FORT KENT, Maine — The weather may have been a bit chilly for spectators but was ripe for racing as mushers and their teams set off down the middle of Main Street in Fort Kent Saturday morning to kick off the 28th annual Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races.
With 10 time Can-Am Crown 250 winner Martin Massicotte of St.-Tite, Quebec out of the picture this year as he prepares for the 1,000 mile Iditarod in Alaska, there is no telling who will emerge victorious in the longest of the Can-Am races.
Last year Massicotte, bested his friend and fellow musher Andre Longhamps, of Pont-Rouge, Quebec, by less than half an hour.
Longchamps is running the race this year, but still has plenty of competition, including Erin Altemus of Grand Marais, MN.
Prior to taking off with her team of eager sled dogs, Altemus described the weather conditions for this year’s Can-Am as “darn near perfect.”
The early morning hours saw below zero temps in Fort Kent, although things began to warm up into the low 20s by early afternoon.
“It started out cold so the trails should set. It sounds like there will be a cold windchill so it probably won’t get too warm for the dogs which sure is nice,” Altemus said.
Altemus and her husband, Matt Schmidt are both mushers and have alternated turns racing in the Can-Am for the past eight years.