Source: SaskNow (Extract)
Posted: February 26, 2024

It’s back-to-back wins for Jesika Reimer, who won the eight-dog, 164-kilometre event in the Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race in 2023 and 2024.

She finished the race in nine hours and 34 minutes, only one minute ahead of La Ronge’s Ragnar Robinson who took second place.

The race began in La Ronge last Thursday, then proceeded to Fafards Checkpoint before heading back to La Ronge for the night. The race resumed on Friday for the final 80 km from La Ronge to Missinipe.

“I knew it was going to be a pretty tight seal looking at all of the mushers who were signed up for the race,” Reimer said.

“I raced with a lot of them in this past year, so I knew it was going to be tight and all we could do is the best we could, and hope that we shook out on top. [On] Day 2, Ragnar and I travelled together for quite a bit of the day, which was really fun. It was a bunch of really great mushers who are really friendly out there, so even though on paper it’s competitive and you want to do well, it’s also really collegial and everyone is really friendly, smiling and chatting on the trail, so it was really fun travelling with Ragnar.”

Although some part of the trail were low for snow, Reimer explained the hardest aspect this year was the temperature, which was hovering around the freezing mark. That meant Reimer had to travel at a slower pace, as well as make sure the dogs drank enough water and had time to roll in the snow and cool down.

Reimer, who is from Yellowknife but lives and trains in California, is headed next to the Under Dog 100 – Sled Dog Race in Yellowknife.

She mentioned she had plans to race in more events in 2024, but many of them were cancelled due to a lack of snow in both Canada and the United States.

As the winner of the Canadian Challenge eight-dog race, Reimer received $2,100 in prize money. The 10-dog, 328-km main event was won by American Clayton Perry and the six-dog, 80 km event was won by Marcel Marin of Yellowknife.