The support and enthusiasm of the Can-Am Crown veterinary staff has been instrumental in fostering a friendly, cooperative atmosphere that ensures the health and safety of all our competing athletes. This support has helped to ensure the continued success of what has become the foremost sled dog race in the eastern United States, the Can-Am Crown 250.

A pre-race veterinary meeting will be held early Friday, March 1, 2019. Arrival in town on Thursday evening would be ideal. Meeting attendance is important, since we will be deciding on checkpoint rotations, discussing rule changes, answering questions, and distributing veterinary supply boxes at this time. After the meeting, pre-race checks for the 250-mile, 100-mile, and 30-mile teams will take place begining at 10:00am and continuing through the mid-afternoon. Hopefully, this will allow for a short break and a snack before attending the mushers' meetings at 4:30pm and 5:30pm.

Veterinary diaries have been assembled for all three races again this year. Before a team can be checked, the musher must present race registration and vaccination records to our veterinary desk.

It is expected that most of the vaccination records will have been checked before the teams arrive.

When the team's vaccination records have been approved, the musher will be given a veterinary diary, drop bag tags, dog ID tags, and a sign indicating the team's bib number.

Ideally, teams should be present for the pre-race examinations according to the following schedule, but teams traveling together will be checked together.

All three races will be starting Saturday morning from Main Street in Fort Kent, Maine.

Plan on staying in Fort Kent on Tuesday evening to attend our post-race awards banquet and get a good night's rest before traveling home.

Vets and vet techs are offered free lodging with a host family. Just call or e-mail our Hospitality Director, Karen Ouellette, and she will make arrangements. (207-834-3855, 207-316-6185,

The following refers to the 250-mile checkpoints:

Checkpoint #1: Portage
        This checkpoint will be at the Portage Town Office again. Dropped dog transport should be fairly rapid from this checkpoint, allowing vets to concentrate on care for arriving and departing teams.

Checkpoint #2: Rocky Brook
        Irving Woodlands has rebuilt the camps at Rocky Brook. They are a big improvement over the original ramshackle camps that Can-Am had made use of in years past. Can-Am will provide food, and communications through Ham Radio operators should be possible for as long as the checkpoint remains open. There may be some extended care for dropped dogs at this site, since Rocky Brook camps are 50 miles (on the race trail) from Portage.

Checkpoint #3: Camp Syl-Ver (formerly known as Maibec)
        Although the physical location of checkpoint #3 has not changed, the name and the facilities have changed drastically.

The Maibec logging company removed most of their buildings and sold the site to Pelletier Logging. The site is now known as Camp Syl-Ver.

Unlike previous years, this will be a relatively primitive checkpoint. There will be food, shelter, and facilities for the veterinary staff and race officials, but only water for the mushers. Essentially, the mushers will be camping out. Officials do plan to have a bonfire in the yard.

In 2002, the entire lot was turned to a slick sheet of ice by a freak thunderstorm during the race. We hope the weather is cooperative this year, but consider bringing a raincoat, a change of clothes, and boots with good treads and/or crampons that slip over your boots for extra traction.

The changes at this site will probably change the strategies of at least some of the mushers. Many could decide to do most of their required layover at Rocky Brook, where they will have hot food and sleeping quarters. If they choose to do that, then their stays at Camp Syl-Ver could be very brief. It is difficult to say how this will affect the number of dropped dogs at Camp Syl-Ver. Extra medical supplies will be sent with the first veterinary team and supplemental supplies will arrive with the late team. To streamline care and keep things organized, we will be providing a container to hold medical record/treatment schedule/instructions, medications and food for each dog.

Can-Am will not have an internet connection at Camp Syl-Ver. However, in an emergency, the checkpoint coordinator will be given the password to use the logging company's internet connection.

Checkpoint #4: Allagash
        The final checkpoint at Allagash will be the same as in past years. Food will be available during regular restaurant hours with limited food vouchers provided by Can-Am Crown. Sleeping space is available in the attached bunkhouse. There will be a dedicated telephone line for communications with Can-Am Central. In addition to mandatory checks on all arriving teams, the vets and techs here are also responsible for dogs dropped at Allagash and some of those transported from Maibec. Handlers should be available to pick up these dogs promptly, but it is important to review treatment instructions with them and recheck dogs prior to discharge. Since teams are usually spread out by this segment of the race, the Allagash checkpoint is often in operation from Sunday morning well into Tuesday. Checkpoint staff will be required to stay for a certain period of time after the last team leaves.

Deadlines: Can-Am Crown has established the following deadlines for departure from checkpoints and arrival at the finish. Historically, these deadlines would have had little or no effect on those teams that finished the race.

Checkpoint Deadlines
CP #1 Portage Sunday Day 2 06:00:00 (6 a.m.) Departure
CP #2 Rocky Brook Sunday Day 2 20:00:00 (8 p.m.) Departure
CP #3 Syl-Ver Monday Day 3 10:00:00 (10 a.m.) Departure
CP #4 Allagash Tuesday Day 4 06:00:00 (6 a.m.) Departure
Finish Fort Kent Tuesday Day 4 14:00:00 (2 p.m.) Arrival

Trail veterinarians must be present throughout the race unless released by the Chief Veterinarian.

As you can see from our race history, we have experienced a wide variety of weather conditions throughout the years. Be sure to include the obvious essential cold-weather gear such as parka, boots, and sleeping bag, but also consider the less-obvious rain gear, light layers, and extra changes of socks, hats and mittens.
Here's a basic list:
HeadlampExtra batteries
StethoscopeLaceration pack
Appropriate cold-weather clothingAppropriate rain gear
Sleeping bagTowel (for showering at Maibec)
Lip balmAspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen
SunglassesDisposable (or otherwise non-freezable) camera
Favorite easy-to-transport snacks