St. John Valley

After 25 years, Can Am Crown Sled Dog Race still running strong

FORT KENT, Maine — The longest and arguably most grueling sled dog race on the East Coast kicks off March 4, when dozens of teams from around North America take off in the 25th annual Can Am Crown Sled Dog Race.

For nearly a quarter-century, mushers and their four-legged teammates have left the start line on Fort Kent’s Main Street to head out on the rugged trails in northern Maine racing 30-, 60-, 100- and 250-miles.

“It’s almost unbelievable we’ve been doing this for 25 years,” Dennis Cyr, former Can Am racer and current president of the event’s board of directors, said. “The time has gone by so quickly.”

Nine mushers took part in the first Can Am. To date, 29 are registered for the 2017 edition of the race, split among the Irving Woodlands Can Am Crown 250, the Willard Jalbert Jr. Can Am 100 and the Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy-Pepsi Can Am 30 with a combined purse of $44,000.

The 60-mile race was dropped last year.

“It’s hard to imagine we started out with that one race, and now we have three and they are still going strong,” Cyr said. “This is really a top of the line event.”

Seven-time Can Am 250 winner Martin Massicotte of Quebec will be back to defend his title. Those who have watched the race evolve over the years predict an exciting matchup between Massicotte and his fellow Quebec mushers Andre Longchamp and Denis Tremblay, who have narrowly missed first-place finishes in past years.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times staff are pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “After 25 years, Can Am Crown Sled Dog Race still running strong,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Julia Bayly, please follow this link to the BDN online.

 

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