Iron Dog, Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Races Won By Family Teams

Old Ma’ Nature dealt a mighty blow to snowmobiling in general and snowmobile racing specifically this winter. Yet arguably the two most challenging cross-country races in the sport still pulled off their events.

     The Alaska-based Iron Dog website has the tagline, “The world’s longest, toughest snowmobile race.” Meanwhile, the Cain’s Quest in northeastern Canada states “This is the longest and toughest snowmobile endurance race in the world.” We’re not going to get in the middle of that marketing brawl, other than to say they’re both truly unbelievable challenges.

     And with that, it’s time to recognize the competitors who overcame the elements, the rugged terrain and their competition in these two amazing races.

Iron Dog Snowmobile Race  

Iron Dog winners
The 2024 Iron Dog winning team of Brett Lapham and Cody Barber. Photo provided by the Iron Dog.

In the 40th running of the Iron Dog, the No. 39 Polaris team of brothers-in-law Cody Barber and Brett Lapham of Big Lake, Alaska, overcame 2,503 of challenging backcountry plus severe ground blizzards, hanging ice fog and a packed field of racers to claim their first Iron Dog title.

     Their running time was 52 hours, 36 minutes and 109 seconds. That was 12 minutes, 46 seconds faster than the No. 14 team of Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie, who finished in second in this epic race for the second straight year.

     In a story on the Iron Dog website, Barber is quoted as saying, “It feels really good, like it’s finally paid off.” The 30-year-old finished five previous Iron Dogs, with his top finish beingin last year’s event with Lapham, 31. “It’s been 10 years in the making, and it has taken a lot of work to get here.”

     The race started in Big Lake, Alaska, and took racers on an astonishing journey north and west to Kotzebue and then Nome before flipping back toward the south back to Big Lake.

     Third place went to Team #6, with riders Mike Morgan and Bradley Kishbaugh. The podium was swept by Polaris racers.  

Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Race

Cain's Quest
A helicopter captures the Cain’s Quest-winning team in action. Photo provided by Cain’s Quest.

In this year’s Cain’s Quest, the father-and-son No. 99 Ski-Doo team of Randy and Sebastian Malleck of the Innu First Nation Sheshatshiu community covered more than 3,000 kilometers of rugged Newfoundland and Labrador backcountry in five days en route to their dramatic victory.

     According to a Cain’s Quest press release, the so-called Saga Boys Vikings team crossed the finish line to applause and cheers from a large welcome party. The father and son racers were immediately wrapped in a Sheshatshiu flag and, upon being handed their trophy, hoisted it in the air before being embraced by the crowd, which included Sheshatshiu Chief Etienne Rich.

     “This year’s race was an incredible display of courage and endurance. All the racers who crossed that start line are winners in their own right,” Cain’s Quest Board Chair Chris Lacey said in the press release. “We’re thrilled for the Saga Boys Vikings team and can’t wait to welcome home all the remaining racers as they cross the finish line.”

     The duo actually ran out of gas on their Backcountry snowmobiles when nearing the finish line. They were able to make it to the end after another team’s crew came and gassing them up.

     “Isn’t that just like Labradorians,” Lacey said, “to pitch in and help someone else’s team when they’re in trouble. Cain’s Quest has always been about community and that tradition was certainly continued today.”

     Approximately an hour later, the Team 73 PWR Sports Lynx Xterrain sleds ridden by Labrador City natives Spencer Robinson and Kevin Willmott crossed the finish line to take second place. The Team 79 Bay Marine Racing entry of riders Eric and Daniel Newhook finished third, also on Lynx Xterrain machines.  

One thought on “Iron Dog, Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Races Won By Family Teams

  • Avatar for Viking

    Polaris and Ski-Doo wins. Next year 600 cc Lynx will win both.


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