From Siberia to Sheffield for racing huskies

John Lam excersises Kate and Meisha at Endcliffe Park, Sheffield Picture by Simon Hulme
John Lam excersises Kate and Meisha at Endcliffe Park, Sheffield Picture by Simon Hulme
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SIBERIAN HUSKIES are the type of dog that need a good run - and chef John Lam is happy to oblige.

The Sheffield restaurant worker hangs up his chef’s whites and then goes for long rides in local parks on a customised scooter.

In Ecclesall and beyond he’s known as the “husky man.”

Mr Lam, 28, who works at Nonna’s on Ecclesall Road, is one of the country’s foremost husky racers and is by no means put off by the lack of snow in the area.

He trains on the customised scooter and only goes out late a night - regularly at midnight - in warmer months to ensure cooler temperatures for his two dogs.

A good run can be 12 miles-plus with the two dogs pulling him at speeds topping 20mph.

Both his Siberian huskies - Kato and Meisha - are rescue dogs.

Mr Lam says Siberian huskies are fashionable to own but few people know how to handle them so many end up abandoned.

He said: “They’re a highly intelligent dog that’s specifically bred for cold climates and working. They’re not your normal pet by any means.

“They’re very energetic and they need to be allowed to burn their excess energy off. People don’t realise what they’re taking on.”

Mr Lam takes his huskies to the annual meeting at Aviemore in Scotland and recently came 13th in his first competitive competition.

But his ultimate dream is to tackle Alaska’s annual 1,000 mile Iditarod event.

Nonna’s proprietor Maurizio Mori said: “People regularly refer to John as the ‘husky man’ in Ecclesall as they’re that used to seeing him being pulled around by his dogs.

“It’s not something you see every day in Ecclesall.

“And I’m glad to say his passion for his huskies is more than matched by his Italian cooking skills so we’d couldn’t wish for a better member of staff.”

Mr Lam’s partner Laura Coe, a waitress at Nonna’s, is also a big fan of huskies and husky racing.

She inspired her partner’s initial passion for the sport when they first met.

She has been involved with sled dogs since the age of six.