Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 28, 2013

LeLevier wins chilly Carbon Hill sled dog race

Temperatures sinking below -24 C didn’t stop mushers and skijorers from hitting the trail to Annie Lake during the 19th annual Carbon Hill race on Saturday.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Temperatures sinking below -24 C didn’t stop mushers and skijorers from hitting the trail to Annie Lake during the 19th annual Carbon Hill race on Saturday.

The community race, based out of the Mt. Lorne Community Centre and winding through the Watson River Valley, saw close to 50 competitors hit the trails for the “biggest little race in the Yukon.”

Wearing bib No. 1, musher Martine LeLevier led the 30-mile race from the beginning, finishing nearly 15 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Jason Biasetti.

“I really love this trail,” LeLevier said after her race. “This trail is very nice. It was good. A very nice run.”

LeLevier represents Looping Kennel, partnering with former Yukon Quest musher Didier Moggia to train dogs.

“I just do small races,” LeLevier said in a thick French accent. “Usually I train the dogs for Didier. I know dogs for long time, but I don’t really race. I’m not really a racer. But I just come here because it’s a nice community.”

She couldn’t explain her long lead in the race.

“I don’t know,” she said. “You know what is nice? I have a couple of young dogs.

When you go outside of your yard – what you’re used to – they are curious to see what’s around the next corner. You know, they’re excited. So maybe they went faster down there, because they didn’t know the trail. And they said: ‘Hey, this is fun. Let’s go.’”

The chilly temperatures were not an issue, but the windblown trails were difficult to make out at some points. Despite her large lead, LeLevier said she lost 15 minutes on Annie Lake.

“I have a young leader, so it was good experience for her, because she didn’t know really to follow the markers,” she said. “This is why I lost 15 minutes on the lake.

She’s strong, so she was pulling the little one in the wrong direction. It didn’t work very well, but that’s OK. I was very happy. It was very good experience for my dogs.”

Stefan Wackerhagen won the 30-mile skijor race in 2:50:40, beating Cynthia Corriveau by just 19 seconds.

Wackerhagen’s time bested his 2012 time (2:52:37) by nearly two minutes, setting a new record.

Sprint musher Mandy Pearson won yet another race, taking the 10-mile crown with a time of 31:17, while Jill Pangman won the six-mile skijor race in 25:24.

Seth Carey was the only competitor in the junior two-mile race, completing it in 17:30, while Mckenzie and Harlan Keefer shared first place in the 200-metre kids sled dog race.

Top results from the Carbon Hill races are as follows:

30-mile dog sled race: 1. Martine LeLevier (2:46:51); 2. Jason Biasetti (3:01:22); 3. Jo Van Randen (3:04:19).

30-mile skijor race: 1. Stefan Wackerhagen (2:50:40); 2. Cynthia Corriveau (2:50:59); 3. Darryl Sheepway (2:56:47).

10-mile dog sled race: 1. Mandy Pearson (31:17); 2. Dave Johnson (32:02); 3. Mathieu Devred (32:22).

Six-mile skijor race: 1. Jill Pangman (25:24); 2. Virginia Sarrazin (26:13); 3. Valerie Bussieres (27:21).

Visit http://www.mountlorne.yk.net/carbonhill.html for full results.

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