The 2020 Pedigree Stage Stop Dog Sled Race rolled into Lander yesterday, February 4th, after finishing Stage 4 in Big Piney/Marbleton. Fremont County folks had the opportunity to visit with the mushers and see the dogs at a meet and greet last night.
The eighteen teams from across the US and Canada, their families and friends, race representatives, and spectators all gathered at the Louis Lake Trailhead parking lot starting at 7:00 am today, February 5th, for Stage 5 of the race. Despite the bluebird sky, the early morning temperature stayed below zero as sleds were prepped, dogs were warmed up and mushers focused on this next leg of the race.
The pups yipped and jumped with excitement as they anxiously awaited the start. Family and friends of the teams helped ready them for the day ahead. Not having much knowledge of dog sledding, to me, their routines seemed like a well-oiled machine.
By 8:30 am, the parking lot was buzzing with more spectators braving the frigid temps; the pups somehow seemed even more excited. It’s like they knew the race started in a short 30 minutes.
The pre-race preparations finished just before 9:00 am when the first musher would take off today.
Ben Barrett and his pups were first in the start order today. The video below is of Ben and his team kicking-off the race.
One-by-one the remaining seventeen teams went to the starting line where they waited to be given the go-ahead. I thought the dogs were excited before this, but they were next level excited at the starting line. They jumped up and down, barked, yipped, and howled with complete glee. More than one person had to hold the sled at the starting line or they definitely would have taken-off.
Stage 5 race results were posted just before 8:00 pm tonight. They report Anny Malo, who departed second to last this morning, finished first in today’s 35-mile leg. Her time is reported as 2:22:33, and has replaced Lina Streeper as the overall top leader of the race.
The race is composed of 7 Stages and will wrap up on February 8th. They head to Driggs, ID next for Stage 6 on February 7th and finally Teton County, WY for Stage 7. You can stay up-to-date on the race by visiting their website.