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MCCALL, Idaho (Feb. 11, 2020) — Idaho mushers took first and third place in the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge’s 100-mile race. Winner Laurie Warren from Council finished the race Jan. 31 after 20 hours and 55 minutes on the trail, and Carlleen Brehmer from Boise took third.
Seppa Francis, a 15-year-old from Kuna, finished the junior race, a 37-mile event in which she was the only contender, with help from Kevin Daugherty, a musher from McCall vying in the 100-mile race. Francis’ lead dog decided to stop running and the rest of her team didn’t have enough power to continue forward carrying him. Race organizers dispatched two snowmobiles to help, but if they’d had to intervene it would have disqualified Francis.
Fortunately, Daugherty came upon Francis first – mushers can help other mushers – and bagged her dog and helped her finish the race. It cost Daugherty about 8 miles and a couple hours, and while he ended up getting last place in the 100-mile event he finished to great applause. As a result, Daugherty won the Warren G. Brown Sportsmanship Award.
Overall, 10 of the 11 mushers entered in the 100-mile race finished in the following order:
1. Laurie Warren (Council, Idaho)
2. Jesse Flory (Hesperus, Colo.)
3. Carlleen Brehmer (Boise, Idaho)
4. Charmayne Morrison (Bozeman, Mont.)
5. Christina Gibson (Carlton, Wash.)
6. Steve Humes (Great Falls, Mont.)
7. Bino Fowler (Bend, Ore.)
8. Shane Blumentritt (Soldotna, Alaska)
9. Steve Madsen (Cougar, Wash.)
10. Kevin Daugherty (McCall, Idaho)
Meanwhile, Jessie Royer from Seeley Lake, Mont., won the 300-mile race. She completed it in 2 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes on the trail.
Royer also won the Race to the Sky near Helena, Mont., last night. This was her fifth Race to the Sky win (she also won in 1994 at age 17 and in 2015, 2016, and 2018) and her second Idaho Sled Dog Challenge win (she won the inaugural race in 2018). The Race to the Sky and the 300-mile Idaho Sled Dog Challenge race are Rocky Mountain Triple Crown races (the third race is the Eagle Cap Extreme near Joseph, Ore.).
Royer was one of two finishers in this year’s 300-mile Idaho Sled Dog challenge event, with the second finisher, Josie Thyr, haling from Olney, Mont. Difficult conditions prevented four other mushers who entered the 300-mile race from finishing.
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