Of course, in dog sledding it doesn’t matter what the name of the musher is, but it sort of seemed that way on Sunday.
The top-three finishers all had the last name Johnson in the sled division at the Cool Dogs Hot Pools race, hosted by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY) at the Takhini Hot Pools.
Fox Lake’s Armin Johnson placed first, completing the 13-mile course in 45 minutes and 19 seconds.
Tagish’s Dave Johnson (no relation) took second at 45:44.
Mandy Johnson, Armin’s wife, placed third at 46:44 at the Yukon Brewing Twister series event.
“It was a lot of fun. For us, we have three little ones there with us so we had to orchestrate a bunch of babysitters to come out so Mandy could run a team and I could run a team,” said Armin. “I was No. 10 going out and she was No. 12, so I kept looking behind my back but she never caught up to me this time.”
Even the fourth-place finish was just one letter from a Johnson.
Teslin’s Jerry Joinson notched fourth at 49:52.
“He’s done a lot of the distance stuff, but he’s toying around with sprint mushing,” said Armin. “So that’ll be fun to have him coming out to the races.”
Armin took first in the Twister series opener in December – one spot ahead of Dave Johnson – and placed second in the 30-mile sled division of the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race last month.
Ibex Valley’s Virginia Sarrazin made it three in a row on Sunday. Sarrazin and her three-dog team placed first in the 13-mile skijor with a time of 46:56. She won at the Twister race in December and the 10-mile skijor at the Carbon Hill.
Mount Lorne’s Katherine Sheepway grabbed second at 47:39 and Golden Horn’s Cynthia Corriveau third at 56:22 on Sunday.
Skijorer Magnus Kaltenborn won the five-mile recreation race at 17:27. Sledder Lisa Joinson placed second at 19:14.
Sunday’s event also featured a non-competitive kids race featuring Bode Johnson, Elan Johnson, Asha Pearson, Kassidy Power, Mikayla Power and Hunter Sternberg.
“That was actually the highlight of the day, getting the kids doing that,” said Armin.
The next DPSAY event will be the Babe Southwick/Rendezvous race on Feb. 21 at Armin and Mandy’s Yukon Horsepacking Adventures outfit at Fox Lake.
The main event will be a 15-20 mile 10-dog race as well as a six-mile four-six dog event and a kids race.
“We don’t have a main purse sponsor yet – we’re still looking for one if anybody wants to help out in that regard,” said Armin. “We’re also looking for sponsors for prizes for the kids race.
“If someone would step up and be a main-purse sponsor they could have their name in the title of the race for this year and future years as well.”
Contact Tom Patrick at
Sleds (13 miles)
1st Armin Johnson – 45:19
2nd Dave Johnson – 45:44
3rd Mandy Johnson – 46:44
4th Jerry Joinson – 49:52
5th Magnus Kaltenborn – 53:24
6th Erin Stevens – 1:00:21
7th Gabrielle Gagnon – 1:02:57
8th Fabian Schmitz – 1:13:02
9th Krys March – 1:15:46
Skijor (13 miles)
1st Virginia Sarrazin – 46:56
2nd Katherine Sheepway – 47:39
3rd Cynthia Corriveau – 56:22
4th Jess Wood – 57:26
5th Adam Robinson – 1:00:44
Rec class (5 miles)
1st Magnus Kaltenborn – 17:27 (skijor)
2nd Lisa Joinson – 19:14 (sled)
3rd Katherine Sheepway – 20:05 (skijor)
4th Lyndsay Caskenette – 24:54 (sled)
5th Johnathan Alsberghe – 32:06 (sled)
6th Jackie Tayler – 42:24 (skijor)