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3/4/2004 - Ellies team and race background
Vanilla Bean- Nilla 8 years old
Romeo- 6 years old
Bismark- 3 years old
Canyon-3 years old
Daisy-1 ½ years old
Zephyr-4 years old
Mendi and Asosa- 3 years old
Talus and Tiga 3 years old
Hardtac-7+ years old
Banjo- 6 years old
Mendoza- 6 years old
Ellie feels the 8,000 mile road trip to Michigan and back was a real bonding experience for her and her team. Being 17 yrs. Old, she was unable to compete in Alaskas 300 mile qualifiers.
Because of her Jr. Yukon Quest wins in 2001 and 2002, the Quest race committee let her run the 2003 Quest 250 in which she finished in second place and was Rookie of the Year.
Not only did she have to drive to Michigan-she had to appear at the required Rookie meetings on Dec. 6-7, 2003, then fly to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to catch up with her grandparents and her training partner Maegan Mackey and her 24 dogs. Maegan and Ellie each ran a 12 dog team finished 2nd and 3rd behind a Swingley leased dog team.
Other experiences that Ellie feels have helped her team jell are letting her dogs free run in her fenced dog yard, like weve always done. She and Maegan also bring dogs into their home for sleep-over. Each dog has that special one at a time and bonding.
For more information about Ellie and her home at Ultima Thule Lodge you can visit their web site at www.ultimathulelodge.com
More information about Ellie Claus can be found on the Iditarod web site www.iditarod.com
©2004 Jon & Jona Van Zyle
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