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Canadian wins 250-mile dog sled race by a mere 35 seconds

Can-Am Crown Sled Dog Races

PORTAGE LAKE, ME - FEBRUARY 28: Christine Richardson of Canaan, N.H., makes her way across the terrain near Portage Lake during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 during the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, Maine on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009. (Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Globe via Getty Images

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) A Canadian musher crossed the finish line 35 seconds ahead of his closest competitor Monday to win the Can-Am Crown, a 250-mile dog sled race across the wilderness of northern Maine.

Denis Tremblay, of Saint Michel des Saints, Quebec, was the Can-Am Crown runner-up four times before notching his dramatic victory.

Second-place finisher Katherine Langlais, of Glenwood, New Brunswick, was 12 minutes behind at the start of the final 43-mile sprint, but she closed the gap to 35 seconds for the closest finish in race history, said Can-Am President Dennis Cyr.

Andre Longchamps, of Point Route, Quebec, came in third.

Neither Tremblay nor Langlais knew how close they were because the hilly course prevented them from seeing each other.

Tremblay was surprised after crossing the finish line when he turned to see Langlais coming down the hill behind him, Cyr said. She was equally surprised to see that Tremblay was still at the finish line, he said.

The 250-mile Can-Am Crown kicked off Saturday in Fort Kent with mushers from Maine, Minnesota, Iowa and several Canadian provinces. The grueling course took mushers to Portage Lake and then to the town of Allagash before looping back to Fort Kent.

Ten-time winner Martin Massicotte, of St. Tite, Quebec, wasn’t in the race. He is participating in the 1,000-mile Iditarod across Alaska.