The word dynasty is thrown out in the sports world like candy but it’s the perfect word to use when it comes to Andy Attagutalukutuk.
The Iglulik musher is once again champion of the Nunavut Quest after he crossed the finish line first in his home community in a time of 40 hours, 22 minutes, 42 seconds to claim victory in the 2017 edition. The win also came with a cheque for $15,000.
Attagutalukutuk said it was a happy ending for him and his dogs.
“I trained my dogs to be strong first and I do that with heavy loads when the ice comes,” he said. “I use a heavy qamutik as well.”
This year’s race began in Arctic Bay on April 20 with eight teams with the goal of racing as long as they could each day to the finish line in Iglulik.
Attagutalukutuk was behind Lee Inuaraq of Pond Inlet on the final day but managed to overtake him heading home and it was all because of the dogs, he said.
“My dogs ran really well,” he said. “There weren’t any hills and it was a good trail and I think that’s how I won. I know the area pretty well and so do my dogs. They recognized where they were because we train a lot in that area.”
For this year’s race, Attagutalukutuk went with a younger team than he’s had in past years. He won three years in a row with a older team but his team this year averaged in age of about a year old.
“My oldest dog is about three years old,” he said. “I train them when they’re young to pull the qamutik.”
The community hosted a feast for the competitors when all was said and done with the award and cheque presentations during the feast.
Next year’s race is scheduled to start in Iglulik and end in Pond Inlet.
2017 Nunavut Quest results
- 1st – Andy Attagutalukutuk, 40 hours, 22 minutes, 42 seconds
- 2nd – Lee Inuaraq, 41 hours, 10 minutes, 33 seconds
- 3rd – Michael Inuaraq, 42 hours, 15 minutes, six seconds
- 4th – Peter Siakuluk, 44 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds
- 5th – Isaac Irngaut, 44 hours, 32 minutes, 12 seconds
- 6th – Jonah Qaunaq, 46 hours, 26 minutes, two seconds
- 7th – Teman Avingaq, 49 hours, eight minutes, 23 seconds
- 8th – Michael Qaunaq, 50 hours, nine minutes, 13 seconds
source: David Pacheco Filip