State

16-year-old Canadian takes top spot in a snowy 30-mile Eagle Lake sled dog race

EAGLE LAKE — The snow and wind kept up for the 30-mile Mad Bomber event at this year’s Eagle Lake Sled Dog Races on Saturday. Mushers said the trail was good, even with a layer of granular sleet and snow mix on top.

The course was fast enough for Tristan Rivest of Quebec (2:14:54) who finished in first place on Saturday, just two minutes ahead of Kris Sampson of Ontario. Coming in third was Aurora MacKenzie of Ontario, with a time of 2:18:06.
“I am happy,” Rivest said following his win. “The trail was perfect.” It was the second win for the young musher, who is just 16 years old.
Rivest, who began mushing when he was four, was joined on Saturday by his father, brother and mother, all of whom also raced in the 30-mile event.

Tristan Longchamps drives his team toward the finish line at this year’s 30-mile Mad Bomber event during the Eagle Lake Sled Dog Races on Saturday.
(Don Eno)

It was Sampson’s first time racing in Eagle Lake, although he has previously competed in the Can Am event in Fort Kent.
“They performed well,” Sampson said of his dogs. “It was a great course. I’d come back for sure.”
“It was fun,” said Matt Curran, also of Ontario, who was running a team from Sampson’s kennel. It was Curran’s first race. “I crossed the finish line, so that’s good,” he said with a chuckle.
Race organizer Amy Dionne of St. David, herself a musher, was relieved to hear the trial was up to par.
“I’m glad,” she said while waiting for racers at the finish line. “They said the trail was fast.”
A warm spell just days before the race had some worried the trail would be too soft for racing and the temperatures too high for the dogs. However, a cold front arrived Friday night, bringing with it temperatures in the teens and a bit of fresh snow.
Katherine Langlois of New Brunswick, a veteran of both the Eagle Lake and Can Am races, was back this year.
“It was really awesome,” she said while giving her tired dogs some treats at the finish line. “The trails were great.”

Tired sled dogs cool off and relax after finishing the 30-mile race during the Eagle Lake Sled Dog Races on Saturday morning.
(Don Eno)

Mushers, handlers and fans gathered at the recreation department’s skating rink building to warm up, eat lunch and await the final results. The mushing comrades from
The northeastern U.S., Quebec and New Brunswick spoke a mixture of French and English as they swapped stories and spoke of upcoming races.
The first 100-mile musher into the Moose Point Camps checkpoint on Saturday was Jake Golton of Ontario. He and the other 100-mile teams are required to spend a few hours at the checkpoint before heading out on the trail and back to Eagle Lake.
The first finishers of the 100-mile race are expected to arrive in Eagle Lake late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
For more information and compete results, visit www.eaglelakedogsledraces.com.

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