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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sportsmanship Award

The Sportsmanship Award is given to a musher who exemplifies sportsmanship along the trail as selected by the other mushers. With all the challenges of this year's Yukon Quest, everyone deserves a Sportsmanship Award. From Brent Sass helping Hans Gatt over American Summit to Ken Andersen trying to encourage Hugh Neff's dogs over Eagle Summit, to Sebastian Schnuelle building a fire for Hans after crossing the waist-deep overflow, the toughest of competitors had to assist each other just to reach the finish line. But in the end, a recipient has to be chosen, and this year there was a three-way tie: Mike Ellis, Brent Sass, and Allen were nominated by the other mushers to receive the Sportsmanship Award.

When receiving their awards, Mike, Brent, and Allen insisted that this year, the award could have gone to every musher. Each musher has his or her own story of teamwork during the Quest, and Allen is no exception. As many Quest fans heard, there was a deep patch of overflow before Central soaking every musher, sometimes chest deep! Allen crossed the overflow right in front of Kelley Griffin. Allen reasoned that there was no sense in both of them getting wet, so he tied a rope to Kelley's leaders and helped them across with Kelley safe and dry on her sled! A short way down the trail, Allen once again helped Kelley's team cross overflow. Finally in Central, Allen had a chance to dry out all is gear.

Way to go Allen!!!

Central Checkpoint

Sebastian's boots after reaching Central.


Kimberly said...

Very nice. I was trying to follow who was winning which award on the Yukon Quest facebook page, but it wasn't making much sense to me. Thank you for sharing!!!

weedabble said...

I remember reading that Allen covered his feet with bags to keep them dry...but what kind og bags could withstand those cold temperatures???

North Carolina Sue said...

Way to go Allen! I can only imagine what you and the other mushers and dogs went through this year. My favorite thing I read during the race was "this race is not about winning, but about survival". Good luck in the Iditarod!

North Carolina Sue said...

Congratulations Allen! I can only imagine how difficult this race was for the mushers and dogs. My favorite line I read during the race was..."this race is not about winning, but about survival. Good luck in Iditarod!

North Carolina Sue

BJ said...

You should show a pic of his hat-super cool

Lynne D said...

These are just a few examples of why I love this sport - everyone helps everyone. Way to go Allen and all the others for putting safety up front. I am proud to be a small part of the kennel family.

ChaCha's fan said...

respect & congratulation, allen!
I just can't believe how they could go through such a deep overflow.
mushers already have much, heavy clothes on. those must get totally soaked? & then -50F ....

Lynne said...

Way to go Allen- and congratulations on your Sportsmanship Award! You are a good example to us helping others in need along the trail.
Ms. Witte's Class