L’ANSE AU LOUP, NL – Father and son Myles and Murray O’Brien will be teaming up for their first Cain’s Quest race together.
Myles and Murray have been riding snowmobiles side by side since Murray, who is now 23, was a boy. Myles expects the father-son dynamic to work to their advantage.
“It’s not our first trip together through the country, to Goose Bay or anywhere like that,” said Myles. “Ever since we’ve been able to we’ve enjoyed snowmobiling. I think that experience will be something that holds us together.”
His son Murray agrees. With so many years of partnered snowmobiling behind them, it’s almost like Murray’s been training for this Cain’s Quest his whole life.
Murray joined the support team for his father’s previous Cain’s Quest partnership with Joe Hancock of Labrador South Racing. This gave Murray a taste of the intricate adventure of the Labrador race, and he was soon set on partaking as a racer himself.
“Being on the support team was a great experience for him,” said Myles. “They never just waited around in a truck, they went all up the north coast seeing how much is involved. It gave him a good indication of what was on the go.”
The following spring Murray asked to join his father for next year, and the pair are now going ahead under the name ‘M & M Racing.’
Joe Hancock is continuing in Cain’s Quest with his new partner, Blair Roberts. The four of them recently travelled to Churchill Falls to do some scouting and preparations for the race.
With Myles’ four previous races under his belt, Murray is thankful to have his dad’s insights.
“He’s been at it a few times before, so he knows what we have to prepare for already,” said Murray.
What keeps Myles re-enlisting is his love for the race and the lasting bonds and friendships it has created. Even if he doesn’t race in future Cain’s Quests, he still plans to be involved in some way.
“Once you do it you’re really hooked. It’s not something you can just walk away from,” Myles said. “This race is something to enjoy, you get to travel all up Labrador and see the response from each community – what the volunteers put into, what the people of each community do once you get there.”
With his son joining him this year, Myles can also rest assured that he has helped pass the sport on to the next generation as well.
The father and son now hope to continue their preparations by getting a few hundred kilometres on their new snowmobiles before the race begins in March.