- Associated Press - Saturday, March 2, 2019

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) - A Canadian musher on Saturday set his aim on a 10th win in Maine’s biggest dog sled race.

Martin Massicotte, who has won the 250-mile Irving Woodlands Can-Am Crown nine times, was part of a field that set off Saturday in a cacophony of barking dogs.

The grueling wilderness course takes mushers to Portage Lake and then to the town of Allagash before looping back to Fort Kent by Monday morning.

Massicotte, of St. Tite, Quebec, said heavy snowfall - more than 100 inches of snow has fallen this winter in northern Maine - will make for difficult going. The forecast calls for the possibility of more snow over the course of the race.

“The warm weather and the snow approaching Sunday makes me say that the race will be long and arduous,” he said in French, which his wife translated for him.

Each race is different. The temperature plummeted to minus-38 during the first Can-Am Crown and then soared to 61 degrees a year later.

He said that a 10th win would be a “symbolic figure that will remain marked in time.” But he’s taking nothing for granted.

Win or lose, he won’t be returning next year for the Can-Am Crown. Instead, he has set his sights on the 1,000-mile Iditarod across Alaska.

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