Terry, Eddy, Amy, Chloe, Calvin, Buddy and probably others are members of this big sled dog family. These Canadians have several kennels (Streeper kennels) with hundreds of dogs, divide into various parts of Canada. Professional for 30 years, they won, one or the other, all the major sprints race in the world.
In winter, family is dispersed into small groups that will travel across Canada from east to west, to finish in Alaska to take part in races on the weekend and continue to train the team the week.
Fifties, chirpy and charming, Rick Swenson is the undisputed champion of the twentieth century in the long distance race. With five victories in the Iditarod (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1991), one with one second ahead of Dick Mackey, he is the race record holder. All the passionate will remember his victory in 1991: only, he braved the storm at a temperature of almost -100 ° C and he walked before his dogs for almost 24 hours to reach his goal!
Courageous, passionate, with a difficult character, Swenson is also a great technician who brought to the sport the first scientific developments regarding equipment but also training and feeding his dogs. Like the binomial Philip-Grandjean, he continues to participate in activities of scientific research in collaboration with Professor Ken Hichcliff, Veterinary University of Ohio.
One of the greatest mushers in the world, specialized in the sprint, the Swedish revolutionized races by these farming methods. While most of the mushers worked with sprinters Alaskan Husky, Ellis crossed the fastest of his with the pointers of his partner Helen Lundberg. Result: dogs can run very fast and maintain this rhythm during 20 to 40 kilometers.
Now installed in Alaska, Egil Ellis became the better sprint musher and passes the legendary George Attla by the number of wins. We found his best dogs in most pedigrees of the best teams, from sprinting to long distance.
Coming from a family of musher, Lance becomes a musher as others can become footballers. But the legacy is hard to bear. His father Dick and his brother Rick won the Iditarod. Lance Mackey wants to win the Yukon Quest, another legendary race.
He achieves this feat in 2005 and continues with the Iditarod, where he finished seventh. The following year, he finished the 1000 mile Yukon Quest again in the leading position and takes 10th place in the Iditarod. But in the middle of the long-distance, everyone knows that it is impossible to be successful and efficient to win these two races the same year. But Lance Mackey survived a throat cancer, nothing is impossible now.
And the year after, in 2007, he won the Yukon Quest for the third consecutive time, tying the record of Hans Gatt. In 1978, his father Dick won the Iditarod with the number 13 on his sixth attempt. In 1983, his brother Rick won with the number 13 on his sixth attempt. And in 2007, three weeks after winning the Yukon Quest, Lance Mackey crossed the finish arch in Nome as a winner. He wears the number 13 and this is his sixth attempt.
In 2008, Lance Mackey set a record of four consecutive victories on the Yukon Quest and fascinates the world of mushing by winning the Iditarod again. Nobody had won the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. Mackey did it twice.
In 2009, Mackey chooses to run just the Iditarod and he won for the third consecutive time, tying the record of Susan Butcher and Rick Swenson.
In the world of mushing, there were a “before” and an “after” Robert Sorlie. Until his arrival, the Iditarod was the preserve of Alaskan mushers. Of course, regular, foreigners try to shine. The Norwegian Harald Tunheim took a good position in the Top 10, but no one imagined that a non-Alaskan can beat the Americans.
After winning the biggest races in Europe the Finnmarkslopet and the Femundløpet, Sorlie crossed the Atlantic for the start of his first Iditarod in 2002. It takes a remarkable 9th place and gets the reward for Rookie of the Year.
During this first experience, he is observing and preparing the continuation. Admirable tactician and fantastic musher, he tried again the adventure one year later and defeated the Americans. That year, in 2003, he became the first non-American to win the Iditarod. When he returned two years later, no one underestimates him. And rightly so, because he was the first musher to reach Nome.
He will return in 2007 but due to a virus that affects his team, he cannot really defend his chances. He finished 12th. Two wins in four attempts, it remains a unique achievement in the history of the Iditarod (added to this many victories in other races in Europe.)
Robert Sorlie has participated in The Great Odyssey in 2009. It took a magnificent second place and the trophy of “Rookie of the Year”. Knowing the competitive spirit of Norway, we bet we will see him on the alpine trails to try to win the only title missing from his prestigious career.