Yesterday, instead of hooking up our dogs and going out dogsledding, we took a break and went to watch a dogsled race. The Wolf Track Classic is a 65-mile long dogsled race that starts in Ely, Minnesota. The starting area was buzzing with activity as 65 mushers and 500 sled dogs prepared for the race.
Amy and I have been working with sled dogs for many years, but we have never entered a dogsled race. Most of the sled dogs that we work with are Canadian Inuit Dogs. Canadian Inuit Dogs are big and strong, but they are slower than the Alaskan huskies—the sled dogs that are usually used in racing.
The dogs were so excited and full of energy at the start of the race. The dogsleds started the race one at a time. Every few minutes volunteers would help walk the next team to the starting line. Each dog had a volunteer assigned to walk it to the starting line. With 5 seconds to go the announcer counted down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! The musher gave the command to go and the team raced past the cheering crowd and disappeared around the first turn.
Frank Moe, who lived outside Grand Marais, Minnesota won the race. He and his 10-dog team traveled 65 miles in 16 hours and 30 seconds! Like many racers, Frank travels around to many races each winter with his sled dogs. He also spends many hours each week training with his dogs.
It was really fun to see and hear all of the excitement at the Wolf Track Classic. It is easy to see how much the sled dogs, and the mushers enjoy working together and racing.
The most famous dogsled race in the world, the Iditarod, starts in 5 days! Will you be following the Iditarod? The Iditarod is 975 miles long and lasts for more than a week!