Two weeks ago Whitehorse musher Marine Gastard had never won a mid-distance race, now she’s won two in a row.
The 31-year-old and her team took first place in the Silver Sled race in Haines Junction on March 5.
“I’m proud of my dogs and I’m pretty happy to see my dogs are doing so good and I’m training them well,” said Gastard. “I have some new dogs. I have a bunch of two-year-olds that I didn’t have the year before, and a few yearlings too. So it’s a different team than I’ve had in the previous races.”
Gastard won the dog sled stage race from Haines Junction to Silver City and back with a time of six hours, 58 minutes and 56 seconds. The race is listed as being a 100-mile event, but is closer to 87 miles or 140 kilometres.
She posted the fastest time in both directions, by almost a half hour Saturday and more than 20 minutes on Sunday.
Gastard, who runs a dog sledding business in the Fish Lake area, placed sixth in 2015 and third in 2014 in the Silver Sled.
She also won the Granger Grind, the Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon’s annual mid-distance race, on Feb. 26 in Mount Lorne.
“I had eight of the same dogs as the weekend before. I decided to add some yearlings — they wanted to try,” said Gastard.
“The trail was beautiful, everything went perfectly, nothing (bad) happened. I just had a lot of fun and my dogs were 100 per cent — everybody was happy.”
Shallow Bay’s Gerry Willomitzer placed second with a time of 7:52:45. The Yukon Quest and Iditarod veteran won the Mount Lorne Christmas Classic in December and placed third in the Granger Grind.
Kristina Disney, Willomitzer’s dog handler, placed third at 8:07:17.
Mount Lorne’s Katherine Scheck topped the 100-mile skijor race for a third straight year. Her time of 7:46:24 put her second overall with the sleds.
Golden Horn’s Cynthia Corriveau placed second in the skijor division at 10:19:23.
Mendenhall sisters Lori and Louve Tweddell placed first and second, respectively, in the 100-mile junior musher division. Lori finished with a time of 9:48:57, about seven minutes ahead of her twin sister.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
100-mile Silver Sled results:
1st Marine Gastard — 6:58:56
2nd Gerry Willomitzer — 7:52:45
3rd Kristina Disney — 8:07:17
4th Didier Moggia — 8:19:37
5th Kyla Boivin — 8:24:07
6th Jean-Marc Champeval — 8:25:24
7th Magnus Kaltenborn — 8:29:47
8th Nathaniel Hamlyn — 8:30:37
9th Alexandra Rochat — 8:32:28
10th Claudia Wickert — 8:37:36
11th Jacob Heigers — 8:55:12
12th Cindy Baker-Hawkins — 11:26:18