Mushers wrap up Can-Am at awards dinner, honoring dogs and rookies
FORT KENT, Maine — Mushers who participated and placed in the Can-Am 250-mile International Sled Dog Race gathered together at the annual awards dinner Tuesday night to celebrate the conclusion of the race and give congratulations to winners.
While the dinner — held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fort Kent — was about the mushers and volunteers who worked to put on the Can-Am, all of the mushers and the hosts sang praises of the dogs and their hard work.
“They’re always giving me exactly what I need and they just know what to do, and I couldn’t have done this without them,” said Katherine Langlais, who placed second. Langlais of Glenwood, New Brunswick, crossed the finish line just 35 seconds after Denis Tremblay of Saint Michel des Saints, Quebec, took the first-place victory.
Among the placing mushers were teens Florence Shaw and Tristan Longchamps, both rookies this year and hailed as young heroes by more seasoned mushers.
Shaw, 14, said through translator Guy Landry, that the trails were wonderful and it was a “sick” run. Despite holding such an accomplishment, Shaw said she did not have pride.
“I am not putting pride in myself,” Shaw said. “I am very proud of my dogs. It was a very good run and they showed what they were capable of doing.”
Longchamps, 17, said his run was a little hard but good fun.
“My dogs ran pretty well, I am very proud of him,” Longchamps said through Landry. “You can see that the dogs really love you by the effort they put out.”
Both plan to return next year to participate in the races. Musher Julie Albert, who placed second in the 30-mile race, went to the dinner to show support for all her fellow mushers and friends. Albert said the two teens would need to be on their best behavior in order to come back next year.
“Well, they’re going to have to have permission from mom and dad to be able to come back next year, since they’re underage, so they’ll have to be on their best behavior,” Albert chuckled. “You need to be good kids to come back next year.”