Local dog sled team seeks support for Canadian Challenge

Mush McMurray fundraiser takes place at the Den on October 24

By VERNA MURPHY, Connect Contributor

The next race Christina Traverse is planning to participate in is the Canadian Challenge in February. SUPPLIED PHOTO

The next race Christina Traverse is planning to participate in is the Canadian Challenge in February. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Residents will have the chance to participate in a local fundraising effort, and at the same time they will be learning about a different sport, dog sled racing.

Christina Traverse is the driving force behind Mush McMurray and she has been hooked on dog sledding since she did her first race in 2011. But the desire goes back even further.

“I used to get my brother to pull me around on my sled, and then my mom found out what I was doing and made me stop. And then, we got a German Shepherd and I would do the same thing, so I guess I was always trying to have a dog sled team from an early age,” said Traverse during a recent break in her busy day.

The next race Traverse is planning to participate in is the Canadian Challenge in February. The race is 336 miles and starts in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and ends in La Ronge.

“I race with 12 dogs, but I usually take an extra few dogs, just in case one of the dogs picks up a bug and gets sick, or is injured,” said Traverse, who has 30 dogs in total.

“I race with 12 dogs, but I usually take an extra few dogs, just in case one of the dogs picks up a bug and gets sick, or is injured,” said Traverse, who has 30 dogs in total. For all the travel, Traverse has a dog box that sits on the back of her truck, and has individual kennels inside it, or she has an enclosed trailer that she uses that also has kennels inside.

During these trips, Traverse will have to take the dogs out of the kennels every few hours to stretch, eat and exercise. To run in one of these races, and to participate in this type of lifestyle is very expensive.

“I have never sat down and added it all up how much it costs. But one example of a cost is that my dogs go through one large bag of dog food a day, which is about $64,” said Traverse. In the past, Traverse has had to order the food online, or go to Edmonton to pick it up, but she is trying a new food locally, all of which is a special diet for the high energy, performing dogs.

To help with all these costs, Traverse’s friend, Amanda Propp wanted to help organize a fundraising event in Fort McMurray.

“The event will be at The Den in Gregoire and it starts at 7 p.m. We want to keep it casual, and fun, so it is not a ticketed event, you can just come and meet Christina and find out more about her team,” said Propp, who will be hosting the event.

– Connect Weekly –