The Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race has been cancelled this year.

“With the new provincial restrictions in place since Dec. 17, it would have been particularly challenging to fulfil the requirements needed to make the race happen in a totally COVID safe way while following all the restrictions,” said the Canadian Challenge in a news release.

“We wish we could have waited until the next review in January, but we felt that not much is likely to change in the next few weeks. We also wanted to prevent the trail crew from putting in the enormous effort needed to prepare the trail in the coming weeks only to still then have to cancel the race.”

Race President Stefaan De Marie says everyone understands the situation.

“I haven’t had any negative feedback from any mushers,” said De Marie. “Of course, some of them, they’re disappointed because they’ve been training probably since August – September, but they for sure can understand where we come from.”

The Canadian Challenge did not take place in 2016 due to warm weather.

 (PHOTO: The 2020 Canadian Challenge. Photo courtesy of Brandon White.)