Sled dog rac­ing through the Falls Creek vil­lage ex­cites the crowds Ca­nine cruis­ing un­der the stars

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By BRAD WORRALL

HIKE! That’s go in sled dog talk and this month is def­i­nitely go­ing to the dogs with huge events in the moun­tains this month.

While the Din­ner Plain Alti­tude 5000 event has been a sta­ple on the cal­en­dar since the early 1990s the vil­lage run at Falls Creek is a rel­a­tive new­comer.

Ta­mara Murphy, who trains her dogs – Siberian Huskies and two Mala­mutes, in the pine forests in the Ovens Val­ley, is as­tounded at the crowds they at­tract at Falls.

“It’s the only night event on our rac­ing cal­en­dar so that has its own unique chal­lenges with vi­sion and weather,” she said.

“But it is very spe­cial on the Satur­day night with the race through the vil­lage – peo­ple are on the bal­conies, on the streets and at the start and fin­ish, it’s mas­sive.

“At Din­ner Plain you’re us­ing the cross coun­try trails and there is a lot more space and it’s much flat­ter.”

Murphy caught the rac­ing bug from her fa­ther.

“We had bred the dogs for about 20 years and started go­ing to the snow just for fun rather than the rac­ing,” she said.

“I guess I was about 10 when I got a scooter and started run­ning with the dogs, Dad started rac­ing and even­tu­ally I caught the bug.

“The first show race at Falls Creek was my first real com­pet­i­tive event and it has snow­balled since.” Murphy says the dogs love it. “They have to want to race, you can’t teach that,” she said.

“We do it for the love of the sport, the love of the dogs and they too are do­ing what they love.

“Ide­ally we would have been out train­ing three or four times a week but this win­ter has been pretty wet and that hasn’t helped the dogs or my fit­ness.

“We don’t just go along for the ride – most of the time we are run­ning with them, through the soft snow that’s tough and es­pe­cially when you are wear­ing footy boots which are the only things that can get that grip.”

The Falls Creek Sled Dog week­end is on Au­gust 6 to 8.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.