FINNARKSLOPET ( www.finnmarkslopet.no
The Articel for Hakadal Sledehunklubb Slaedesporet- Norway -
15th of October 2007
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Jana Henychova, I am 36 and I come from the Czech Republic.
I am an owner of 22 pure breed Siberian Huskies and this winter
season I am going to take a part in Finnmarkslopet 500 km. You
can see my websites www.huskies.cz
When I was young I attended ski classes of a sports grammar school.
I have done many kinds of sport such as cross-country skiing,
orienteering, triathlon, rock climbing. All of these sports unfold
endurance, tenacity and joy from the movement outdoor. All these
qualities led to the time ten years ago when I got my first Siberian
Husky and then everything went in the same order as by many friends
who became addicted to the mushing sport. There were more and
more dogs till it has become the number 22 when 12 of them are
my own bred puppies. I do not get rid of the old retired dogs,
so I have both old and young. All of them are my life friends
and they stay with me. During the years I have also found a reasonable
usage for the not-racing dogs. We popped into a show business
a bit and the dogs are great models for the photographers or commercial
makers. The most important of all is my work with tourists where
the dogs get in a close contact with the people and vice versa.
I first teach the people how to love the dogs then how to put
on harnesses, line up the dogs and go for a ride.
One of my other hobbies is the Internet where I like creating
websites. Thanks to this interest I became one of the organizers
of the stage sled dog race Sedivackuv Long. It is taking place
on the ridges of the Orlicke mountains (Eastern Bohemia) and its
distance is 222 and 333km. See www.czechlongtrail.com
I also work as a secretary and a webmaster of the international
pure breed Nordic race dogs organization FISTC, www.fistc.com
. At the same time I am a member of the board of the Czech pure
breed dogs sport club CMSKSP.
Nowadays thanks to the Internet you can watch and report activities
all around the world. There is no wonder that I was able to get
info about the famous race in Scandinavia. You know this yourself
pretty well. You get an idea and it stays in your mind for a long
time when suddenly…”And why can’t I go?” One day I got this idea
and question and since then everything has started getting more
particular outline. The breakpoint for me was an email saying:
“We, the Norwegian Husky Club, have heard that you may plan
to come and race in Norway next season. Is that right?
We would love to compete with you.
We will try to assist you if you come, at least with a place to
stay or train if you need it, somewhere in Norway.“
I race with a purebreed long distance team.
In a short time I got more emails from Norway with the offer of
a help. I started to communicate with Geir Wiik about the training
and preparing of the dogs. All of this was a fantastic motivation
and support for me. I wanted to get things done to the very end.
Geir and Johanne informed me about the seminar that was due to
happen in September. And I started to prepare my first “spy” journey
The journey to Norway
my journey to Norway I had studied the Nordic legends, myths and
books about the explorers of the Polar areas. It is no wonder
that Roald Amundsen and his ship Fram became my favourite heroes.
I bought myself a book “How to learn Norwegian yourself” and I
studied the beginnings of the language, its specialities of the
phonetics and its similarities with the Danish or Swedish. I had
studied some travelogues and that was about the end of my theoretical
preparation for that moment.
I had also found out that in the Czech Republic are a lot of the
travel agencies specialized in Scandinavia or particularly Norway
and even that in Prague lives quite a large community of the Scandinavians
who are often organizing various cultural and social activities.
Lance Mackey apologized himself in the last minute and so the
organizers had to find a substituting program, mostly in Norwegian
and Danish language. (Thank you for the multi-simultaneous translation
to my host lady Johanne Sundby.)
A typical musher of the 21st century would never survive
without his personal laptop and well done presentation in the
Power Point program…
Tore Bergby a Hilde Askildt, http://www.luksefjell.com/
Charlotte Leschbrandt, veterinárka FL
Lou Serre, CA
Hege Ingebrigtsen, http://www.funracing.no/
Per Jessen, DK, http://www.perjessen.dk/
think that the most excellent speech was given by Tore Bergby
a Hilde Askildt. It was clear what they spoke about and what they
wanted to say. You could not miss their kind and sensitive attitude
to their dogs. He, very shy, almost timid and on the other side
she, talkative, self-confident, absolutely perfectly fitting into
one another. The top of their talk was a video from the finish
of this year’s Finnmarkslopet and hugging with Kjell Brennodden.
At that moment I turned to Johanne that was translating for me
and I saw tears in her eyes. At the same time Tore and Hilge also
disappeared from the stage. It was a strange moment in which was
something very mystic, indescribable…
was absolutely stunned by an unexpected experience that was for
me the speech by Per Jessen about a Sirius guard in Greenland.
It was very interesting, witty and joyful. The final music clip
“It’s my life” brought tears into eyes of all the sensitive souls
in the room. Some people complaint that Per spoke too fast and
that they could understand just 50%. Don’t worry. I understood
even less but it was wonderful. Marvellous pictures, witty videos,
professional presentation, sympathetic speaker…
I found out that a good speaker can pass over his or her ideas
to the patient and concentrated listener even if you cannot understand
the words very well. He or she only has to have something to say.
Next important fact is the technical background – materials such
as photographs, videos or their combination with music. I believe
that when you live with the dogs all the time you become sensitive
to their behaviour and habits that makes you better understand
the people whose language is not understandable for you. Hilde
Askildt spoke so well that she was really acting on the stage.
I understood her the best…
Overall I was excited from the seminar and I hope that we can
organize something similar in our country.
Mushing in Bohemia
The Czech Republic has about 10mil inhabitants. About 500 of them
are members of mushing organizations as the active mushers. This
season in czech will take place about 38 races: 20 off snow, 6
sprint snow, 10 mid-snow and 2 long snow. The history of mushing
in the Czech Republic is very similar to the Norwegian. The organization
SSPS gathers competitors of both pure and non breed dogs- www.mushing.cz.
Today in Bohemia exist excellent top sprint races with 4-6 dogs
teams represented mostly by Mr.Jiri Krejci and Jiri Trnka. Another
successful and also mass trend are the new individual disciplines
off snow such as canicross, bikering or scootering where the most
noticeable person is Mrs. Sona Klikarova, Mr.Pavel Porubsky or
the new growing junior talent Miss Nicole Maresova. 38 of Czech
competitors will take part in the European Championship ESDRA
on 27-28th October 2007 in Poland, http://www.ec2007.mushing.pl/
and also many in the World championship IFSS in Italy, http://piandelagotti2007.fimss.com/.
The fast growing group of mushers are the enthusiasts and dog
lovers who are turning their attention to the MID and partly also
to the LONG races. In this group we also have growing top sportsmen
mushers. They breed mostly the gun-hound dogs and so they concentrate
their main activities on the European continent. Mr. Pavel Pfeifer
systematically builds with his dogs a successful unlimited team
and we expect his great introduction in this year winter races
in the Spanish Pirena, http://www.pirena.com/.
Mr. Radek Havrda and Jiri Vondrak are concentrating their training
activities to the race La Grande Odysee in France, www.grandeodyssee.com/.
Last year Radek won this competition.
In the Czech Republic you can find all sorts of producers of the
mushing goods and equipment: www.manmat.cz
The Norwegian experience
is very beautiful county. People here live in a close touch with
the nature and they are really proud of it. Same as everywhere
people in Norway are various. They have awkward names that you
write differently than you pronounce. For a stranger it takes
a while to remember it or recognize whether it is a man or woman.
as everywhere there live people, the dog lovers and also people
who have the dogs maybe a little extremelly as a sports equipment.
Mushing in Bohemia same as in Norway has followed almost the same
way for the past years. In Norway though the mushing follows mostly
the way of the LONG races. It is no wonder that the Norwegians
have their winner of the IDITAROD Mr. Robert Sorli, who is ideal
example for all the competitors. The nature and landscape conditions
for this type of race are here just perfect. On the other hand
mushers in the Central Europe become more interested in the individual
disciplines with one or two dogs. It is because there is no need
to change a lifestyle for that and it can fit even to the jobs
that demand a lot of time. These individual disciplines are not
dependable on snow and so there is nothing that would stop this
sport from its development.
Mushers of Bohemia are also interested in LONG races but all
the dog breeders have focused their activities mostly on the gun-hound
dogs and then their sporting area is very limited. Scandinavia
is surely very alluring but at the same time they are afraid of
the extreme weather conditions.
way to Norway confirmed what I have felt before. The most important
in the training is the inner calmness and peace not only for the
musher but also for the dogs. It is not necessary to ride so many
of kilometers but to think about the training systematically and
keep on doing it. What I think is important are the “effective
kilometers” and the absolute obedience of the dogs. I could try
all of this at the training with Geir Wiik and his dogs. Yes,
this was the real training. No unnecessary yelling of the dogs
when lining up, no affected pulling the lines but concentrated
waiting for the command. It is important that the dogs learn to
relax and regenerate straight after they stop.
important knowledge for me is to learn about the material used
in Norway. Johanne showed me the use of all the important things
and I got from her lots of things as well. Thanks to Geire I bought
myself some nice new things too and so I think that my equipment
for the FINNMARKSLOPET is complete. At least I hope so.
The most important experience for the end. It is the fact that
in Norway people fond of this sport are very solidary. The idea
of establishing the Team of Norway confirms that people here don’t
think only of the own success and victory but they want to support
also the young mushers. It is very positive message in this modern
always rushing world.
Another contributing point is the importance to share your experience
and knowledge with the public. And this can be done by organizing
seminars such as this year did the club HADAKAL. Thank you for
that and see you in March in Alta.