HELENA — Four-time champion Jessie Royer of Seeley Lake leads the field in the 35th Race to the Sky sled dog race.
Five men and four women are registered for the 300-mile race, which starts at 2 p.m. Saturday west of Lincoln. The course goes through the White Tail Ranch near Ovando, Seeley Lake and the Owl Creek checkpoint near Condon before returning back to Lincoln.
The fastest teams are expected to finish Monday evening, race officials said.
Other 300-mile entrants include Clayton Perry of Choteau, Gabe Dunham of Darby and Cindy Gallea of Minnesota, who has been mushing for 32 years.
Race to the Sky is an Iditarod qualifier. Royer is entered in next month’s Iditarod. She finished third last year.
Ten people have registered for the 100-mile race, which starts after the longer race, and could wrap up in as little as 12 hours, race officials say. The youngest mushers entered are two 19-year-olds, Montana State University student Charmayne Morrison of Polson and Christina Gibson of Carlton, Washington.
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