The real hero and winner of the 1917 Winnipeg to St. Paul Winter Carnival sled dog race.
Albert Campbell, a Metis musher from the area around The Pas, Manitoba. Both Albert and his brother were in the now-famous race.
Two musher brothers whose father had recently died. Their mother said to them, go win that new sled dog race to honor your father.
A Walt Disney movie, Iron Will, had the story all wrong and backward.
The best article about the race which revived interest in the subject and lead to the Iron Will extremely fictionalized movie version. Winter 1971, Minnesota History Magazine:
>Campbell was born in The Pas, Manitoba (Canada) in the family of Creek native John Campbell (1875 – 1917) and French Adeline Beauchamp (1877 – ?). He won The Pas Dog Derby in 1916, the first annual of 150 miles (240 km) long dog sled race held in his hometown as a part of Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival.
However, he became best known in 1917 for winning the Red River Derby, the Winnipeg – Saint Paul 522 miles (840 km) dog sled race, which was part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival organized by the Saint Paul Outdoor Sports Carnival Association from 27 January to 3 February 1917. His younger brother Gabriel, who also competed in the race, finished in fourth place. According to Campbell, by this success he fulfilled the last wish of his father, who died two weeks before the race started. The race gained such widespread popularity that the Canadian government was reporting the news of the Campbell brothers’ progress to the Canadian troops fighting overseas in the First World War.
More details of the race: http://www.baldwintownship.govoffice.com/index.asp?SEC=CEB9A555-A088-408D-9ED3-47D920F07453&Type=B_BASIC