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6th time's the charm for Randy Malleck, newest champion of Cain's Quest

Randy Malleck of Sheshatshiu, left, and his son Sebastian crossed the finish line as winners of Cain's Quest on Thursday afternoon. (Darryl Dinn/CBC - image credit)
Randy Malleck of Sheshatshiu, left, and his son Sebastian crossed the finish line as winners of Cain's Quest on Thursday afternoon. (Darryl Dinn/CBC - image credit)
Randy Malleck of Sheshatshiu, left, and his son Sebastian crossed the finish line as winners of Cain's Quest on Thursday afternoon.
Randy Malleck of Sheshatshiu, left, and his son Sebastian crossed the finish line as winners of Cain's Quest on Thursday afternoon.

Randy Malleck, left, of Sheshatshiu and his son Sebastian celebrate after crossing the finish line as winners of Cain's Quest 2024. (Darryl Dinn/CBC)

Sheshatshiu's Team 99 have been crowned champions of Cain's Quest 2024.

Father and son duo Randy and Sebastian Malleck crossed the finish line on Tanya Lake in Labrador City early Thursday afternoon after 4½ days in the Labrador wilderness.

It was Randy's sixth time running the race, but the first time he's crossed the finish line.

"I love it. I'll never forget it," Randy told CBC News after crossing the finish line. "We done it!"

It's also the third time Randy has raced with Sebastian, who will split a $50,000 prize with his father.

"It feels amazing," Sebastian added.

Last Thursday, before the race began, Randy said he was nervous for this year's race because of less than ideal weather conditions and below-average snow totals. But he planned to drive as fast as he can and go for it all.

Randy's daughter, Manipia Madeleine Malleck, stood at the finish line. She said she was "really, really proud" of her father.

"I was a little girl when he first started, now I'm a grown adult. And this is a one-in-a-lifetime moment," she said.

Team 73, comprising Spencer Robinson and Kevin Willmott of Labrador City, crossed the finish line second, securing $30,000.

Randy and Sebastian Malleck cross the finish line early Thursday afternoon.
Randy and Sebastian Malleck cross the finish line early Thursday afternoon.

The Mallecks cross the finish line early Thursday afternoon. (Darryl Dinn/CBC)

Last year's event was cancelled just two days into the race, after a team that travelled from Finland went through the sea ice near Port Hope Simpson in southeastern Labrador. Poor racing conditions also altered this year's race, prompting a route change that cut out the south coast of Labrador around 18 hours before the start of the race.

Between weather conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday marks the first time a race team has crossed the Cain's Quest finish line since 2020, according to head organizer Chris Lacey.

"Team 99's been in it for a long time, and they finally got their chance to win it," Lacey said.

"It's great. It's got the most hype we've seen in a long time. So Cain's Quest is far from over."

The next Cain's Quest, scheduled for 2026, will mark the 20th anniversary of the race, which covers more than 3,000 kilometres across much of Labrador and parts of Quebec.

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