Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
A musher takes part in Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)A musher takes part in Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mathieu Devred races in the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)Mathieu Devred races in the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Nine mushers competed in the eight-mile sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)Nine mushers competed in the eight-mile sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mathieu Devred during the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. Devred finished in first place. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)Mathieu Devred during the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9. Devred finished in first place. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)

The Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s (YDMA) second preliminary race took place on Jan. 9 in preparation for the Babe Southwick Memorial Race.

The Babe Southwick race is scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13. The race’s namesake was a dog musher who died of a heart attack in the 1965 race. Southwick’s racing number, eight, has been withdrawn permanently from the competition.

The preliminary races provided practice to mushers planning to compete in February. There were five categories — 10 dogs running 15 miles; six dogs running eight miles; four dogs running five miles; skijoring and junior.

On Jan. 9, Armin Johnson won the 15-mile race with a time of 52:49. Mandy Johnson and Jerry Joinson finished close behind with times of 55:26 and 55:40, respectively. Three mushers participated.

Nine mushers competed in the eight-mile race. Mathieu Devred finished first with a total time of 23:44. Mandy Johnson finished second with a time of 25:28 and Armin Johnson finished third with 26:59.

Devred took his second win that day in the five-mile race with a total time of 15:15. Laura Vinnedge finished second at 15:48 and Alex Rochat came third at 15:56. Five mushers raced.

Virginia Sarrazin won the skijour five-mile race with two dogs, finishing with a time of 16:11. John Berryman finished second at 19:59 and Nadele Flynn placed third at 20:10. Seven mushers competed.

The best-attended category of the day was the junior race, which saw 13 youth participate. Elan Johnson came in first, completing the junior distance in 16:11 seconds. Heidi Johnson and Bode Johnson finished second and third, finishing less than a second behind Elan.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com

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