Saturday, February 18, 2017

Canada Challenge: Anna Bolvin

Anna a Saskatchewan musher living in Porcupine Plain is one of six women who will be racing at the Canadian Challenge this year.   Living so close to Prince Albert makes this local race a good fit for her and she has run the 8 dog class three times now.

I met Anna quite a few years ago at a couple different sprint races and immediately took a liking to her.  Her welcoming personality and smile drew me in as did her care and love for her dogs.  You can tell right away she is very passionate about the sport.  
A very private person who does not like to brag much about her accomplishments it was hard to get her to share. 

Yet many accomplishments she and her kennel, Knudsen's Sled Dogs, have had. 
The kennel was established in 2004 and they train both mid distance and sprint.  Teams have been entered in the Open North American Championship in Fairbanks in 2012, the 10 dog race in The Pas.  Too many to count 10 and 6 dog sprint races in Western Canada and many mid distance races in Saskatchewan, BC and Oregon.
It all started with her two kids wanting to run dogs.
One dog turned into two.  Two dogs turned into six, and so on and so on.  I believe their kennel sits at close to 80 now. 

Anna did try her hand in Sprint racing at one time, but she finds mid distance is a better fit for her.  
Recently she was chosen to join Team Canada in Haliburton Ontario where the IFSS World Championships were held.  A great experience for her and the dogs and she represented Canada brilliantly as they finished 4th place in the 8-12 dog Mid distance race.  With only 8 dogs she ran three consecutive days, 50 miles per day, in beautiful and very hilly country with mushers from all over the world.

Although this year has been a lot of work for Anna with her husband, George, getting a new knee in November, she has shown no signs of slowing down.  The solitude and connection with her dogs keeps bringing her back as does the many friends she has made over the years.

After running dogs for over 10 years Anna says she has no specific goals.  Just to have fun before old age takes her down!!
At the Canadian Challenge 2015
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

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