Friday, February 02, 2007

Mush, mon

A Jamaican sled-dog racer will take on the big dogs of racing next week. The Jamaica Dogsled Team will race in the Yukon Quest, a brutal 1,000-mile race from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fairbanks. Devon Anderson, who has never seen snow, has swapped the white sands of the Caribbean for the white landscape of Alaska to take part in this event. The 42-year-old hopes to compete in the world championships and the Winter Olympics in 2010. The Caribbean is too hot for huskies so Anderson has trained a team of mongrels rescued from Kingston's dog pound. His efforts are reminiscent of the success of the Jamaican bobsleigh team which took part in the 1988 Games in Calgary and provided the inspiration for the 1993 film "Cool Runnings."

Anderson, who works for a Jamaican tour company, said he was excited about picking up the reins for his first race on the four-mile track at Loch Morlich. "I am really looking forward to the rally - I am not nervous at the moment because I am in a relaxed environment, but on Saturday I know I will be. Once I am in that position I think the adrenalin will take over and the team will do the best it can. It is definitely a challenge for me."

The Jamaican team is sponsored by Bob Marley's record producer, Chris Blackwell, and country singer Jimmy Buffett.

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