All the gee’s and haw’s have drifted across the tundra upwards to the northern lights have ceased for another year as the 2015 Hudson Bay Quest has finished in Churchill. This year’s champion is Martin Massicotte from Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
2015 Hudson Bay Quest champion Martin Massicotte. Courtesy Hudson Bay Quest.
Martin runs a paving contracting business in Quebec and dreamed of being a dog musher since age eight when he trained the family St. Bernard. In 2003 martin placed 6th in the Yukon Quest, a race that runs 1000 miles from Yukon to Alaska. He has aspired to run the Hudson Bay Quest and the Iditarod in a few years. he can now check off the Quest in a big way…with a first place prize and trophy!
His passion for the sport of dog mushing is summed up succinctly by this quote: “In leisure time, I run dogs, I think about dogs and I talk about dogs!!!”
Congratulations to Martin and all the other hearty mushers that competed in this year’s race. See you all next year!
2015 Hudson Bay Quest winner Martin Massicotte. Courtesy Hudson Bay Quest.
Canadian Rangers from the Lamprey checkpoint won best checkpoint. Courtesy Hudson Bay Quest.
2015 Hudson Bay Quest mushers. Courtesy Hudson Bay Quest.
The Hudson Bay Quest’s mushing roster has been trimmed down to 14 as the race draws nearer. Al Hardman has withdrawn his entry and Elizabeth Graves, after just qualifying in the John Beargrease Marathon in Two Harbors, MN, also had a change in plans and cannot attend. The Hudson Bay Quest starts in Gillam, MB this year on March 13th. Churchill, shrouded in snow with aurora borealis overhead ,will welcome mushers over the ensuing few days.
Churchill musher Charlie Lundie and his dog team. Steve Selden photo.
Al ran in the 2000 Iditarod and finished 37th. He then placed 21st in the 2002 Iditarod. In 2004 a virus struck his dog team on the first half of the race though he was able to nurse them to the finish in 59th place. Al is a retired CEO of his own company Hardman Construction in Michigan.
Elizabeth, a musher from Ely, MN, competed in the mid-distance leg of the Beargrease which is the longest sled dog marathon in the lower 48 states at nearly 400 miles. She was able to qualify for the Hudson Bay Quest through her efforts in the Beargrease.
Start of the 2014 Hudson Bay Quest in Churchill, Manitoba. Brad Josephs photo.
Hudson Bay Quest entrant Ryan Anderson won the Beargrease race edging out three time champion Nathan Schroeder by 28 minutes. Anderson also beat Schroeder to the finish line in 2011 by just 20 seconds.
Snowfall in Churchill piling up. Hudson Bay Quest photo.
The OFFICIAL 2015 HBQ race roster is as follows:
1.) Martin Massicotte 2.) Dan DiMuzio 3.) Dave Daley 4.) Justin Allen 5.) Tom Terry 6.) Peter McClelland 7.) Jesse Terry 8.) Jennifer Freking 9.) Charlie Lundie 10.) Blake Freking 11.) Denis Tremblay 12.) Ryan Anderson 13.) Shawn McCarty 14.) Leonard McPherson
Dog sledding in the north is part of the fabric of the culture. Enjoy this documentary of the Inuit lifestyle. Following another successful Hudson Bay Quest on the heels of the Iditarod in Alaska, this documentary gives good insight into the extent dogs play in northern peoples culture. Everywhere you go in Churchill dog yards or remnants of old ones exist. Over the past decade dog sledding interest in Churchill has peaked. With the way the mushing scene is gaining traction all over the world it can only continue to grow even more.