FORT KENT — A Canadian musher on Monday raced to his fifth victory in a grueling, 250-mile sled dog race across the northern Maine wilderness, becoming the record-holder for most victories in the Cam-Am Crown.
Martin Masicotte of St. Tite, Quebec, crossed the Can-Am Crown finish line at 5:15 a.m., just 1 minute, 5 seconds ahead of another Canadian musher, Andre Longchamps of Pont-Rouge, Quebec. The winner of the last two Can-Am Crown races, American Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minn., came in third place.
Having three competitors finish within 20 minutes of one another created one of the most exciting endings in the race’s history, said Can-Am President Beurmond Banville.
The mushers left Saturday morning from Fort Kent for a race billed as the longest and highest-caliber race in the eastern U.S. It serves as a qualifier for Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
With the win, Masicotte surpassed the achievement of his friend, Andre Nadeau, another Quebec musher who’d won four times, including during the inaugural race in 1993. Masicotte finished with a time of 28 hours, 21 minutes, 16 seconds, followed by Longchamps at 28:22:21 and Anderson at 28:41:06.
Trail conditions were optimal thanks to cold weather. The temperature was about minus 22 degrees when Masicotte finished.
“This was the kind of weather that the dogs needed,” Banville said. “It was probably a little cold for the mushers, but the dogs are in heaven with this kind of weather.”
Over the years, the weather has ranged from a minus 32 reading during the inaugural Cam-Am Crown in 1993 to a freakish 60 degrees a year later.