NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

NNSL photo/graphic

Tristan Dias, 16, was the youngest musher in the annual Kivalliq Dog Derby Championship in Rankin Inlet this past month. - photo courtesy of Page Burt

Young musher competes in first Kivalliq derby run

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shawn Maley captured top spot in the annual Qimuksiqtiit Kivalliq Dog Derby Championship in Rankin Inlet this past month.

The event is known as the unofficial-official beginning of Pakallak Tyme festivities in the community each year.

Harry Towtongie placed second and David Oolooyuk took third in this year's event.

The derby is no pushover, as the mushers must cover 30 miles a day over a three-day period to claim the championship.

While the experienced mushers dominated the top spots in this year's standings, the youngest musher on the course, 16-year-old Tristan Dias, gave a good account of himself by placing ninth in the field.

The Kivalliq Dog Derby Championship was a learning experience for the young musher, who recently represented Nunavut in mushing at the Arctic Winter Games.

Dias said he really enjoyed his first time competing in the derby.

He said he was happy with his performance, even if everything didn't go exactly as he would have liked.

"I started with eight dogs, but I lost three dogs during the race and finished with five," said Dias.

"I got all three of them back, and, while two of them were hurt a little bit, they're alright now.

"I found the track over the 30 miles was kind of challenging because there was lots of soft snow and a bunch of rocks around.

"The soft snow makes it a lot harder going."

Dias said the 30-mile race was the longest run his dogs have ever covered.

He said he usually only has sprint dogs, so this was a long run and a big challenge for them.

"They did OK and I was happy with their performance.

"I bought two dogs I knew could lead, so I knew entering the race which dogs I'd have out front and it worked out all right.

"I really enjoyed competing in the derby and I plan to be back in it again next year."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.