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Unity residents capture first and second at Torch River Sled Dog race

Unity sled dog racers capture top two spots at annual Torch River Sled Dog race in Christopher Lake.

UNITY — Unity’s Amanda Grant and Carson Dresser placed first and second respectively in the 2023 Torch River Sled Dog Race.

The Gerry Markel Memorial Torch River Sled Dog Race 2023 was held at Beaton Hall near Christopher Lake, Sask. March 4-5. This year’s race was in honour of good friend, board member and longtime volunteer who passed away in October 2022.

The race runs over two days where eight-dog teams run 66 kilometres, or approximately 44 miles, each day.

Grant has been racing sled dogs for 14 years and Carson, who is in Grade 11 student at Unity Composite High School, is a newcomer to TRR, but mentor, Grant, says “he ran it like a pro.” This was Carson’s first full year of training a race team.

Grant’s enthusiasm was evident when recounting her thoughts, saying, “I hope that Carson is as proud of himself and of the dogs that he worked with all winter as what I am of them all. He handles our dogs like they are his own and I watched the bond he formed with those dogs grow and solidify over the winter and it really brings up a lot of emotion for me seeing the happiness in all of them.”  

Grant affirms that the Torch River Sled Dog Race would not be possible without the incredible generosity of the Unity and Provost, Alta. area businesses that have constantly supported the event for many years. 

Grant and Randy Sander have mentored young racers for a number of years. Unity dog sled racers continue to inspire younger racers -