Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minnesota set a new record in winning the 2016 Hudson Bay Quest dog sled race from Churchill to Gillam March 18, crossing the finish line at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday after setting out the previous morning at 9:15 a.m.
Anderson, who was also the first to reach the halfway point and received the Calm Air Sportsmanship Award at the post-race banquet in Gillam, finished the 350-kilometre race in 31 hours, 56 minutes and 43 seconds. He came in more than an hour ahead of second-place finisher Shawn McCarty of Ely, Minnesota, who crossed the finish line a few minutes before 6:45 p.m. March 18. The other top-five finishers were past champion Peter McClelland, also from Ely, Stefaan De Marie of Christopher Lake, Saskatchewan and Churchill’s Dan DiMuzio.
Nine of the 11 racers who started out from Churchill completed the gruelling course. Justin Allen of Churchill was retrieved from the trail by the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group and transported to the midway point of M’Clintock where all racers had a mandatory six-hour rest period.
Charlie Lundie of Churchill withdrew after being the last racer to reach the Highway 280 checkpoint on March 19.
The Vet Award for exceptional animal care went to Jacob Heigers and Sean Houghton was named the 2016 handler of the year.