Their second race of the season was the newly-created 160-mile “Last & First Race”, held Dec 31st and Jan 1st. While other people were popping champagne bottles to toast the new year, Anna, Kristy, and their respective dog teams were tackling back-to-back 80-mile days racing the trails around Eureka, Alaska. With lots of hills on the course, drifting snow, and a frequent need to break trail, it was a challenging race for early in the season. As a newly created event, it also suffered some organizational difficulties. In fact, on the first day, nearly half the field was misdirected along the trail by a race volunteer, causing 5 teams – including both Kristy and Anna – to not only take a longer route, but one that sent them up and over the Belanger Pass unnecessarily. This added an hour to the first day’s run times and an additional 1,000 feet of elevation navigating the pass. Despite this, Kristy managed to claim 3rd place of 12 mushers after 18 hours 2 minutes of race time with Anna coming in 4th only six minutes later.
Seeing Double had a good showing in their 3rd race of the season in late January, the Tustumena 200. Anna finished 10th in a close sprint to the finish, in a field of 20, after 27 hours 46 minutes on the trail. Anna was also nominated by her fellow mushers for the Sportsmanship Award! Kristy took 12th after 27 hours 59 minutes. They each began and finished the race with 12 dogs and were really pleased with the dogs’ performance. Trail conditions were good for the race, which is fortunate as shortly thereafter rain in the region took a serious toll. Seeing Double’s following two events (Willow 300 and Knik 100) were cancelled due to trail conditions.
Luckily, Anna and Kristy were able to secure spots in the Goose Bay 150 starting Feb 16th, an invitational race held by Iditarod champion Jeff King. Although it launches practically in their backyard, the twins had never entered the event as it conflicted with others on their schedule. Each musher was again running a 12-dog team. Although a trail breaker went out in advance of the teams, it was 150 miles of tough trail, not well traveled outside of the race. It was snowing aggressively, particularly over the second half of the race, and there were a number of steep hills on the course. Not wanting to risk injury this close to their capstone event, Seeing Double entered the GB150 quasi-competitively, using it as much as a pre-Iditarod training run as a race unto itself. This so called nonchalance earned Anna a 4th place finish, in a field of 20, after 30 hours 27 minutes and Kristy claimed 5th just 4 minutes later.
Now it's all eyes, ears, paws and cold wet noses pointed towards Iditarod!