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Marcel Marin – Yellowknife musher

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Marcel Marin is a local musher who’s trying to keep dog sledding going in the territory, even amid COVID-19.

Marin is one of the organizers of the Underdog 100, a 100-mile dog race here in the Northwest Territories. 

Travel restrictions have made planning the event difficult. 

But Marin said the organizers decided to allow people from outside the territory to compete.

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“They’d probably be able to train their dogs because all these guys wouldn’t be in town around people they’d be going out training on the trail, the race trail.”

Marcel Marin

The financial future of the race was a factor in the decision, Marin says.

“Yeah, it’s a tough one because we don’t have the finances other races in the territory do, like we’re not a big organization so we don’t have a big donation … If you start canceling too many races after a while it just disappears. A lot of work has to go into organizing any kind of delivery whether it’s rent or long distance.” 

Marcel Marin

So far, a team from B.C. and Saskatchewan have applied and are waiting for word from the GNWT on their isolation plans. 

But to hear Marin tell it, there is more at stake than the future of the Underdog 100. 

“This place if you look historically — Yellowknife was built by dog teams, float planes, you know bush planes and all that kind of stuff. So it’s nice to have a little bit of the frontier way lifestyle still going — a little bit of our heritage.”

Marcel Marin
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