Nine seconds is not a lot of time.
That’s all that separated first and second place, not in one race, but over three at the Hot Hounds event at Can I Mush Kennel at the Takhini River Lodge on Sunday.
The top two finishers were close and each of the three races had a different winner at the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon event.
The conditions made for fast times, said host Jean-Marc Champeval.
“It’s a fast trail compared to what we have usually. It’s flat and very fast,” he said. “And the weather was perfect for the dogs: not too cold, not too warm, not sunny. Just perfect.”
Champeval took first in the two-dog two-mile bikejor, beating Cynthia Corriveau by just three seconds with a time of 7:36. He doesn’t feel he had much of a home field advantage.
“I’m not sure it’s an advantage because the dogs want to go back to the kennel when we pass by the kennel,” said Champeval, who raced with his dogs Brave and Black Bear. “It’s not always an advantage to be at home.”
Virginia Sarrazin had the closest win on the day, taking the one-dog one-mile canicross by just one second over Adam Robinson.
“It was a good training race for the dogs because there was someone on the trail, so they can get distracted,” said Sarrazin, who ran the canicross with dog Spike. “There were people close to the finish line and we were also passing Jean-Marc’s kennel, so the dogs could get distracted by that. So it was a good way to learn how to not get distracted.
“It was challenging for Jean-Marc because the dogs just wanted to go back to his kennel.”
It was Champeval and Sarrazin’s first wins of the Hot Hounds season, but not for Corriveau who won the one-dog one-mile bikejor.
Corriveau, who outpaced Champeval by five seconds, won the two-dog two-mile bikejor in the season opener at the end of May and both bikejor races at the second Hot Hounds earlier this month.
“It was a good turnout, for all the three races actually,” said Sarrazin. “Everything went well, everyone was happy. Jean-Marc did a really great job at preparing the trail … And the rain was there to refresh us.”
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Bikejor (one dog/one mile)
1st Cynthia Corriveau – 3:48
2nd Jean-Marc Champeval – 3:53
3rd Adam Robinson – 4:02
4th Armin Johnson – 4:12
5th Claudia Wickert – 4:24
6th Christiane Champeval – 5:00
7th Eugenie Champeval – 5:05
8th Alex Rochat – 6:34
9th Jon Lucas – 7:54
Bikejor (two dogs/two miles)
1st Jean-Marc Champeval – 7:36
2nd Cynthia Corriveau – 7:39
3rd Adam Robinson – 8:24
4th Alex Rochat – 8:29
5th Jon Lucas – 8:40
6th Virginia Sarrazin – 10:01
7th Pascal Krebs – 10:30
Canicross (one dog/one mile)
1st Virginia Sarrazin – 5:27
2nd Adam Robinson – 5:28
3rd Hombert De Sesmaisons – 5:36
4th Armin Johnson – 5:40
5th Cynthia Corriveau – 7:35
6th Trine Hjerrild – 8:27
7th Jon Lucas – 10:22