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Kim Pici Takes On Race Director

We are very pleased to announce that CopperDog volunteer veteran, Kim Pici, will be taking on the role of Race Director for the 2015 CopperDog 150 event.

In its first five years, the CopperDog 150 has benefited greatly from many dedicated volunteers who have been willing to take great responsibility by serving in key leadership roles. Through the efforts of these key people, CopperDog has earned a place in the hearts and minds of many and continues to serve as inspiration to all of us.

From time to time a true gem is revealed in the ranks of people who love what the CopperDog 150 is all about. These are people who are deeply inspired by the community and the desire to show the world that we can do some really amazing things in the Keweenaw. These are the people who donate many hours of their time and make personal sacrifices to bring the CopperDog to our streets and trails. Amongst all of the amazing CopperDog 150 people, Kim Pici stands out as a true leader.

Kim Pici has been with the CopperDog 150 since 2011 where she first volunteered as a dog-handler. Since then Kim has worked or planned almost every key role within the organization, occupied a seat on the Board of Directors, and served in several race director positions. Kim has worked closely with everyone on the CopperDog’s race planning team, represented CopperDog at numerous events, and worked the public relations circuit with appearances on television and radio shows. Since 2012, Kim has aspired to gain the necessary skills and experience to serve in the role of race director.

Operating as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, CopperDog, Inc. has been working through long term sustainability strategies for the on-going success of CopperDog into the future. One key aspect to a winning strategy, is infusing the organization with fresh faces and enthusiastic newcomers. Also, the old-timers who have planned many of the past races need to make room for up and coming volunteers to take the helm and have a turn growing and developing this great event.

On Thursday, January 8, as the last item on the race planning team’s agenda, Kim Pici, was asked to assume the role of Race Director for the 2015 event. With more than a little humility she agreed to take on the role with a pledge of confidence and support from the race planning team. Kim will lead the CopperDog core planning team which includes Pam Hecht, Renee Cunningham, Doug Harrer, Abbey Green, Meredith LaBeau and Todd Brassard, as well as, have the full backing of the Board of Directors.

It’s well known within the ranks of CopperDog that Kim has wanted to take on the role of Race Director for a couple of years, but she refused to take on the role before she was ready, preferring to learn the ins and outs of the event and organization. The race is in great hands with a strong team of race planners and board members under her leadership to help plan and execute the best CopperDog 150 competition yet.

With considerable pleasure, we are happy to announce that Kim Pici has earned the right and obtained her goal of serving in the role of Race Director for the 2015 CopperDog 150!

posted on 1/20/2015 10:23 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Sports Medicine Seminar Race Weekend

The sixth annual CopperDog 150 sled-dog competition is fast approaching and will be held Friday, February 27 – Sunday, March 1. In conjunction with the 2015 competition, the CopperDog 150 will be hosting a unique opportunity for veterinarians and mushers to attend an in-depth learning session on topics pertaining to veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation. The educational seminar will be held on Thursday, February 26, 1PM – 5PM at the Irish Times in Laurium. To learn more about the seminar, write to Pam Hecht at or call Pam at 906-337-2274.

“CopperDog is not only dedicated to community vitality, we are also focused on advancing the sport of mushing with educational opportunities, usually with kids, but now we are giving back to our veterinary team and pro-mushers by providing an opportunity to learn from a master, Mike Davis, and receive continuing educational credits as part of the package”, says Todd Brassard, long-time CopperDog planner.

The seminar will be conducted by Michael Davis, a 20 year licensed veterinarian and board certified specialist in veterinary internal medicine, and a PhD in physiology from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Davis has received over $8 million in research funding to study the effects of exercise stress in animal models, particularly racing sled dogs and military explosive detection dogs. This work has resulted in detailed metabolic studies of the occult effects of stress, including mechanistic descriptions of the effects of occult stress on various organ systems.

The seminar on February 26 will be focused on (1) gastrointestinal disease, (2) hyperthermia, (3) muscle adaptations to endurance exercise, and (4) immune function in the endurance athlete. The 2015 CopperDog Veterinary Seminar is an exciting opportunity for veterinarians, mushers, and anyone interested in an in-depth exploration in veterinary sports medicine.

Participants must register by February 24.  The registration fee is $40.00 through February 15 or $60.00 after February 15.

For more information about the continuing education seminar or the CopperDog 150, please write to Pam Hecht at or call Pam at 906-337-2274.

posted on 1/20/2015 10:50 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Welcome to CopperDog!

What could possibly inspire 45 race teams, 450 of volunteers, and thousands of spectators to spend a weekend in the Keweenaw snow, working and playing together in freezing temperatures?  The CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled-dog races!

The CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 brings 50 professional and recreational teams, 440 sled dogs, and over 5,000 of fans to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula for 138 miles of sled dog racing through a pristine winter wilderness. This amazing race takes place annually the first weekend in March. Over the course of the weekend, the sled dog teams make their way from historic downtown Calumet, to the warm and welcoming community of Eagle Harbor, to the ever beautiful Copper Harbor, and then back to downtown Calumet again. Along the way, fans and volunteers cheer them on and provide friendly assistance.

The race starts on historic Fifth Street in downtown Calumet, Friday night. Thousands of fans crowd the streets as each sled dog team launches into the dark night, cheering them on. When the last team has disappeared down the trail the street party continues, taking over the town of Calumet with music, dancing, food, and drink.

Meanwhile out on the trail, volunteers are ready. For each leg of the race, hundreds of volunteers oversee the trail, record times and relay them by wireless radio network to the live webcast, and assisting mushers with road crossings.

Saturday morning, after the hospitality of the Eagle Harbor Inn and a nights rest in Eagle Harbor, the teams depart to Copper Harbor. Saturday afternoon fans, families, and volunteers welcome the teams in from the trail, and can meet the dogs and visit with mushers before the mid-race banquet that evening.

Sunday morning, after a full night's rest, the teams leave Copper Harbor and make the climb up Brockway mountain.  Teams race along the crest of the mountain until they reach the top, then turn downward and return to Calumet, where they once again travel through the town (lined with cheering fans) and cross the finish line.

It’s a fun filled weekend involving the entire community – a family party taking place on the entire peninsula. Come join us for this unique experience!

Fans are welcomed with open arms and volunteers (and more volunteers) are always needed.

posted on 10/10/2014 1:00 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Volunteer Now for the 2015 CopperDog 150!


Volunteer registration is now open or the 2015 CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled dog races this coming Feb 27 - March 1, 2015.  There are literally hundreds of shifts and positions to fill and we need your help.  Interested?  Just take a look at the 2015 Volunteer Schedule, find something that suites your liking and click sign-up for as many shifts as you want.  If you do a lot of volunteer, please watch out for overlap conflicts in your schedule.

Register a Couple, Group, Team, etc.

When you register more than just yourself for a volunteer shift, you become responsible to bring all of the people you indicated.  Kids age 14 and over are considered able bodied volunteers, but there must be at least one adult (18+) on each shift.  Kids 13 and younger are welcome to volunteer, but do not count towards the minimum number of volunteers that must be present. Volunteering is fun for the entire family, we just need to make sure that our bases or covered to provide a safe event for all.

Buggy Wuggy

Our volunteer system is a home brew and can be a little buggy from time to time.  Please let us know if this happens to you, if the system doesn't work as expect, or you just have ideas on how to improve it.  Send an e-mail to Todd Brassard with a description of the problem.  Cut and paste the error if you can.

Are You a Newbie?

Volunteering for CopperDog is ridiculously easy!  And working a shift or three CopperDog weekend is a lot of fun.  Please just thousands of people who have discovered that volunteer is the best way to experience CopperDog weekend!  And THANK YOU for the help!

posted on 12/12/2014 7:00 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog Year 5 - Looking Back

posted on 10/10/2014 1:00 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top
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