|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
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
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!!!