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In preparation for Cain’s Quest

Allister Russell, of Mary’s Harbour, will be racing in 2016 Cain’s Quest along with his friend Craig Acreman. This will be his first time participating and it’ll be the second time for Acreman.
Allister Russell, of Mary’s Harbour, will be racing in 2016 Cain’s Quest along with his friend Craig Acreman. This will be his first time participating and it’ll be the second time for Acreman.

Two Mary’s Harbour natives are gearing up for the journey of a lifetime.

Allister Russell and Craig Acreman, the latter of which currently lives in Goose Bay, are in the midst of preparing for the 2016 Cain’s Quest. This is to be the longest Cain’s Quest race ever at 3,500 km.
The teammates are currently trying to get a few sponsors and will be receiving their new 800 Expedition Xtreme Ski-Doos that they’ll be racing soon, which will require a number of things to get the machines ready. They’re also in the midst of purchasing safety gear for the extreme cold weather.
This will be Acreman’s second time participating, having run in 2012. It will be the first time Russell has undertaken the long journey through the Big Land.
“There’s going to be a lot of surprises I would imagine – there’s a lot of the unknown,” says Russell.
They’ll be going right through the heart of Labrador and up the north coast, so they both know there’s a lot of travelling outside of society and deep in the wilderness.
“It’s an endurance race, that’s one thing for sure,” says Russell. “But I love spending time out on the land and I figured this journey would give us a chance to see parts of Labrador we hadn’t seen before.”
Despite having no prior experience in the race, Russell knows it’s going to require a tremendous amount of physical and mental strength. He notes that there have been reports of people falling asleep on snowmobiles and people suffering from frostbite. According to Acreman, there have been accidents in the past where people suffered serious injuries as well.
The 2012 run for him was a big adrenaline rush, though scary and tiring at times.
“Name it all, all the emotions were involved there,” he says.
He experienced some mechanical issues on his run in 2012 and ended up finishing 11th. As a mechanic, he was one of the more fortunate ones as he was capable of resolving those issues.
But there was also the water and the slob that was a hindrance. He says him and his teammate got stuck in the slob for two hours merely 20 minutes away from the finish line.
“Nobody sees half of what we go through,” he adds. “Open rivers, open brooks, because we’re travelling the river systems a lot of the time. It’s pretty scary at times, especially when you’re tired and everything is playing on your mind. But you suck it up and hang in there.”
For Acreman, it wasn’t at all about finishing in first place – it was all about finishing the race, which he was proud to say he did. Half of the riders tend not to be so lucky.
Russell notes that he’s done some pretty long trips on snowmobile years ago, travelling from Mary’s Harbour to Hopedale to hunt caribou, back when the herd was stronger. But that was in the 90s, and he hasn’t undertaken anything quite like that since.
And he’s never travelled this distance before.
But Russell says that both of them entered the race because they love snowmobiling and they’re looking forward to the challenge and the adventure. It was something they had been considering for some time.
Both Russell and Acreman will be doing a bit of scouting over parts of the trail in preparation for the big race once there is more snow. Exercising is also necessary to keep up with the physical challenge.
They stress that the race is also challenging financially and are still looking for more sponsors.
“This year, we’re doing this mostly on our own dime, other than the money we’re getting from sponsors,” says Acreman.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

Allister Russell and Craig Acreman, the latter of which currently lives in Goose Bay, are in the midst of preparing for the 2016 Cain’s Quest. This is to be the longest Cain’s Quest race ever at 3,500 km.
The teammates are currently trying to get a few sponsors and will be receiving their new 800 Expedition Xtreme Ski-Doos that they’ll be racing soon, which will require a number of things to get the machines ready. They’re also in the midst of purchasing safety gear for the extreme cold weather.
This will be Acreman’s second time participating, having run in 2012. It will be the first time Russell has undertaken the long journey through the Big Land.
“There’s going to be a lot of surprises I would imagine – there’s a lot of the unknown,” says Russell.
They’ll be going right through the heart of Labrador and up the north coast, so they both know there’s a lot of travelling outside of society and deep in the wilderness.
“It’s an endurance race, that’s one thing for sure,” says Russell. “But I love spending time out on the land and I figured this journey would give us a chance to see parts of Labrador we hadn’t seen before.”
Despite having no prior experience in the race, Russell knows it’s going to require a tremendous amount of physical and mental strength. He notes that there have been reports of people falling asleep on snowmobiles and people suffering from frostbite. According to Acreman, there have been accidents in the past where people suffered serious injuries as well.
The 2012 run for him was a big adrenaline rush, though scary and tiring at times.
“Name it all, all the emotions were involved there,” he says.
He experienced some mechanical issues on his run in 2012 and ended up finishing 11th. As a mechanic, he was one of the more fortunate ones as he was capable of resolving those issues.
But there was also the water and the slob that was a hindrance. He says him and his teammate got stuck in the slob for two hours merely 20 minutes away from the finish line.
“Nobody sees half of what we go through,” he adds. “Open rivers, open brooks, because we’re travelling the river systems a lot of the time. It’s pretty scary at times, especially when you’re tired and everything is playing on your mind. But you suck it up and hang in there.”
For Acreman, it wasn’t at all about finishing in first place – it was all about finishing the race, which he was proud to say he did. Half of the riders tend not to be so lucky.
Russell notes that he’s done some pretty long trips on snowmobile years ago, travelling from Mary’s Harbour to Hopedale to hunt caribou, back when the herd was stronger. But that was in the 90s, and he hasn’t undertaken anything quite like that since.
And he’s never travelled this distance before.
But Russell says that both of them entered the race because they love snowmobiling and they’re looking forward to the challenge and the adventure. It was something they had been considering for some time.
Both Russell and Acreman will be doing a bit of scouting over parts of the trail in preparation for the big race once there is more snow. Exercising is also necessary to keep up with the physical challenge.
They stress that the race is also challenging financially and are still looking for more sponsors.
“This year, we’re doing this mostly on our own dime, other than the money we’re getting from sponsors,” says Acreman.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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