Reynolds cinches his first Rondy win

mdunham@adn.comFebruary 24, 2013 

Arleigh Reynolds of Salcha is the winner of the 2013 Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race.

It was Reynolds' 12th Rondy race and his first top finish. His best previous finish was second place. "This is something we've worked our whole life for," he said as he picked up his trophy.

With two splendid lead dogs, Guts and Stock, at the head of his team, Reynolds chalked up the best time in each of the first two days of the three day race. He came into the final 25-mile heat with a four minute lead over five time champion Egil Ellis of Willow. Despite setting the best day time on Sunday, Ellis was unable to make up the gap and did not advance beyond second place in combined times.

Last year's winner, Ken Chezik of Fife Lake, Mich., came in third.

Reynolds picked up a cash prize of at least $8,575. The announced minimum purse of $70,000 was proportioned over 20 places, but only 14 mushers started the race. One, John Norris, scratched before heading out on the third day. There was no day money awarded this year.

The small field of competitors consisted entirely of Rondy race veterans. The closest thing to a rookie was Robert Worden of Mexico, N.Y., who scratched in his first Rondy last year. Before this year's race, he said his goal was "to finish it." Despite a tangle outbound at 4th Ave. and A St., he managed to do that. Straightening them out held him up so long that the musher following him out of the chute, Jack Berry of Homer, threatened to overtake him before he made the corner onto Cordova St. The incident probably contributed to Tanana musher John Erhart pushing past Worden to take 10th place.

A recent change in procedure sends teams out in the reverse order of their first and second day times, slowest teams going out first. This has compressed the time it takes for all teams to cross the finish line and the crowd on 4th Ave. cheered at several tight sprints in which two or more teams returned to downtown at once.


Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332

Fur Rendezvous Open World Championships, Day 2

Musher Day 1 time Day 2 time Day 3 time Total time

Fur Rendezvous Open World Championships, Day 2

Musher Day 1 time Day 2 time Total time

1. Arleigh Reynolds, Salcha 1:17:47 1:17:46 1:19:30 3:55:33

2. Egil Ellis, Willow 1:19:09 1:20:05 1:18:36 3:57:14

3. Ken Chezik, Fife Lake, Mich. 1:20:09 1:20:28 1:20:56 4:01:33

4. Kevin Raymond Cook, Preeceville, Sask. 1:22:49 1:18:24 1:21:14 4:02:27

5. Greg Sellentin, Willow 1:22:39 1:21:46 1:22:44 4:07:09

6. Marvin Kokrine, North Pole 1:24:41 1:23:41 1:23:24 4:11:46

7. Marie-Anick Elie, Inuvik, NW Territories 1:26:25 1:24:42 1:27:18 4:18:25

8. Greg Taylor, Fairbanks 1:25:03 1:27:27 1:28:42 4:21:12

9. Jack Berry, Homer 1:24:23 1:28:50 1:30:00 4:23:13

10. John Erhart, Tanana 1:29:43 1:26:29 1:28:12 4:24:24

11. Robert Worden, Mexico, N.Y. 1:25:51 1:30:18 1:34:12 4:30:21

12. Brent Beck, Yellowknife, NW Territories 1:35:46 1:28:37 1:29:13 4:33:36

13. Nathan Sterling, Willow 1:28:06 1:34:22 1:33:45 4:36:13

(scratched) John Norris, Willow 1:39:39 1:51:55 n/a n/a


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