Sled Dog Races
This past weekend Copper Country was a flurry of activity as participants, spectators and volunteers attended the CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled dog races. The cold, frigid temperatures and amount of snow did not stop the enthusiasm that everyone had. Adults and children alike, bundled up to see the racers off on Friday evening and were back on the main streets of Calumet Sunday afternoon to cheer the racers on as they arrive at the finish lines.
What is the CopperDog? This dog sled race started in 2009 and usually happens on the first weekend of March. The CopperDog 150 consists of a team of 10 dogs that race 150 miles over 3 days. The CopperDog 40 has 6 dogs and goes 40 miles in one day. This year the CopperDog40 had 17 teams most from Midwest United States and one team from Canada. The CopperDog 150 consisted of 25 teams from around United States and Canada. What better place to hold this event but in the Keweenaw (Copper Country) where the average snow fall is 250 inches and this year did not fail us.
The first sled dogs resulted from cross-breeding with wolves.
The most popular dog to use is Alaskan Huskies and are known for their strength and love of pulling.
Sled dog racing has been going on for at least 100 years.
In the early years it was done as a recreation but as a job, especially in the northern regions of the globe where winter can occur for 6 months of the year.
Many of the racing routes used today were “working highways” of yesterday.
Musher comes from the French word Marcher which means to move forward.
Very few mushers use the word “mush” now, they use “hike” or “let’s go”
Pictures of the teams coming into the finish gate in Calumet.
Sources: CopperDog 150