The 40th iteration of the Exxon Mobil Open, a series of sprint sled dog races, took place in Anchorage over the weekend, with a total of $40,000 up for grabs for mushers in four-dog, six-dog, eight-dog and open classes. The races were held at the Tozier Track in Alaska's largest city.
The four-dog class ran a scant 6-mile trail, with musher Beverly Stevens taking top prize in a time of 17 minutes, 12 seconds. The winner of the six-dog class, Jennifer Sterling, completed the 8-mile course in 23 minutes, 37 seconds. In the eight-dog class, Christian Taveau barely took home the win, in a time of 27 minutes, 41 seconds. The second-place finisher in that class, Kourosh Partow, ran the 10-mile track just one second slower than Taveau.
In the open class, Jason Dunlap took home the prize for the first day's heat, covering the 16.8 miles of the course in 56 minutes, 30 seconds. The next two closest competitors, Egil Ellis and John Erhart, tied for second place with a time of 57 minutes, 2 seconds. That set up a close race for the second day's heat, which kicked off at 2 p.m. Sunday. While each day's heat winner collects a share of prize money, the big purse goes to the musher with the best two-day time.