Cain’s Quest – an Inside Look (registration to return)
By Dustin Boyd
Part one: “WTF am I thinking?!”
Every form of snowmobiling has intrigued me since I was old enough to know what a sled was. Years were spent drawing sleds, watching sled videos and begging my parents to drop into dealerships so I can sprinkle drool all over the showroom floors while I attempt to keep the fuel tank full for my daydream machine. I guess you could say I love snowmobiles.
Since the inaugural year of Cain’s Quest (2006), I followed the race; maybe not as closely as I do now, but it was always on the radar. Snowmobile racing wasn’t a huge deal in Newfoundland & Labrador at the time and it was such a different style of race. I was hooked.
In 2016, after following CQ much closer that year, I knew it was something I not only wanted to do, but was going to do. That Christmas I got the 2016 CQ video in my stocking… this was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Most people you speak with about CQ associate this race with the large expense, time off work and, of course, the immense mental and physical burdens involved. Don’t get me wrong, these were VERY large hurdles to jump; but the one factor most forget is permission from your significant other (a.k.a “The Chief Financial Officer”) to even register for such an undertaking. Although, after a couple months of “brownie point accumulation” – permission granted!
Having the green light, it’s now time to start initial planning, budgeting and figuring out if this race was even affordable. My team soon came to the revelation that it is, in fact, very unaffordable! Registration alone was $7475. This excluded building a race sled full of modifications specific for X-country racing, clothing for the extreme racing environment, GPS systems, travel to Labrador, fuel, oil, spare parts (dear Lord the spare parts!), and many other expenses just to name a few. The list and price of sled modifications alone was mind numbing.
On May 2nd, 2017 we made it official by hitting the “Register Now” icon on the CQ website. With this, we were committed. Immediately after this head-first leap, an overwhelming feeling of excitement, anxiety, and even a little fear came over me. “NOW the work begins” – I was thinking. Hundreds of ideas for sled mods, sponsorship proposals, fundraisers, team clothing, Facebook pages, scheduling with work and MANY others flooded my already busy mind in the coming days. The gigantic fear of the unknown manifested into mumbling “WTF am I thinking?” to myself on, what felt like, a daily basis!
Join us this season as Dustin unpacks the experience of competing in what’s possibly one of the world’s toughest snowmobile endurance races…Cain’s Quest.