Home Living Above & Beyond Ivakkak mushers finish race despite weather woes

Ivakkak mushers finish race despite weather woes

Willie Cain Jr. and Ken Labbe from Tasiujaq, Nunavik, win first in the annual Ivakkak race. © Ivakkak

With a day’s late start, Nunavik’s annual dog team race left the Ungava coast community of Tasiujaq on March 20. Inclement weather would continue to follow the mushers throughout the race. High winds and blowing snow started to deteriorate trail conditions and visibility in the region March 22. As a result, the race couldn’t continue until March 26.

As of early March 27, the teams were set to reach Quaqtaq by the day’s end. With weather delays still holding up the race, a night of dancing in Quaqtaq was called for on April 1 and many took part in the boisterous activity.

April 3, the weather finally improved again for racers to leave for the final leg of the race, travelling approximately 70-kilomoetres that day.

Taking the lead from Day 1, Team 6 was well ahead of the rest of the teams by about 45 minutes. Team members Willie Cain Jr. and Ken Labbe, both from Tasiujaq, maintained their first place throughout the race, completing with a final time of 47:16:44.

A Makivik Corp.-sponsored event, racers covered just over 500 kilometres through Aupaluk, Kangirsuk and Quaqtaq on their way to the race’s finish line in Kangiqsujuaq, along the Hudson coast.