JUNIOR MUSHERS – JUNIOR NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS, 2007

Featured in the May/June 2007 Issue: The Fairbanks Junior Dog Mushers Association hosted the 2007 Junior North American on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th. It was a huge success with 52 teams participating.Teams from Pennsylvania and Canada, as well as Anchorage, made the long journey to take part in the action. Teams from Northway and Chistochina were also able to make it once again this year. Due to the unusually cold weather start times were adjusted. The temperatures did not stop the kids, ranging in age from 3 to 17, from enjoying the event. Fortunately the wind died down and the sun came out, but it still made for a chilly race.The weekend was finished off with an Awards Banquet held in the Brinkley Room at Pikes Waterfront Lodge. Participants, along with their friends and family, enjoyed a prime rib dinner as they watched a slide show of race photos taken by Dave Partee of Sled Dog Studios. We were honored with a special presentation from Mr. Matt Thompson, Kiernan and Logan’s father. While serving in Iraq he had flown a flag in appreciation of the friendship and support of the Fairbanks Junior Dog Mushers Association. He explained how the program and sport of dog mushing has impacted his family and how much it means to him, even while away serving our country. He presented the flag and a plaque to the Junior Board of Directors. What an honor it is to be a part of a program that means so much to people.Guest speaker, Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, spoke eloquently about his educational experiences and compared those to the lessons learned while working with his dogs. He spoke about the hard work and commitments a dog musher has to make and the rewards that come from that, inspirational words for listeners of any age. Each musher was awarded a participation trophy and a bag of goodies for both them and their dogs to enjoy. Sportsmanship trophies were awarded to one person in each class. Everyone went away with a huge smile and an arm load of stuff. Kyle Tomlinson was awarded the Rookie of the year trophy. Great job Kyle! We look forward to seeing you next year.Points trophies were presented as well. Classic Floors and Home Accents donated the unique and beautiful points trophies. A photo of each musher along with their lead dog was etched on a black granite plaque. We would like to extend a huge thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors. Without you this great event would not take place. Our entire race season, as well as the Junior North American, is run completely by volunteers. We truly appreciate everything that you do for us and definitely look forward to seeing you next year.Even though the snow is melting and the harnesses are put away for the season, we are planning things for next year. We look forward to another great year and hope to see you all on the trails again. For more information on the Fairbanks Junior Dog Mushers Association and our race schedule please see our web site at www.fjdma.org.

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