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greyster much

Greyster Much and fellow competitor Karen Koehler placed first in the 2 Dog Bike heat November 3 and first overall at the third annual MacGregor Point Park Dryland Race November 3 and 4.

Hub Staff

Two days of canicross timed trials took over a portion of MacGregor Park for the third annual MacGregor Point Park Dryland Race November 3 and 4.

Organized by local Musher Lisa DeGennaro, the Sleddog Sports Association of Southwestern Ontario (SSASO) sanctioned event saw 62 class entries and a variety of dogs including greyhounds, huskies and greysters (greyhound German shorthaired pointer cross) take to the wooded and beachfront trails with many spectators cheering them on. The mushers ranged in experience from World Championship racers to snow events to first time mushers.

Longtime Marshal Jim Cunningham of Cobourg, Ontario, who has overseen events such as the Yukon Quest and Alaska’s legendary Iditarod, said that MacGregor Point is a great venue with ready trails. “The course here is great, it’s very technical. Obviously you have to be on your toes with the dog," he said. "Dogs love it because there is something to do around the corner so the dogs do better at this type of a race than if it was just a race on a flat track," he added.

"It's a great facility, the park guys work their tails off to get the course ready and Lisa (DeGennaro) does a great job,” said Cunningham. The veteran marshal said he has seen many types of races over the years and has marshalled canicross races that included pugs, Jack Russells and miniature pinschers. “As long as you have a dog and you can run, you can run in the canicross.”

The fastest canine at the MacGregor event and in most races is the greeter and in a race where the musher pedals a bicycle behind, the greeter can travel between 36 and 38 kilometres at a time.

At the two day event and on home turf, organizer DeGennaro and her beloved Siberian huskies received two personal bests, one in the 4 Dog Rig and one in the 2 Dog Scooter. The competitor had a few dogs to choose from as she owns 18. “Huskies are quirky, really fun, they definitely have their own personally,” she said, explaining why they received her stamp of approval.

“I get questioned all the time on how I remember each one of their names, well they're each individuals, how can you not," DeGennaro said. "They're amazing, they're fun and fluffy and fuzzy, they just love hanging out with you and going for a run," she added.

Races included 1 and 2 Dog Scooter, 1 and 2 Dog Bike, Canicross and 4 Dog Big Rig and the event wrapped up with dinner at the Queen's Bar and Grill in Port Elgin Sunday where race results were announced.

DeGennaro and her dogs will begin competing again in December and travel to events in Michigan and Halliburton, to name a few. She is currently organizing another SSASO sanctioned event in May 2019, one specifically for Siberian huskies. The event planned for Underwood where hopes for 20 to 30 entries.

Race results from the third annual dryland sleddog event at MacGregor Park can be found on their Facebook page.

greyster much 2

After getting its boots on, the greyster Much who hails from Halliburton received some encouragement from Robert Sargent (left) and Karen Koehler (right).

lisa degennaro

Event organizer and Musher Lisa DeGennaro with one of her Siberian huskies Turbo. DeGennaro earned two personal bests over the weekend. Her first in the 4 Dog Rig, where she came in first, and second in the 2 Dog Scooter.

chevy

Hailing from Kingsville was rider Miro Sipos being led by dog Chevy.

megan rasmussen

Rider Megan Rasmussen with her dogs during the 2 Dog Bike ride November 3.

huskies trail

From wooded to beachfront trails, these huskies were well trained to handle the terrain at the third annual MacGregor Point Park Dryland Race November 3 and 4.

beach trail

It was a little tougher going when the trail took dogs and mushers through some beachfront property. 

huskies

These four huskies caught their breath following their heat in the 4 Dog Rig November 3.

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Nov 17 Crushers