4 dog teams rescued from blizzard during race

Nunavik's Ivakkak dog team race began on Monday from Kuujjuaraapik, Que., but a storm slowed down some teams on the first leg of the journey to Umiujaq.

Nunavik's Ivakkak race to resume Thursday morning

A team races in the 2013 Ivakkak sled dog race in Nunavik on Tuesday. (Pierre Dunnigan/Makivik Corporation)

A blizzard slowed dog teams in the annual Ivakkak dog team race in northern Quebec this week on their way to Umiujaq.

Fifteen teams began the 600-kilometre race on Monday that stretches from Kuujjuaraapik, Que., to the finish line in Puvirnituq.

Timekeeper Johnny Oovaut said four dog teams had to be rescued Tuesday.

"The dog team owners are just fine; the dogs might have been affected slightly," he said in Inuktitut. "The weather was bad. Even the person on a snowmobile who went to get them passed Umiujaq as he could not see the community."

All of the teams are carrying SPOT GPS trackers, which helped officials quickly find the teams needing assistance.

The last few teams eventually made it to Umiujaq after midnight.

Allen Gordon of Kuujjuaq is still leading but not far behind him is Peter Ittukalak of Puvirnituq in second place, and Willie Cain Jr. of Tasiujaq in third.

The race will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday, weather permitting.