3 Amazing Women Made History Winning the ’23 Can-Am Sled Dog Race
History was made at this year's Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race in Fort Kent when women won all three heats.
What is the Can-Am?
If you're not familiar with this race, it begins and ends in Fort Kent, Maine, traveling through the Allagash wilderness. It can be a brutal course that takes not only endurance but innovation when a dog gets hurt or the course is affected by the elements. This year's mushers (or sled drivers) came from Maine, Canada, and Minnesota to compete for the win. The Maine leg of the Can-Am Crown is the longest and highest caliber race in the Eastern United States, so a win here is a big victory.
How Long is the Can Am?
There are three races, with the numbers in the names representing miles:
- The Irving Woodlands Can-Am Crown 250
- Willard Jalbert Jr. Can-Am Crown 100
- Pepsi/Native Dog Food Can-Am Crown 30
For the first time this year, a woman took the big prize by winning the Crown 250. And, as if that wasn't momentous enough, women also won the Crown 100 and the Crown 30. All three female mushers are from Canada.
Who Are the Three Winners?
Katherine Langlais made history as the first woman to ever win the Can-Am 250. She is a 39-year-old from Glenwood, New Brunswick who works as a veterinary tech when she's not running her dogs. I'm sure that comes in handy on the course when one of the dogs gets hurt. It certainly worked well for her this year. The course takes 48 hours to complete so it takes a toll on the musher as well as the dogs. This video from the Can-Am Crown Facebook page shows Katherine the moment she crosses the finish line in Fort Kent.
Florence Shaw also made history as one of three women to win the races of the Can-Am for the first time ever. She's a 17-year-old from Fermont, Quebec, Canada who works as a heavy equipment operator.
Diane Marquis is the third of the three women who made history at the Can-Am International Sled Dog Races by winning the Crown 30. She's a 68-year-old retiree from St. Medard, Quebec, Canada.
It was an amazing job by all three women and their dog teams, contributing to a historic 30th year at the Can-Am International Sled Dog Race.