Crystal Schick/Yukon News Left: A lead dog eyes up the racing lane as the team lines up to head out on a run during the 24th Carbon Hill Sled Dog and Skijor Race. Middle: One lead dog cannot contain its excitement as it bounces around in anticipation. Right: A team of dogs and a musher race by some snow covered trees in the rain.

Rain and warm weather makes for interesting Carbon Hill race day

ā€˜I guess we all start getting used to this crazy weather.ā€™

The weather was more than a little odd for the middle of January, but that didn’t put a damper on the 24th Carbon Hill Sled Dog and Skijor Race on Jan. 14 at the Mount Lorne Community Centre.

The race day, organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon, included two competitive races, a recreational race and a kids dash.

Positive temperatures and rain were less than ideal, but Simi Morrison, president of DPSAY, said the results were about as expected.

“I don’t think there was a big impact really. We thought the times were a little slower than usual,” said Morrison, also adding that the 30-mile loop used for the race is actually between 36 and 38 miles long. “Of course it takes longer.”

Warm weather, especially after a cold snap like Whitehorse had the week before the race, tends to mean slower dogs and slower trails.

“The dogs feel the temperature difference,” said Morrison. “When it’s warmer, the dogs slow down a little bit and the trail gets softer.”

Thirteen teams took part in the 30-mile race, nine in the 10-mile race and six in the six-mile-race. A total of 12 children participated in the 100-yard kids dash.

Martine Lelevier was the first musher to finish the 30-mile loop in a time of 3:22:09. Crispin Studer finished in second with a time of 3:27:04 and Dana Koudelova was third in 3:30:58.

The 10-mile dog sled race finished in a tie between Mandy and Armin Johnson, both crossing the finish line in 34:42. Luc Twedell finished in third with a time of 37:38.

Claudia Wickert was the fastest 10-mile skijorer with a time of 56:15.

In the six-mile skijor race, Robert Siefke was the fastest with a time of 29:45. Cheyenne Tirschmann finished in 30:43, good for second place, and Maxime Aerts rounded out the podium with a time of 36:51.

This year marked the fourth year DPSAY has run the event since taking over from the group of Mount Lorne citizens that previously organized the race day.

Overall, Morrison said the turnout and the race day were good, despite rainy conditions.

“We were surprised at how many teams still came out because it rained at the beginning,” said Morrison. “I guess we all start getting used to this crazy weather.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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