The Intensity of Long Distance

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We visited the Orlicke mountains in the Czech Republic, which ideal conditions has for team dog-sled racing. The championship of the Czech Republic in distance racing has been taking place here for the last few years. This international competition is one of the most difficult in Europe.

[Andrea Kucerova, Organizer]
“The event is well-known all over Europe, we have competitors from nine countries. Two thirds from abroad.”

Along the ridges of the Orlicke mountains, the route is 222km. It is a four phase, four day race, and is classified as an extreme competition.

[Klara Brzkova, Musher]
“The women mostly go on the shorter routes, but not many woman go on these other more extreme routes. They are more for men.”

Klara comes to the races with her father. She has been racing for four years. She came to the race this year for the first time and it wasn´t at all easy.

[Klara Brzkova, Musher]
“The second day it was truly challenging, it was snowing, windy, foggy. It was hard to see anything at all. The guide dogs didn´t want to be on the icy-ridges.”

Part of the race was also one required bivouc.

[Klara Brzkova, Musher]
“To do the bivouc, I had to dig out the holes for the dogs, as they aren´t used to doing it. But in the end only one female dog layed in it. The others got completely cover in snow, and only their heads could be seen.”

The dogs are usually nervous before the start, but during the race they calm down and are at peace with their own tempo until the finish.

[Klara Brzkova, Musher]
“For the long routes, you leave in the morning and you come back at dark. They are as long as this one and they are more relaxed, because you don’t have to chase the dogs anywhere, as their strength is depleted.”

These long distance routes are physically demanding but on the other hand there is a loose and friendly atmosphere among the mushers, and so it is an entirely unique experience for everyone.

NTD, The Czech Republic

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