Hudson Bay Quest a success

All the racers are in from Gillam and what a brutally cold race it was. With weather reported in the -30’s with a wind chill of -45 or higher, the Hudson Bay Quest was a tough one this year. Only four mushers scratched with 10 completing the course. One registered dropped prior to the race.

A dog patiently waits to run. Cheryl Sommerfeld photo.

The unofficial results are as follows:
1. #1 Peter McClelland 1:19:47
2. #14 Shawn McCarty 03:29:21
3. #15 Troy Groeneveld 03:29:21
4. #2 David Daley 06:11:30
5. #11 Matt Groth 06:35:44
6. #8 Jesse Terry 09:36:xx
7. #9 Hank DeBruin 09:40:xx
8. #13 Ed Obrecht 14:02:08
9. #12 Jim Oehschlaeger 14:57:25
10. #4 Charlie Lundie 18:17:21
#10 Dan Dimuzio finished but time not yet available.

#3 Julie Robitaille
#5 Stefaan DeMarie
#6 Alvin Hardman
#7 Ryan Anderson

Congrats to Peter McClelland for winning the race with a standout time. Dave Daley from Churchill and race organizer took local top honors with a fourth -place finish. The racers fought through incredible cold temps which ironically are the trademark of this sub-arctic classic challenge.

Here’s a little cool story about the winner relayed by the HBQ Facebook page updated by Dave Daley:

Peter McClelland was telling a group of us how he got such a lead on Troy. Turns out they were egging each other on, and at a rest in Lamprey they found a couple of comfy chairs, put their feet up for a few minutes and threatened each other to give chase if the other took off.

The chairs must have been really soft and nice, because Troy closed his eyes for just a moment and rested his weary head, while Peter pretended to rest his weary bearded head. Next thing Peter realizes, Troy lets out a soft snore!

Peter, being the gentle soul that he is makes a decision that Troy needs his rest, so he signals a finger to his lips and whispers “shhhh” to the Rangers, and tip toes outside so he doesn’t disturb his dear fellow competitor.Once outside, he finds his dogs, hooks up, and goes to Churchill to let everyone know that Troy will be coming along soon.

Dogs awaiting the next leg. Cheryl Sommerfeld photo.

It’s all about the dogs. Cheryl Sommerfeld photo.
Congratulations to all the mushers and their dogs for a well run race. I’ll post the official results when they become available.

Cold hits hard in Churchill

With a wind chill of -45 to -50 degrees in Churchill at the moment, I don’t want to hear anyone whining elsewhere about temps in the teens. After spending 12 Fall seasons in Churchill, even close to Winter, I’m a little more accustomed to cold at its’ peak. Nothing can compare to that kind of cold. I’ve experienced it a few times and trust me it’s a whole new world!

The Canadian Rangers are heading out on the land for some training maneuvers at this time ….they have to be some of the toughest humans on the planet.

Rangers ready to head out on their snow machines. Rhonda Reid photo.

 As the town settles in to some quality “inside” time with self or families, the polar bears are out on the ice hunting seals in their frozen dens. Moms with cubs are nestled in their own dens in and around Wapusk National the Winter out with anticipation of emerging into the world in March. Then they will head to the ice to gain the experience of hunting together on the ice pack.

Sow with cubs in Churchill,MB

Mom stays near her two cubs. Karen walker photo.

The cold is really a game in ones mind. If you really believe that the cold is going to take away your warmth and harm will. If you adjust and develop a resistance ..or rather..a coexistence, you will come to enjoy the crisp air against your skin…things in life could be worse…you are alive in the cold. Just enjoy it…the warmth of Summer will be all the more gratifying.

Sled dogs in Churchill,Mb.

Sled dogs in training for the Hudson Bay Quest. Brad Josephs photo.

The next post will be a preview of this years Hudson Bay Quest dogsled race coming in March. One of the most exhilarating races in North America has captured the imagination of many premier mushers hoping to take home the top prize. this year’s race promises to be the best yet. An in depth preview to come.

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