An end of season update from musher Mary Manning
Photo by Russell Utyeh
Community Voices

An end of season update from musher Mary Manning

Throughout the winter, WTIP speaks with members of our local sled dog racing community. One musher we didn’t talk to this season was Mary Manning of Doodle Dog Kennels in Hovland, so we reached out to Mary for an end-of-season update.

In particular, WTIP wanted to learn about Manning’s John Beargrease Sled Dog Race because she withdrew from that race at the Sawbill Checkpoint at about 120 miles—an early end to that race. At the time of the race, Manning assured WTIP that all was well, but they withdrew because the dogs were stressed by trail conditions. She said trail was good in many ways—the weather was nice for mushers and handlers. However, the hard-packed trail was hard on the dogs, especially if they stepped off the packed trail into the soft snow on the side of the trail.

Manning said she wanted to make sure that her dogs were healthy for future runs and for the rest of their racing careers. None of the injuries were significant, but a couple of dogs were treated by the vet, undergoing cold laser therapy. She said they recovered well and all are looking happy and perky.

Sled dog Skuf wearing his “doggles” during cold laser therapy treatment. Skuf is doing great and is happily running the trails once again.

The dogs were ready to run again and Doodle Dog Kennels took part in the Midnight Run at Marquette. Manning said they took part in the 100-mile race there. She said it was a lot of fun and good for her younger dogs, Manning said.

We talked to Manning at the end of April when it was still snowing off and on. She said for spring training, the dogs are doing short runs around home.

Here’s Manning’s conversation with WTIP’s Rhonda Silence.