Jamaican sled dog musher, Newton Marshall, has been awarded the ‘Challenge of the North’ award for best exemplifying the spirit of the Yukon Quest, during the recent 1,000-mile international race held in the United States.
The award, a polished caribou antler trophy, was presented to Marshall at the Yukon Sled Dog Race closing banquet held recently in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The 25-year old rookie sled dog driver crossed the finish line on February 26 in 13th place, ahead of 16 other competitors, with an elapsed time of 11 days, 19 hours two minutes.
Jamaican musher, Newton Marshall, clad in national colors, displays his ‘Challenge of the North Award’ for best exemplifying the spirit of the Yukon Quest, during the recent 1,000-mile international dog sled race held last month in the United States. The award ceremony was held recently in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Marshall, who is from Chukka Cove, St. Ann, completed the arduous race with a broad smile on his face in response to loud cheers from race fans.
He had surprised and impressed many with his performance, including Race Marshal, Doug Grilliot.
In presenting the award to Marshall, Mr. Grilliot said: “This year’s ‘Challenge of the North’ Award is going to a musher that the race judges believe showed perseverance, class and grace under pressure. Throughout the race, his smile and cheerful attitude never faltered.”
The Race Marshal admitted that he was initially skeptical about the Jamaican’s entry in the race, which was run in the freezing Alaska outback, but grew to admire this attitude and dedication. “I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw his entry, I didn’t think it was much more than a publicity stunt…and over the last 1,000 miles, we’ve come to respect and admire his attitude, perseverance and the way he took care of his dogs,” he stated.
In accepting the award to sustained applause and cheers of support, a proud Marshall stated that: “I am quite surprised and a nervous wreck.”
The Jamaican and his team of adopted street dogs were sponsored to the prestigious race by Danny Melville of Chukka Cove Caribbean Adventures as well as well-known musician and regular visitor to Jamaica, Jimmy Buffett.
Other sponsors included Alpine Aviation, Yukon Harley Davidson, Columbia, Mountain Hardware, and Sorel.