I must say I am most uncomfortable talking on a phone, and lately have had to pull myself way out of my comfort zone. However, I've enjoyed speaking to those who have a passion for a sport I wish I was more involved in myself.
Remy Léduc is no exception and was the first musher to ask me to phone, and for good reason. His first language is French and talking to me rather than writing was way easier, and if I'm to be honest, was much more interesting and fun to boot.
Remy is the musher who will be traveling the furthest to attend the race. He lives with his wife and little girl in Glenwood New Brunswick and for those who have never heard of Glenwood (according to Remy it has a population of 6, so I doubt many have) it is near Saint John.
His Kennel, Chenil Akkada Kennel, is home to 33 dogs most of which are Alaskan Huskies, and from what I could tell, it sounded like the boss and mascot is a little Butterfly (Spaniel) by the name of Maggie.
When asked if he had a favorite dog, a dog that stood out, he couldn't pin it down to just one. He said he liked and worshiped all his leaders, commenting that a very good leader is hard to come by and then proudly stating, he had quite a few. He told me that all of his dogs have great personalities, were happy all of the time and he loved them all. He wouldn't pick just one.
This will be Remy's first time running the Canadian Challenge, entered in the 12 dog, he is hoping to use this as a qualifying race for the 2019 Yukon Quest. His goal for this race when asked, was to make sure his team got safely to the finish line.
No stranger to mid-distance racing he has run the Can-Am Crown 250, 4 times and the Odyssée Appalachienne 100.
Remy has been involved with dog sledding for 10 years now. His first dog is his blame for getting into this crazy sport. He would harness the dog who would then pull him on rollerblades.
However the defining moment was the time he worked in a stable and was spotted in a field being pulled on a sled with his single dog. Seeing his passion, he was directed to a local sprint racer who needed help. Loving the experience and doing well he was asked the following winter if he would help again. Looking ahead he knew he would love to continue working with dogs but couldn't afford to do so by volunteering, instead, he found a job as a guide with a dog sled touring company.
It was here that he was not only fully hooked but also met his wife.
33 dogs, 10 years later, he finds himself now dreaming and working toward the 2019 Yukon Quest.
Remy and friend
Photo Credit: from Remys' Facebook page