I come next year it will only be AGAIN. May be it is time to go to a different continent and take part in different long trail race, make another camping trip… And as most things, it all depends on money.

I will never run and train dogs who are not mine again. I gave the dogs I prepared for this year all my love and care and I know that I will not see them any more. It really hurts. It doesn´t matter if they are Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Huskies, they are dogs, they became my friends and soulmates who run for me and with me and I have great respect for them. I will love them for ever, but some stories just don´t have happy ends.

I see you took some very nice pictures in Northern Norway; how did you like the icy and frozen landscape in winter?

It was great, Varangeboten seaside is magic. You can find places there you feel will not change for another 100 years. It is so natural, real, beautiful, touching your heart… People who decided to live there are really special. It is one of the most special places in the world!!!


Thank you.


2005-2009 Created by Jana Henychová