It wasn’t a perfect start for this year’s International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race as Luc Mongeau, President of Mars Petcare North America which is the title sponsor of the race led the way with the first dignitary team from the starting line. The excited dogs jumped the countdown by nine seconds and kept going. After two dignitary teams, the racing teams took off from the town square as well including three-time IPSSSDR Champion Blayne “Buddy” Streeper of Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Streeper says this year there are nine first-time teams in the race which he says are unpredictable. He says as he runs the race, he won’t take anything for granted and will concentrate on getting the best time he can. By the end of the Lander leg of the race, Streeper was in third place and Bruce Magnusson of Manchester, Michigan in first. The teams move on to Pinedale/Cora, Big Piney/Marbleton, Alpine, Evanston, and Lyman/Mountain View, Wyoming, over the next week before arriving in Park City, Utah, for the final stage and awards ceremony on Saturday, February 4th.