The next day, when we took off, Lightning was struggling to keep up. I stopped and left him home. Although I could never pin point why he couldn't keep up, Lightning got a month off. When we returned from the Siskiyou, Lightning joined back in and never wavered at the 35 mile runs we were doing. Although he had very few miles this winter, he remained amazingly muscular and had recovery times equaling or exceeding the rest of the team.
Lightning is the first to bark, whether for food, attention, running, or just to bark. He is a great athlete and never gets tired. I may never know why he struggled this year, but I expect it has a lot to do with his age. Next year as a two year old, I expect he will fair much better and won't be surprised if he not only makes the Quest team, but runs a good portion of it in the front of the team.