153 dogs, 650 km: Ivakkak sled dog race kicks off in northern Quebec – North

153 dogs, 650 km: Ivakkak sled dog race kicks off in northern Quebec – North


It was a sunny day with light winds when the race finally started. (Makivik Corporation)

After poor weather in Nunavik hampered the start of the 16th annual Ivakkak sled dog race, 13 teams finally got going on March 29.

Ivakkak sled dog race

A team in the Ivakkak sled dog race waves to the crowd in Umiujaq. (Makivik Corporation)

The race follows the east coast of Hudson Bay, heading north from Umiujaq to Ivujivik, a distance of about 650 kilometres.

Ivakkak sled dog race dogs

There are 153 dogs in this year’s race. (Makivik Corporation)

The race is organized by Makivik Corporation, which represents the Inuit of Nunavik.

Ivakkak sled dog race meeting

A meeting with all the participants and support crew was held on March 27. (Makivik Corporation)

Participants use the traditional fan hitch — one line for each dog, rather than the tandem lines used in the western Arctic. 

Ivakkak meeting

Signs of a meeting in Nunavik. (Makivik Corporation)

A meeting was held on Monday with participants and support crew, to go over the route, safety procedures, rules and regulations.

Ivakkak sled dog

According to Makivik, the sea ice was very rough for mushers on Day One, with four dogs getting loose after their ropes snapped. (Makivik Corporation)

Ivakkak is an Inuit word that means “when the dogs are at their best pace.”

Ivakkak sled dog race

A team sorts out harnesses. (Makivik Corporation)

Participants could face some unpredictable spring weather. 

Ivakkak sled dog race

Teams from across Nunavik take part. (Makivik Corporation)

There are 153 dogs in the Ivakkak 2017.

Ivakkak sled dog race

Fans at the start. (Makivik Corporation)

Each team consists of two people. 

Ivakkak sled dog race teams

There are 13 teams taking part. (Makivik Corporation)

Mushers should reach the first community, Inukjuak, by the end of the week. 

Ivakkak sled dog race



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