Jerry Joinson and his team near the end of the Yukon Quest sled dog race.

Joinson wins the Red Lantern Award

Jerry Joinson won the Red Lantern Award and finished 11th in the 2014 Yukon Quest 1,000.

From Feb.1 at just after 11 a.m. until Feb. 14 at just after 11 p.m., Jerry Joinson and his team of sled dogs were on the trail.

The trail of the Yukon Quest 1,000, a 1,000-mile gruelling test of endurance and determination. The dog sled race has long been considered one of the toughest races there is, and requires the mushers and their teams to be as self-reliant as possible in reaching the finish.

Joinson spent nine days, eight hours and 21 minutes on the trail between chekcpoints over the two weeks it took him to complete the race.

He spent four days, two hours and 40 minutes in the various checkpoints along the route.

Mushers are allowed to drop dogs who are not well enough to continue on the route at the checkpoints, but they can not substitute other dogs for those they dropped.

During the course of his race, Joinson went from 12 dogs to eight, and was given two time penalties along the way.

One eight-hour penalty is the standard for a musher having to replace his sled, which Joinson did, and one two-hour penalty was for not leaving enough dog food with a dropped dog, there being strict rules around how much each dog must be left with (four pounds).

In an interesting twist, due to these time penalties, Joinson was not the last across the finish line in the Yukon Quest, however he still won the award for placing last.

Joinson, who came in tenth across the line, a half hour ahead of Brian Wilmshurst, but placed 11th in the official standings after it was all done.

This year, only 11 out of the 18 teams which started the race, only the second year ever to have such a small number of finishers.

Joinson was expected back in Fort St. James from the Yukon as the paper was going to press and will likely soon be seen with his dogs on Stuart Lake for the Caledonia Classic Sled Dog Races beginning on Feb. 28.


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