Lucas, Sheepway end Twister season with wins

Seven must be Jonathan Lucas' lucky number. For the second year in a row the Whitehorse musher ran seven dogs instead of eight and won the Watson Valley Grand Finale.

Seven must be Jonathan Lucas’ lucky number.

For the second year in a row the Whitehorse musher ran seven dogs instead of eight and won the Watson Valley Grand Finale, at the Mount Lorne Community Centre on Sunday.

The event, hosted by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon (DPSAY), was the final Yukon Brewing Twister race of the season.

“So no one can beat me for six months,” said Lucas.

“I spent the winter – it’s been a warm winter – trying to find the best eight dogs in my kennel that would run in the heat.

“I had seven dogs I was really sure of. Before Friday I was thinking, who should I use? I was trying different dogs and I thought, ‘You know Jon, last year you ran seven dogs and won, so just run seven dogs, not eight.’”

Lucas captured his first win of the season, completing the 10-mile sled event in 35 minutes and 58 seconds. Fox Lake’s Armin Johnson raced to second at 36:16 and Whitehorse’s Alexandra Rochat nabbed third at 38:19.

“I felt the trail was so hard and shaped that I felt like going down a bobsled run,” said Lucas. “When I finished someone asked me how it was and I said, ‘I think I have enough adrenaline for a week.”

Like many of the recent dog sled races – the Silver Sled in Haines Junction and the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race in Dawson City – Sunday’s race was held in warm temperatures, a few degrees above freezing. Racing in warmer temperatures might be something worth getting used to, said Lucas.

“Previous years you have lots of cold training and cold races and then you get one warm race,” said Lucas. “This year it’s been warm … Previously you wouldn’t go out (to train) when it’s warm, but if this is what we’re going to be getting – warm winters – they should get used to it and so should we … This might be the new normal.”

Mount Lorne’s Katherine Sheepway finished the season like she started it: with a pair of wins at one event.

Sheepway, who won two divisions at the Carbon Hill Twister opener, won both the 10-mile skijor and the four-mile recreational races on Sunday.

“It was really nice,” said Katherine. “It was a pretty good turnout considering it was a long weekend. There was good competition and the weather was beautiful. I think we were pushing to have a race that late in the year, but I’m glad it happened.

“I think it was my last ski of the year; the snow is going quickly.”

Sheepway won most of the races she entered this season, often finishing just ahead of her husband Darryl.

This past weekend was no different. She finished the 10-mile skijor in 34:22 while Darryl came in at 37:53.

Katherine won the Silver Sled five weeks ago but was second behind Darryl at DPSAY’s Cinnamon Bun Run a month ago.

“I had a faster time than he did,” said Katherine. “We went back together on the second leg, but my layover time was longer, so he beat me.

“We just wanted to finish because we knew it was going to be a really tough go.”

Katherine was the only skijorer in the four-mile recreational race, taking first at 18:36. Darryl placed second at 20:48 and Deb Knight grabbed third with a time of 21:48.

“We’ve been mixing up the teams and for the most part my team has been four dogs from one litter,” said Katherine. “This last race we each only had three dogs … We’re always mixing up the teams and experimenting with different combinations.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Results

Ten-mile sled

1st Jonathan Lucas

– 35:58

2nd Armin Johnson

– 36:16

3rd Alexandra Rochat

– 38:19

4th Nathaniel Hamlyn

– 38:29

5th Magnus Kaltenborn

– 40:47

6th Jakub Nemcek

– 44:48

7th Erin Stevens

– 50:38

Ten-mile skijor

1st Katherine Sheepway

– 34:22

2nd Darryl Sheepway

– 37:53

Four-mile recreational

1st Katherine Sheepway

– 18:36 (skijor)

2nd Darryl Sheepway

– 20:48

3rd Deb Knight

– 21:48

4th Martina Tejmlova

– 22:48

5th Jacob Heiger

– 23:31

6th Madisyn Schultz

– 26:58

7th Janet Keller

– 30:00

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