Yukon Quest 2008 Update: Final Three Enter Dawson City

DAWSON CITY, YUKON (February 16, 2008) – Ann Ledwidge and Cor Guimond are home at last. The final two of 16 in this 1,000-mile race glided into Dawson City 28 minutes apart at 9:04 and 9:32 p.m.Ledwidge, 41, a rookie who entered the race at the last minute after her husband Peter, a Yukon Quest veteran, withdrew because of back problems, breathed a sigh of relief as she pulled into the checkpoint. She was greeted with hugs and kisses from Peter and her young children Marc and Emilie who have been following the trail since the Start line in Fairbanks.She told the entourage of fans and friends of her struggles in the wee hours last night after she left Fortymile. She departed the hospitality stop at 2:10 a.m. to find the trail practically invisible under a new coat of snow. It took her four hours to travel 10 miles. Then she ran into 57-year-old Guimond, who was camping on the Yukon River. “I got stuck in a storm and couldn’t see the trail,” said Guimond.He told Ledwidge of his plans to head back to Fortymile and rather than stay out on the ice “feeling sorry for myself” she turned around with him.Veteran Kyla Boivin, 25, was still at Fortymile upon their return around 8:30 a.m.Race Officials decided to put a snowmachine on the trail to re-groom it. The three mushers waited awhile and Boivin headed towards Dawson at 11:49 a.m. and landed here at 8:01 p.m. Guimond and Ledwidge followed at 12:35 p.m. and 12:37 p.m., respectively.Both Dawsonites said the first part of the trail was tough, especially the jumble ice leading into Eagle. Both are looking forward to a 36-hour rest and the final 451 miles (726 kilometres) of trail beyond Dawson City. 

Guimond, who said he’s “still having fun” plans to sleep in his own bed tonight. Ledwidge said she’s looking forward to an easier trail ahead. “This side is going to be a lot easier on my head and on my dogs,” said Ledwidge, who noted she is very familiar with the Canadian side of the Yukon Quest trail, but not the American half.

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