Coreen Paul is the only woman who has ever competed in Cain’s Quest and she’s ready to get back in the driver’s seat.
Paul and her husband, Jason Paul, came in 12th in the 2012 snowmobile endurance race across Labrador.
Since then, she’s worked on a support team but is aiming to compete again in 2020.
“It’s not a men’s race, it’s anybody’s race and anything could happen,” Paul said.
Coreen Paul and her husband Jason make it to the Makkovik checkpoint in 2012. She hopes to race with him again in 2020 (Submitted by Coreen Paul)
The 2018 Cain’s Quest had 41 teams — the most ever — but no women.
In 2016, a two-woman team planned to enter the race but were derailed by an illness. To this day, Paul remains the only female to have completed the 3,200-kilometre biennial race.
“I didn’t feel intimidated, I didn’t feel pressured, I didn’t feel singled out necessarily,” Paul said.
“One lady approached me and said, ‘I was the person that said that a woman would never finish the race and you proved me wrong.’ That was a great feeling right there.”
Moving to the sidelines, Paul was a volunteer with Team Maine Racing, which included two entries this year, Team 88 and Team 22, the winner of the past two races.
“Supporting the teams over the last couple of years gave me a lot of knowledge and experience about how I need to plan and what I need to prep for,” Paul said.
“In 2012, we had a small support crew and I’m looking forward to a larger support crew.”
And while Paul is making plans with her husband to get into the 2020 race, she’s hoping other women step up to challenge as well.
“It’s time to brush up on your GPS, get some riding in, get some wrenching in, get used to a little bit of mechanical issues,” Paul said.
“Get ready for it!”