Pearson mushes to first at Rendezvous race

There was a bit of deja vu at Rendezvous.

There was a bit of deja vu at Rendezvous.

Mandy Pearson, from the Fox Lake area north of Whitehorse, won the Babe Southwick Memorial Dog Race for a second year in a row at the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festivities on Saturday at Shipyards Park.

“The race went pretty well,” said Pearson. “The trail was pretty decent. There were four of us who worked on the trail this year and we just worked really hard to make it good for mushers.

“I had to do a couple passes on the trail and on the second one I had a tangle. But we were pretty fast at getting untangled. The dogs just ran really well and were trying really hard.”

It was deja vu, not just from last year, but from the start of the millennium as well. Pearson also won the race in 2001 before taking a decade off from competitive mushing.

Pearson’s triumph was also her fourth win of the season. She won the 10-mile dogsled division at the 19th annual Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race last month.

She also topped the first two Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister series races.

“We obviously train our dogs just like everybody else does,” said Pearson. “Everybody works hard and tries to get their dogs to win.

“I pray before every race and it just works out. I have a really good leader … He carries the team really when we’re out there. He keeps the pace and doesn’t slack off at all.

“There’s not any really big secret.”

Pearson won the race with a time of 22 minutes and 45 seconds. The race was advertised as a six-mile race, but “it was actually closer to seven miles,” said Pearson.

Whitehorse’s Mathieu Devred came in second with a time of 23:09. Devred placed third, two spots behind Pearson, at the Carbon Hill race.

Pearson’s partner Armin Johnson cruised into third at 24:07. Johnson claimed fifth in the 10-mile dogsled race at the Carbon Hill race. He was also third place at the Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister in January.

Saturday’s race included a skijor event with Duncan Smith beating Jess Wood by two minutes. Both skijorers are from Whitehorse.

The sled race also had a bit of an international flare with sixth place’s Stephan Loehr representing Germany in the event.

Pearson and Johnson are hosting the next Yukon Brewing Twister Race this Saturday. It will be the first race at Fox Lake hosted by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon. More information can be found at

“We’re hoping to get a really big race going on next year at Rendezvous because it’s the 50th anniversary,” added Pearson. “We’re hoping we can draw a bunch of sponsorship dollars and maybe attract some mushers from Outside and put on a really big event.”

Sled results

1st Mandy Pearson – 22:45

2nd Mathieu Devred – 23:09

3rd Armin Johnson – 24:07

4th Aaron Nicholson – 24:47

5th Jade Netzer – 27:42

6th Stephan Loehr – 29:02

7th Sebastian Schnuelle – 30:12

8th Cindy Baker-Hawkings – 32:11

9th Christina Reeves – 33:21

10th Erin Stevens – 40:38

Skijor results

1st Duncan Smith – 34:46

2nd Jess Wood – 36:59

Contact Tom Patrick at