Studer regains River Runner title

Having just raced in the Yukon Quest earlier this month, when leaving the start line on Saturday, the Carcross musher's dogs were wondering if they were going all the way to Fairbanks, he said.

Crispin Studer’s dogs were uncertain of what the plan was on Saturday.

Studer won the River Runner 120 Sunday morning. Having just raced in the Yukon Quest earlier this month, when leaving the start line on Saturday, the Carcross musher’s dogs were wondering if they were going all the way to Fairbanks, he said.

“The start line was almost in the same spot (as the Quest) and we were running the same trail for the first 35 miles,” said Studer. “As soon as we took a left turn off the Quest trail they sped up quite a bit and were running fast all the way after that.

“They were like, ‘Are we going back to Fairbanks? What’s going on here?’ They ran at a decent speed, but nothing too exciting. Then we turned left, they were like: ‘We’re not going to Fairbanks. OK, now that’s fun.’”

Studer won the race to Mendenhall and back in 2011 and in 2010, the inaugural race then called the Road Runner 100.

“It feels great. I was pretty excited about it because I hadn’t won a race since then (at the 2011 River Runner),” said Studer, who took last winter off from competitive mushing.

“It was nice to win a dog race again.”

Studer placed 13th in this year’s Yukon Quest and 18th in 2004.

“Nine of the 10 dogs that I ran finished the Quest, and the 10th one I dropped in Eagle, (Alaska), so he did 600 miles,” he added.

Studer and his dogs from Pika Kennels won the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race’s 30-mile dogsled division three straight years between 2008 and 2010. He also came first in the 2011 Percy DeWolfe 200 and in the Yukon Quest 300 in 2009.

He plans to race in the Percy DeWolfe in Dawson at the end of next month.

Studer finished with the overall time of 11 hours and 32 minutes, 18 minutes ahead of second place’s Martine LeLevier of the Fox Lake area north of Whitehorse.

LeLevier won the 30-mile dogsled division at the Carbon Hill Race last month. She also placed second at the Yukon Brewing Twister race at the start of the year and fourth in the 2012 River Runner 100 last February.

Tagish’s Ed Hopkins crossed the finish line six minutes behind LeLevier for third. Hopkins placed third last year as well.

He also competed in this year’s Quest, which was his sixth time in the 1,600-kilometre race, and took 11th. Hopkins placed eighth in the Quest in 1994 and 2005.

Whitehorse’s Stefan Wackerhagen beat out three other racers in the skijor division of the race organized by the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon.

Wackerhagen won the 30-mile skijor Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race the last three years, setting a course record in 2012.

He also won the skijor division at the 2011 River Runner 100 and the skijor division of the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race the same year.


120-mile sled

1st Crispin Studer – 11:32

2nd Martine LeLevier – 11:50

3rd Ed Hopkins – 11:56

4th Magnus Kaltenborn – 12:50

5th Maren Bradley – 12:54

6th Alex Rochat – 13:21

7th Dany Jette – 13:27

8th Steve Gibbons – 13:29

9th Michelle Phillips – 13:40

10th Marie Royer – 13:42

11th J.J. Levy – 14:18

12th Jason Biasetti – 14:35

13th Simi Morrison – 14:42

14th Jacob Heigers – 18:09

Melissa Schenke (scratched)

120-mile skijoring

1st Stefan Wackerhagen – 12:26

2nd Cynthia Corriveau – 13:07

3rd Darryl Sheepway – 13:14

Adam Robinson (scratched)

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