Husband and wife B.C. sled dog team try to keep championship in the family
Fort Nelson, B.C. couple have created one of most decorated dog sled teams ever
Lina Streeper has helped her husband win many sled dog race championships. Now he's hoping to return the favour as he steps out of competition to help her prepare for one of the world's most prestigious races.
"Lina has been a key member of our kennel and team for the last 10 years," Blayne "Buddy" Streeper announced in January.
"She and I have built our life around our daughters and animals, and now is the time for Lina to have her opportunity to compete with our best athletes."
Rather than returning to the circuit to defend his title, Buddy is taking on a managerial role while Lina takes the reigns.
Based out of Fort Nelson, B.C., Buddy Streeper is one of the most decorated sled dog racers in the world.
Raised in the sport, he introduced Lina to it when they started dating.
She competed for a while before taking time off in order to raise their two daughters — and help raise the dogs pulling Buddy to so many wins.
The hardest part, she explained, is preparing the dogs: raising them, socializing them and keeping them in good condition.
"Once the race starts the work is already done," she said. "Then you're just out there enjoying all that hard work."
Buddy says it's time to let Lina enjoy the work and once again experience the thrill of competition.
This weekend she's taking part in the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race in Wyoming, the second largest sled dog competition in the world.
In a set-up similar to the Tour de France, racers mush between different communities, stopping overnight before taking off the next day.
So far, Buddy says, things don't feel that different.
"[Lina and I] have always worked together, we've trained together, we've prepared together," he said.
"It's just really when the race starts I'll be standing at the start line and I'll wave goodbye as she takes off."
And how does he feels about that prospect?
"Some anxiety, some nervousness, some high expectations, some worries," he said.
Lina is a little less concerned.
"I'm expecting to win it," she laughed.