Danny Beaulieu wins Aurora Ford Classic dog race
Leading Northwest Territories musher Danny Beaulieu took victory in the two-day Aurora Ford Classic between Hay River and Enterprise.
Beaulieu, based in Fort Providence, finished first in a combined time of just under two hours and 40 minutes for the two legs following the road between the communities.
Yellowknife musher Cai Reid placed second, one minute and 52 seconds back, with Hay River veteran Anthony Beck third, a further two and a half minutes behind.
Thirteen teams entered the annual race, racing down and up a 22-mile (35-kilometre) course.
Organizers told Cabin Radio the Classic’s 2019 route marked a change from previous years, which had seen the dog race take place on the frozen river itself.
Holding the race by the side of the highway was designed in part to allow easier access for spectators, organizers said.
“I know this idea was kicking around for a long time,” Beaulieu, who led from start to finish, said at the post-race awards ceremony.
Beaulieu believes 1986 was the last time such a race was held along the stretch of highway between Hay River and Enterprise. “I won it,” he added, to laughter from the audience.
“This was awesome racing,” he said, paying tribute to organizer Danny Beck. “Hard and fast. It was a nice track.”