Milos left the starting line at 11.33am. :-) He almost didn't start on time as he was going down the line giving the dogs a cuddle and the commentator had been so busy introducing this "Rookie who is after the Championship" that they only gave him a countdown from 4 seconds to run back to his sled. But all went well at the start line and I will now meet him at the second checkpoint at Skoganvarre (108km) as the first checkpoint is not accessible by road.
We've left Patch in the car and he's taken Gina. Thank goodness we bought a spare dog with us. Patch had her toe nail ripped off somehow and it's sensitive in the soft tissue underneath so she's limping. It's not hurting her now but the snow is cold on it even with a bootie. I think it knocked Milos's confidence a bit because Patch has been the top performer on the races this year so he's gutted he's had to leave her. But it's so important for him to try and keep 8 dogs as long as possible (he's a big guy with the same number of dogs as female competitors 30kg lighter than him) that is just wasn't worth the gamble taking her.
So our team are below in pics (in order): Waf and Cliff in lead, Grony and Wuf, Balto and Toby, then Gina and Spendrup in wheel position.
You can take a look at the results/tracking live on http:/www.finnmarkslopet.no. Remember the starting time is equalised at Karasjok.