While Inger-Marie Haaland still is “high” after winning, Ralph Johannessen is focused on Finnmarksløpet 2013. – Why Inger-Marie drove like she did this year? In order to test out how I should drive next year, he says without shyness, leans back and takes a sip of the victory vine. For Ralph, Finnmarksløpet is the ultimate competition, which it is worth spending 365 days to prepare for. –We want to win- and we will! Everything they do bears the stamp of the goal Team Haaland/Johannessen has set for themselves. With knowledge of principals for endurance sports, they think of the dogs’ development 24/7. They focus on each dog’s physical capacity. Only with a good understanding and a good nose for the dogs you can decide on the individuals in the team, Ralph think, and not least make sure they get the right training. In addition you need to put together the team. In addition they focus nutrition and the dogs’ ability to fast restore. As a handler this year it was his role to focus on the dogs achievement, race schedules and next year’s strategy.
Ralph Johannessen (left)
Finnmarksløpet is not a stroll in the park. It is a competition with enormous demands on both mushers’ and dogs’ physical and mental strength, and their ability to work together. It is for top athletes – with two or four legs. And in 2013 Ralph Johannessen will drive first in to Alta!