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Mushing enthusiasts bring back Eagle Lake sled dog races

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — The Eagle Lake sled dog races are back. Veteran St. John Valley musher Amy Dionne, with the help of a committee of local mushing enthusiasts, has successfully returned the event to competition after it ceased in 2015.

“The Eagle Lake is valuable to the mushing community because it offers another race closer to them so we don’t have to travel west to get a good race on our schedule and the mushers on the East Coast like to run together because we’re like a little family,” Dionne said.

The newly scheduled Irving 100 and Mad Bomber 30 with a total purse of $7,000 already has drawn registrants from among the mushing elite.

Registrants so far include Dionne, of St. David, a veteran Can Am Crown International musher.

Martin Massicotte of St.-Tite, Quebec, an eight-time champion of the Can-Am Crown’s longest sled dog race and his son, Etienne, also will compete in the Eagle Lake races. Etienne Massicotte competed for the first time at Can-Am this year, taking fifth in the Pepsi Bottling & Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Can-Am Crown 30-mile race.

Rico Portalatin of Milo, who has won the Eagle Lake Mad Bomber 30 multiple times, will be another participant.

“This race has been around for a while and what makes it unique is that it’s an early race on some of the tougher trails in New England, which tests mushers’ abilities to get good training in early,” Dionne said. “Also, this race is held in a small town and you can’t beat the camaraderie.”

The Eagle Lake races will return on Jan. 12, 2018. Each race is limited to 25 participants.

To register for the races, visit www.eaglelakedogsledraces.com

Or for more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.

The registration fee is $100 for the 30 mile race and $150 for the 100 mile event.

Admission is free for spectators.

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