Quebec musher Anny Malo wins 2024 Open World Championship Sled Dog Race

Anny Malo is a champion musher with nearly three decades of experience.

But the Quebec resident admitted to some nerves entering her first running of the Open World Championship Sled Dog Race.

After a sleepless night, Friday’s opening run helped Malo and her team acclimate to the urban track and tempered her nerves. And on Sunday, she came from nearly a minute behind to become just the second woman to win the Open World Championship title.

“I didn’t sleep at all,” she said. “It’s not the kind of route I’m used to on the road with people and moose. I was so nervous. I was happy that first day was in the book and I knew where I was.”

Malo started the day 54 seconds behind Sweden-based Frenchman Remy Coste, but for the second straight day, she ran a faster race than Coste to come from behind for the win.

Knowing she needed to make up almost a minute, she had her radio at the ready to get reports on the progress of her competitors but decided to focus on her race.

“I was going to put in my ear and I was like, ‘Nope, just do your thing. Drive your dogs,’ ” she said. “I knew my team was really looking good. And I was thinking if I’m still going that speed all the way to the finish line, I’m OK.”


Coste looked nearly unbeatable on Day 1, posting a blazing time of 1 hour, 23 minutes, 47 seconds, putting him more than five minutes ahead of both Malo and 10-time champion Blayne “Buddy” Streeper, who finished in third.

But Malo ate up more than four minutes of that deficit on Saturday and ended up Sunday winning by 23 seconds over Coste, who ran eight dogs. That put her in rare company with Roxy Wright, a four-time winner of the race who last earned a victory in 2017.

Wright helped out Malo’s team as a handler over the weekend and was one of the first to congratulate the Canadian musher after the win.

“She was so excited,” Malo said of Wright’s reaction.

Malo’s three-day time was 4:32:59, and Coste finished with 4:33:22.

Malo, who was a rookie, would normally be racing this weekend in Manitoba, but a lack of snow forced the race to be canceled and gave her the opportunity to run the OWC for the first time.

But she’s no rookie to Alaska mushing.

Her blazing run on the opening day at the 75th Open North American sled dog race in Fairbanks in 2021 broke the track record — a record she still holds.

And she said once she got a taste of the Open World Championship course in Anchorage, it was really just about the dogs.

“You know, we raised those dogs and we train those dogs,” she said. “At the end of the day, the only thing I have to do is do my job so they can do their best, and that’s always the same thing for every race.”

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Malo’s win put a halt to Streeper’s streak of five straight wins and his attempt to pass George Attla as the race’s all-time champion. Last year, Streeper tied Attla with 10 wins.

Streeper ran the second-fastest times both of the first two days and posted Sunday’s fastest time, 1:28:40, which was 26 seconds faster than Malo.

He said midway through Saturday’s race he had dropped to nine minutes behind Coste. But he made a switch to his team and ate up five minutes of that deficit. He made up two more on Sunday and finished less than three minutes behind Malo.

“I just ran out of ground because these guys and girls are so good,” he said. “It’s exceptional dogs and an exceptional competition and a great race.”

Streeper, from Fort Nelson, British Columbia, had hoped to make history with his 11th win over the weekend but is viewing the mark with a long lens.

“I had five forever, couldn’t get six,” he said. “And then I went 6-7-8-9-10 and put five together back-to-back. But I went from 2010 to 2018 without winning. I hope it’s not that long to the next one, but we’re going to go home and learn and evaluate. I’m proud of this run today and I think if I can come back and do that all three days, that’ll be my best chance.”


Open World Championship Sled Dog Races

Final results

1. Anny Malo, St.-Zenon, Quebec, 4:32:59 (Day 1: 3rd place 1:29:09; Day 2: 1st place 1:34:44; Day 3: 2nd place 1:29:06); 2. Remy Coste, Lycksele, Sweden, 4:33:22 (Day 1: 1st place 1:23:47; Day 2: 4th place 1:39:12; Day 3: 3rd place 1:30:23); 3. Blayne Streeper, Fort Nelson, BC, 4:35:44 (Day 1: 2nd place 1:28:51; Day 2: 2nd place 1:38:13; Day 3: 1st place 1:28:40); 4. Jake Robinson, Bemidji, Minnesota, 4:44:32 (Day 1: 5th place 1:33:11; Day 2: 5th place 1:40:09; Day 3: 4th place 1:31:12); 5. Andy Huetten, Nenana, 4:45:59 (Day 1: 6th place 1:34:18; Day 2: 3rd place 1:38:20; Day 3: 5th place 1:33:21); 6. Greg Taylor, Fairbanks, 4:53:23 (Day 1: 4th place, 1:32:40; Day 2: 9th place 1:45:31; Day 3: 6th place 1:35:12); 7. Marvin B. Kokrine, North Pole, 4:57:30 (Day 1: 9th place 1:37:10; Day 2: 7th place 1:43:00; Day 3: 7th place 1:37:20); 8. Jess Moore, Bondurant, Wyoming, 4:59:36 (Day 1: 11th place, 1:38:36; Day 2: 6th place 1:40:23; Day 3: 11th place 1:40:37); 9. Andrea Bond, Salcha, 5:00:03 (Day 1: 10th place, 1:37:23; Day 2: 8th place 1:44:36; Day 3: 8th place 1:38:04); 10. Michael Tetzner, Burg, Germany, 5:10:49 (Day 1: 7th place, 1:35:24; Day 2: 12th place 1:53:50; Day 3: 13th place 1:41:35); 11. Sean de Wolski, Fairbanks, 5:10:50 (Day 1: 13th place 1:43:26; Day 2: 10th place 1:46:55; Day 3: 10th place 1:40:29); 12. Charlie Conner, Loon Lake, Saskatchewan, 5:17:12 (Day 1: 12th place, 1:43:10; Day 2: 11th place 1:53:07; Day 3: 12th place 1:40:55); 13. Frank Haberman, Clam Gulch, 5:26:36 (Day 1: 8th place, 1:37:05; Day 2: 13th place 2:10:50; Day 3: 9th place 1:38:41).

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.