DAY 7 UPDATE
The weather has been frigid for seven days, the racers are exhausted, bodies and machines have been pushed to the limits, but still they race on.
The remaining Cain’s Quest racers, just 14 yesterday evening, were met by adoring fans along the North Coast of Labrador. Racers were given the option to take eight hours of layover time (in two hour increments) between Postville and Natuashish (checkpoints 11-14) or could combine this time with the mandatory eight to be served in Nain. Teams 38 and 00 did just that, while the other teams took their flexible eight at other checkpoints, completing a final eight in Nain.
Team 38 were issued an eight hour penalty by the Race Marshall for using an off limits trail system. They served the penalty in Nain, but were undaunted and left in ninth position just after 8pm last evening.
A huge crowd gathered in Nain to meet the racers. One spectator claimed that it was the biggest community celebration they had ever seen take place in the small northern community. Racers from team Nain, Sidney Dicker and Joey Angnatok had a brief and emotional reunion with family. Sidney wiped tears from his eyes as he was embraced by his young daughter.
Backrunners team 6, Outback Racing, scratched yesterday evening. Fans were incredibly supportive of the team whose sportsmanship had been the talk of social media for days. Team 32 also reported a scratch due to medical.
Team 4, Back Country Racing, held the hearts of Cain’s Quest racing fans in their hands yesterday as they were surprised by a generous donation from the children of the Makkovik community, the home of young Burton Winters who perished in 2012. The gift was in recognition of a fundraising effort headed by team 4 during the 2012 race. It was an incredibly tender moment for Cain’s Quest fans and racers alike in what has been the most challenging Cain’s Quest to date.
Unfortunately team 4’s luck did not continue and they were forced to scratch for mechanical reasons mid-day today.
For team 00, the first to complete the mandatory layover in Nain, they wasted no time arriving at the next express checkpoints Hopedale and Postville, then completed their mandatory layover in Happy Valley Goose Bay. The racers are currently en route to Labrador City via express checkpoints in Churchill Falls and Esker. Will they maintain the lead?
Six teams completed the difficult run from Nain to Happy Valley-Goose Bay throughout the night and early morning, all checking in between 10:28 and 12:17 today. Teams 59, 73, 5, 17, 7, and 38 will all serve their eight hour layover and begin their final leg of the race with the first of the pack out at 8:00 this evening.
CQ officials anticipate an early morning arrival of the front runner, team 00, Innu Hawks, pending any mechanical or weather delays. Teams arriving in Esker checkpoint before 7 am will be held for a daylight finish in Labrador City.
11 teams remain of the original 29. It has been an incredible journey so far, but it is not over yet.