NAME: Christian Turner
NICKNAME: None that im aware of
STATE: W.A - N.S.W - QLD- Alaska
CLUB/website: SDRQ Sled Dog Racing Queensland -Willow Dog Mushers
PLACE WHERE I TRAIN: For long distance racing i live in Willow Alaska and train all over the state. For dryland sprint mushing which i have only just started ..i will train where ever i find a trail.
DISCIPLINES: Long Distance (500+ miles) Mid distance (200+miles) Sprint Snow (6+miles) And dryland sprint (2.2 + ks)
DOGS: Have worked with many different dogs over the last few years but currently own two here in Australia ..two GSP house pets .
WHEN DID YOU START MUSHING: Started mushing when i moved to Canada during the winter of 2008.
THE BEST RESULTS: Many placings around Canada during my sprint career including firsts at Pegion Lake and Kimberly. In 2013 became the first Out of Alaskan to win the Two Rivers 200 and in 2015 placed 15th in the Iditarod.
MY HARDEST SLED DOG RACE: The hardest sled dog race i have ever competed in was the 2014 Iditarod, the trail was "technical" and the limited snow cover created issues for mushers along the way. I also had my gang line break during the early stages of the race. The biggest obstacle to overcome during this race was the feeling that i had wasted my awesome opportunity to do well. The team i was running was more than capable of placing in the top 20 but after my issues at the beginning all we could manage was a 38th placement.
THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT DURING A RACE: I have two most exciting moments and i cant determine which i prefer. The first being in control of 16 Screaming Alaskan Huskies as they pound against the harness in anticipation of the countdown timer letting them charge down the starting chute towards Nome. The build up to this moment adds so much, you have trained all year long the dogs have trained and as a unit you are ready . Its a magic experience.
The second is about 400 or 500 miles into a long distance training run or race when you have gotten rid of the dogs that couldn't keep up and all of a sudden the team infront you are driving- turns into a super organism working as one ,moving as one and pretty much operating flawlessly, efficiently and all this without missing a beat.. The team will come together and at that point you feel as if you could take on anything. This is a very exciting moment ..also you have normally not slept for 80 or so hours so everything feels so magnificent ..
WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT THE SPORT: The most addictive thing i like about this sport is the unknown ( mainly in the longer distance and snow events) the unpredictability of the entire sport. No matter how hard you train or how fast your dog may or may not be or how much money you may or may not have it can all come down to one decision or one storm. Or even one glass of water you drank two days before the race which has now given you the squirts..haha .. but seriously there is no amount of preparedness that can guarantee your race finish or survival in certain situations. FAVOURITE RACE: I don't have a favourite race.. any race I'm lucky enough to be apart of from a small club event in Qld, to racing my brother with my two dogs or competing against the elite in Alaska. All of these races are what the sports about, being outdoors and striving for the best results you and the dogs can manage.
WHY SLEDDOG RACING : Why Not ... this sport is everything a sport should be..it gets people motivated to interact with others, go camping, spend time with there loved animals and actually enjoy the outdoors....also the stories you here around the fire place are worth a thousand cold nights.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN: When im overseas every day and every night. when here in Australia not very often but i will attend club meets and my dogs get exercised every day.
THE SPORT IN AUSTRALIA : When i first travelled overseas i was unaware of the sport even existing in Australia. But everytime i go to a club meet or even look on my facebook more and more people have become interested in the sport here in Australia. The numbers at this years Nationals were outstanding and i hope it continues to grow ..who knows we may even get some money in the sport .. keep spreading the word and hopefully one day sled dog racing will be televised and considered as one of the main winter sports in Australia, As it is in Canada the US and Norway.