The Pedigree Stage Stop Race — Stage Three update and Stage Four and Five results

Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race —Stage Three postponed on Monday, Jan. 30

Pedigree Stage Stop Race — Stage Three, hosted by the town of Pinedale, was postponed Monday due to adverse weather conditions. Bitter cold temperatures combined with windchill in the early to mid-morning race window stayed below the acceptable threshold for racing.

The Pinedale Stage Three leg was rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2, at the same trailhead location — the Upper Green River trail head at the end of Hwy 352, Cora. The Pinedale course follows the Upper Green River near its headwaters in the Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming.

Malo wins Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race — Stage Four

With cold temperatures and hot finishing times for Tuesday’s race, Anny Malo finished first with a blazing time of 2:05:44, followed closely by Cathy Rivest at 2:09:04, and Alix Crittenden at 2:10:56. First time Stage Stop competitors Laura Bontrager and Donny Poulin rounded out the top five positions. 

Tuesday’s course was a 31-mile out-and-back trail from Middle Piney Creek to Coyote Park Creek. Teams climbed almost 3,000 vertical feet with a stunning view of Wyoming Peak. Defending Stage Stop champion Anny Malo remained the overall leader as the race headed to Kemmerer, for Stage Five.

Alix Crittenden wins Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Race — Stage Five

By noon Wednesday the weather had heated up, and so did the race — a 35-mile out-and-back trail saw an average speed just shy of 14 mph with a 13.6 mph average for Alix Crittenden of Bondurant. The Yellow Bib, which has rested on Anny Malo’s shoulders every stage except one since last year, dramatically moved to Crittenden Wednesday.

Anny Malo takes back yellow bib with fastest time on Pinedale re-scheduled Stage Three

Anny Malo won the rescheduled Stage Three, a 35-mile out-and-back trail along the Upper Green River near Pinedale. She averaged 15.5 mph; her total time was 2:15:07. Alix Crittenden finished three and a half minutes later. Two minutes after her, Laura Bontrager stormed across the finish line with Donny Poulin and Cathy Rivest close behind. 

Anny Malo in Yellow Bib — Fastest time on Alpine Stage Six

Anny Malo had a strong finish on Tuesday in Stage Six, posting the fastest time of the field at 2:04:51. Alix Crittenden came in second with a time of 2:07:56 to maintain her position of second place overall. Cathy Rivest finished third, followed by Liz Thompson and Laura Bontrager.

The teams were joined by two elementary Wyoming schools and one group from Swan Valley, Idaho. A combined 232 first grade through fifth grade students lined each side of the starting chute urging on their favorite mushers. An enthusiastic “ten, nine, eight…” countdown was so powerful that Sean McNelis, the official announcer, gave up the final count to the youngsters.

Tuesday’s 32-mile out-and-back trail which follows the Greys River out of Alpine has the least elevation gain of any of the seven racecourses. Temperatures were around 7°F as teams set off, and by midday were predicted to hit 30 degrees. The course was quite firm with a deep-set base that held up well, even with the traditional heavy snowmobile traffic out of Alpine.

Now leading the pack by 20 minutes, Anny Malo was poised to take her fifth consecutive title as Stage Stop Champion. 

From Alpine the teams traveled to Driggs, Idaho, for Stage Six, the final stage of this year’s Stage Stop, on Saturday. 

Anny Malo wins fifth consecutive Pedigree Stage Stop Dog Race

When Anny Malo crossed the finish line in Driggs,Idaho she became the first person in the Pedigree Stage Stop Race’s history to win five consecutive times. Although Malo had a solid 25 minutes lead on her nearest competitor, it took a combination of skill and luck to maintain her position given the challenges of Saturday’s course, but she did it. Her time was 2:07:47, a more than respectable 13.6 mph average. She was followed by Liz Thompson 90 seconds later, who was a mere 19 seconds ahead of Cathy Rivest in third place. Alix Crittenden and Laura Bontrager completed the top five finishers.

This stage is notorious for its seven-mile climb, and even more treacherous descent, tough for the most-prepared teams, especially on the seventh consecutive day of effort. Temperatures remained nicely below freezing. The trail was much better than feared and a nice breeze kept the dogs cool. All 16 teams finished with smiles, “thumbs up,” and “high fives” making it a memorable seventh and final stage to this historic event.