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Skijoring in the Twin Cities always an adventure

Most people who missed the first part of the Super Bowl didn't miss it because they were driving back from the Cities in a small car with two big dogs and another human.

I didn't mind having a dog head on each shoulder, though. All four of us had had an exciting and exhausting day.

Every year in the Twin Cities there is a skijoring loppet that calls itself the National Skijoring Championships. Two years ago, my dad and I first went to this race.

There are two parts: the first part being on a Saturday and the second on the next Sunday. The Lake of the Isles race on Saturday consisted of a 7k and two other shorter races on the lake. The 7k is the championship race.

Two years ago, my dad signed up for the 7k with Tamarack and Julie. It was kind of a disaster, but here's the short version: Parking was really disorganized, my dad started five minutes late, my dad and I couldn't find each other for a while, and the best part of the day was eating a huge plate of Chicken Alfredo afterwards.

The second day was much better. There was just Tamarack and my dad on a 14k course that was very challenging in Theodore Wirth Park. The parking was great, my dad started on time, and my dad and I always were able to find each other.

The only problem was that Tamarack asked for belly rubs at the start of the race since he liked the handler so much.

We didn't go last year, but my dad had only one free weekend this year, and it fell on the week of the race. He also had a conference in the Cities that was scheduled the same day as the Sunday race. Since he was exhausted from a week in Portland and still hasn't gotten over from the bad parking at Lake of the Isles, my dad decided to only do the 14k race.

The first part of the day wasn't very exciting. I convinced my dad to bring Julie at 5:30 a.m., and unless you count taking lots of dog-in-car pictures with my Kindle interesting, the dogs didn't have anything to do.

That was only the first part of the day. We got to Theodore Wirth Park, and parked next to some skijorers. Then my dad and I went up to the chateau to try and find the registration.

After our first attempt to find registration failed, we went outside and heard a loud bark that sounded a lot like Tamarack's. When we went to our car, a blue-eyed husky was staring at Tamarack, who was barking so loudly that we had heard him from 50 yards away inside a car.

When they finally had the registration set up, my dad and I had walked from there and back two times only to discover we were parked in the wrong spot. We had to walk back again and finally got our parking right.

The place was dog central. Dogs were everywhere. I even saw a person with a dog sticking his head to of his owner's sweatshirt. Having so many dogs in one area was really fun, though it was hard to hear anything and the dog crowd provided plenty of distractions. The pre-race meeting was kind of useless because all of the dogs were talking to each other as loud as they could.

Soon my dad had to start, but our challenges weren't over yet. Tamarack pulled like crazy towards the dogs looking over at him, and when it was time for him to go, he ran in a circle around my dad to repeat the bad start we had two years ago.

Holding Julie during a skijor race after she has been trapped in a car and wants to skijor wasn't easy. Julie pulled in every direction, and whenever we went somewhere, we ran.

Also, Tamarack and my dad were last every time we saw them, so the race wasn't looking too good for us. What I didn't know was that my Tamarack was distracted in front of the people and dogs and that they were faster than other teams during the second lap.

However, when we saw them at the end, my dad and Tamarack were really close to someone else. This was the best part of the race. They weren't able to catch them, but they didn't place last. The race went really well for us, even though we did have some challenges.

At the end, my dad and I ate at Jason's Deli, and I had the same Chicken Alfredo. This time, though, the food wasn't the best part.

Holly McCamant is a freshman at Frazee-Vergas High School.