Registration for the 2016 CopperDog races will open on Saturday, October 17 at 10:00AM. We are looking forward to another exciting season of sled-dog competition and hope you will join us!
Please note that registration was original scheduled to open on Saturday, September 26, but this date was in conflict with the 2015 Midwest Sled Dog Symposium and Iditarod Teacher's Conference in Curtis, MI in which CopperDog will be participating.
Full details regarding this year's events will be available online by Monday, September 28. Thank you for your interest in the CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 80. We hope to see you at this year's event.
With each passing year we have been amazed at the overwhelming support and loyalty from CopperDog mushers, volunteers, sponsors and spectators. Together, we have grown CopperDog from a simple idea to an amazing, world-class celebration that brings joy to the hearts of so many in the cold of winter. We are truly blessed to have so many diverse people and organizations committed to the vitality of our small communities in and around Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Thank you for sharing your love of mushing with us and being an inspiration to everyone who loves CopperDog.
CopperDog is back for its 7th Annual season of sled-dog competition. This year’s event will be held on Friday, February 26 through Sunday, February 28. We will be offering two events, our traditional 10-dog, 3-day, 134-mile, CopperDog 150 and an expanded 6-dog, 2-day, 77-mile CopperDog 80.
There are several noteworthy changes to the 10-dog, CopperDog 150 in 2016: (1) the registration fee has been increased from $350 to $375, (2) the goal for the number of competing teams has been reduced from 30 to 25, and (3) the purse has been increased from $25,500 to $31, 800, an increase of $6,300 or 25% over 2015.
Friday, February 26 – Saturday, February 28 (Friday is a night run)
Professional (mushers must be qualified for the event, see race rules)
10 Dog Team / 10 Dog Pool
3 Days / 3 Stages / 135 Miles
Stage 1: Calumet to Eagle Harbor (49 miles, night run)
Stage 2: Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor (44 miles or less)
Stage 3: Copper Harbor to Calumet (41 miles or less)
Registration fee $375 (registration deadline February 23, 11:59PM)
CopperDog 150 Race Purse
Based on feedback from mushers, CopperDog is offering 6-dog teams a two-stage competition. The CopperDog 80 is a 77 mile race that will take place in two stages. The first stage (42 miles) begins Friday night, downtown Calumet to Eagle River. The second stage (37 miles) begins on Sunday in Copper Harbor ending in downtown Calumet.
Friday, February 26 and Sunday, February 28
Recreational (no prerequisites)
6 Dog Team (no pool)
2 Days / 2 Stages / 77 Miles
Stage 1: Calumet to Eagle Harbor (42 miles, night run)
Stage 2: Copper Harbor to Calumet (37 miles or less)
To all of the volunteers who came together to make the sixth annual CopperDog 150 an extraordinary event. We could not have asked for better weather and the level and quality of participation and support from everyone was simply amazing.
Mushers reported at the wrap up "Musher's Meeting" (a time for mushers to come together to give feedback to the race) that our volunteers are the best in racing. All of the mushers were especially thankful and appreciative of how volunteers were so quiet and still at trail crossings and the cheering encouraging them forward as they moved away. Perfect execution!
Everyone, please mark your calendar for the 2016 race! We hope everyone will come out for more CopperDog fun!
Planning a little further into the future... here are race dates through 2020:
2015: February 27 — March 1
2016: February 26 — 28
2017: March 3 — 5
2018: March 2 — 4
2019: March 1 — 3
2020: February 28 — March 1
If you have been bitten by the CopperDog bug, get more involved -- WE NEED YOU! The CopperDog 150 is looking for the next generation of amazing people to carry the CopperDog 150 into the future with fresh ideas, please contact us! (email@example.com
If you were unable to attend the CopperDog Community Appreciation this past Friday you missed the opportunity to be a judge in the third annual Volunteer Photograph contest!
All of our volunteers were urged to submit their very “best” photos, that they felt captured the essence of CopperDog.
While many photos were submitted, it appears that our volunteers love one the sled dogs and their volunteers! The best photo was of our favorite four-legged athletes as they prepare to start racing!
Tina Kubas won for best photo.Her photo exhibits how CopperDog athletes love racing each day! (shown below).
Joe Hall submitted two photos winning both 2nd and 3rd place that accurately captures the dogs during the race ... “I just love racing with my team”! Both Tina and Joe won a free CopperDog shirt.
Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all the volunteers who submitted some great shots. Keep practicing those photo skills and you may get that winning shot next year!
The ballroom was filled for the annual Community Appreciation Night. The evening featured a 30 minute 2015 highlights video followed by snacks and refreshments provided by Aspirus Keweenaw, our Official Volunteer Sponsor. Below is a clip from last night's show. Stay tune for more great videos from 2015.
The 2015 CopperDog 150 was a smashing success thanks to a community boiling over with dedicated volunteers. If you are one of the volunteers who had an amazing experience race weekend and you have some great photos to prove it, here is your chance to convert great photos into free official CopperDog merchandise!
Enter your photos into the 2015 Best Volunteer Photos contest! Each volunteer can submit up to three photos from race weekend. Please only submit the photos you love the most. All of the photos submitted will be judged and the best three photos will be selected as the winners.
Winners will each receive a full piece of merchandise of their choice and their photos will be posted along with their story on the CopperDog website and Facebook page. Don't wait, submit email your photos now to firstname.lastname@example.org. The entry deadline is April 15, 2015, do don't delay submit today!
The sixth annual CopperDog 150 is a wrap. Despite the chill air (perfect for the dog teams) spectators piled on to historic Fifth Street in downtown Calumet on Friday evening to witness the inspired dedication of 41 race teams to the traditional sport of mushing. The energy and enthusiasm of the fans, the smell of food in the air, the beat of the music and the yipping of the dogs all added up to a wonderful atmosphere that pleased and delighted.
The race organization is always concern that our volunteers are going to begin to lose interest, "been there, done that!" and all that, but in 2015 nothing could be further from the truth. CopperDog had an amazing turnout in 2015, we scores of returning volunteers and many first-time volunteers. And whats more, CopperDog volunteers "got skill"... and they showed it as the execute every aspect of race weekend with profession and courtesy. Its official, CopperDog has the best volunteers in the sport!
Introducing the first annual Copper Island Pond Hockey Tournament! The tournament will take place on Saturday, February 28 (3:30PM) and on Sunday, March 1 (11:00AM) at Agassiz Park near downtown Calumet.
The tournament is three on three competition. Prize money goes to the best three teams: $125.00 for first, $75.00 for second, and $50 for third. Registration fee is $5 per person. To register or for more information contact Jerry at 906-370-9110 or Scott at 608-669-0693.
Open Skate on Saturday
Don't forget about open skating on the Pond Rink on Saturday, March 1. Get your hand stamped for a free Taco at Carmalitas for kids 12 and under and $2 off a cheese quesadilla for adults.
Agassiz Park Ice Rink Sponsors & Volunteers
We would like to express our gratitude to the following organizations for making the Agassiz Park Ice Rink happen this year:
The 6th Annual CopperDog 150/40 sled dog races are quickly approaching and we are preparing to host another successful race.
Safety has always been our organizations top priority- for the dogs, for the mushers, for the community, and for our army of volunteers that it takes to put on this event.
This coming Saturday, February 21st, we will once again host our All Volunteer Training session. CopperDog has heard a large amount feedback in the past from those mushers who have run our race; they tell us we are one of the few races that actually train our volunteers.
Please join us at the Calumet High School this coming Saturday from 11:00am until 1:00pm.
You will hear from many of the organizers of the race, be able to ask questions, and will get a chance to actually assist with the handling of a sled dog team. This being one of the more physical jobs, we suggest you attend the training if you have never volunteered for this position. It’s a lot of fun but these dogs are strong!
We look forward to seeing you this Saturday! Thanks again to all our volunteers- we couldn’t do it without your hard work and dedication.
The CopperDog 150 is pleased to announce an increase in the sport class CD40 purse. The board has voted to extend the number of mushers in the race to welcome all interested mushers on the waiting list. With this change, we have also added additional money in the purse and increased the payout to 6th place. The new purse is as follows:
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!
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 email@example.com 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.
For more information about the continuing education seminar or the CopperDog 150, please write to Pam Hecht at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Pam at 906-337-2274.
by Lesley DuTemple, Todd Brassard ; Friday, October 10, 2014
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.
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.
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!