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2016 CopperDog 150 Who's Registered?

2016 CopperDog 150
Professional, 10 Dog Race (10 Dog Pool), 135 Miles, 3 Stages, $31,800 Purse, Pays 1st - 10th
Registration Cap: 25 Teams
  Bib Musher Kennel/Team City, State Fin
1 Chad Grentz Frost Creek Kennel Nisula, MI
2 Tom Bauer Otter River Sled Dog... Chassell, MI
3 Larry Fortier Coyote Run Sled Dog... Gaylord, MI
4 Michael Bestgen Fugarwekennels Saint Cloud, MN
5 Jake Golton Golton Racing Kennel Bancroft, Ontario
6 Jake Golton Golton Racing Kennel Bancroft, Ontario
7 Becky Bean Hermit's Cove K-9's Laurium, MI
8 Thad McCracken Mosier Misfits Portland, OR
9 Dennis LaBoda Night Train Racing Sled... Hovland, MN
10 Frank Holmberg Holmberg Racing Sleddogs Newberry, MI
11 Chad Schouwieiler Otter Run Kennel Irma, WI
12 Amber Evans Silent Night Sled Dogs Milaca, MN
13 Joanna Oberg Run Silent Racing Kennel Ignace, Ontario
14 Dave Mills Maple Ridge Kennel Esko, MN
15 Rita Wehseler Stoney Creek Kennel Tofte, MN
16 Jerry Papke Alder Creek Kennel Kingston, MI
17 Blair Braverman Mountain Dogs Racing Mountain, WI
18 Tim Chisholm Bad Moon Rising Kennel North Branch, MN
19 Frank Moe Moetown Kennels Grand Marais, MN
20 Jerry Scdoris Oregon Trail of Dreams Bend, OR
21 Tim Curley Long Shadows Kennel Eagle Creek, OR
22 Amy Flakne Fugarwe Kennels Albertville, MN
Registered
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
Chad Grentz
Frost Creek Kennel
Nisula, MI 49952

Frost Creek Kennel is located in Nisula, MI. We currently have 18 dogs in the yard and I have been running dogs competitively for eight years and this year I ran in The IronLine in Iron River. This will be my fourth year running the CopperDog.

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "The Only Way I know" by Jason Aldean

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
Tom Bauer
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures
Chassell, MI 49916

Tom had three dogs which, because of their excess energy, killed some of his neighbor's chickens. As he was paying the neighbor for the damages, it was suggested that Tom should run the dogs and the neighbor gave him a sled. It's certainly not the usual way to start a mushing career but away he went.

Tom has run many, many races and usually finishes in the top ten. He was fourth in the first CopperDog race. His leaders this year are Luke, Fender, Frankie, Comet, Violet and Highrule! As well as running his own Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures, Tom spends time in Alaska in the summer giving sled dog rides on a glacier.

He would like to thank Heikkinen Firewood and the Super 8 Motel for their help in sponsoring his racing.

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song: "Voodoo Child" by Jimi Hendrix

Host Family: 10:40

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
Larry Fortier
Coyote Run Sled Dog Kennel
Gaylord, MI 49735

Larry Fortier got his start as a musher by helping his wife. When she became pregnant, Larry stepped in... and now they both race. Larry was the Rookie of the Year at the Bear Grease five years ago... and considers the CopperDog to be the best race of the year. His lead dogs are George and Franklin, running out of Coyote Run Sled Dogs in Gaylord, MI.

Vet Check Slot: 9:00

Starting Chute Song: "The Gael" by Dougie MacLean

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:03 AM
Michael Bestgen
Fugarwekennels
Saint Cloud, MN 56304

Michael Bestgen got his start as a musher by helping a friend. Since then, he’s competed in nearly five-dozen races... and placed second several times. This is Michael’s seventh year at the CopperDog 150. His lead dogs are Vicious and Blanche

Vet Check Slot: 11:20

Starting Chute Song: "Drunk on a Plane" by Dierks Bentley

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:01 AM
Jake Golton
Golton Racing Kennel
Bancroft, Ontario K0L-2L0

I got into mushing with my family in 1996 when I was 4. I have raced all across North America, Wyoming Stage Stop 7th, Can Am 250 8th. Chief and Sid are my lead dogs. I also enjoy hockey, hunting, and fishing.

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "The Stroke" by Billy Squier

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:01 AM
Jake Golton
Golton Racing Kennel
Bancroft, Ontario K0L-2L0

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:04 AM
Becky Bean
Hermit's Cove K-9's
Laurium, MI 49913

Several years ago I purchased a kick sled and hooked my Golden Retrievers to it. It was a fun way to exercise them and it got me more curious about mushing. I met Kelly Jo Engle of Solitaire Kennel and she enlisted me to become a handler for her. The following winter I started racing and have been completely immersed ever since. There is nothing better than human and canines working as a team to overcome any trials and tribulations.

My lead dogs are McCain and Shimone. They have the greatest personalities, always happy and willing to be in front of the team. Winter has always been my favorite season. Figure skating is my other winter hobby that I will go back to after the race season is over. A huge thank you to Kelly Jo for trusting me with her fabulous dogs and to my family for being tolerant of this "Crazy Dog Lady".

Vet Check Slot: 8:40

Starting Chute Song: "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:03 AM
Thad McCracken
Mosier Misfits
Portland, OR 97211

About 10 years ago, my wife (Colleen) got a dog while I was on a business trip. I started taking him skiing with me, and tied him to me one day when I was skiing into a wilderness area that only allowed “working dogs” to enter. He pulled real hard (to my surprise). I entered a skijoring race soon after and got last place. That led to meeting mushers and making new friends, and helping them with their teams. The rest is a familiar story. Now we own 14 dogs, and I still think that to this day we would never have gotten into this sport if my wife hadn’t adopted that dog while I was traveling. When things get stressful, I blame it all on her
In the last couple of season: I have been in quite a few races as follows:

· 1st place, 2015 Wyoming Stage Stop 8 dog class
· 1st place, 2014 and 2015 Rodeo Run 8 dog class
· 1st place, 2012 and 2013 Rodeo Run 6 dog class

Further in the past:

· Multiple Conconully 6 dog wins and one third place.
· 1st place Cascade Quest 6 dog, 75 mile race.
· 5 years ago, 26th place in Beargrease Mid-Distance (8 dog) race.

My lead dogs are Diesl, one of my first real sled dogs and constant side-kick when not in harness. Flow and Wax, for the incredible energy and power they bring to the team, Oscar, for being the class clown out of harness but all focus when it comes to work.

I also enjoy mountaineering when I have the time, building things, anything really, and working in the woods around our property.

I do not have any sponsors, but would love for my wife (Colleen Kaleda) to get a big thanks! I could not do any of this without her help.

Vet Check Slot: 10:20

Starting Chute Song: "Raise Your Glass" by Pink

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:09 AM
Dennis LaBoda
Night Train Racing Sled Dogs
Hovland, MN 55606

Dennis LaBoda was born into mushing. He has participated in too many races to count and has finished everywhere from first to last. Dennis's lead dogs are Mary, who loves to race and Felix, who keeps up with Mary.

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song: "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:12 AM
Frank Holmberg
Holmberg Racing Sleddogs
Newberry, MI 49868

Frank Holmberg says it was just bad luck that he got into mushing. Frank has been mushing and training sled dogs since 1998 in Newberry, Michigan. He also enjoys hunting and fishing. Frank’s lead dogs are Crazy, Hope and Girl... and he says all three listen well.

Vet Check Slot: 9:40

Starting Chute Song: "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:16 AM
Chad Schouwieiler
Otter Run Kennel
Irma, WI 54442

Vet Check Slot: 9:40

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:20 AM
Amber Evans
Silent Night Sled Dogs
Milaca, MN 56353

Got interested in mushing after we saw dog sled rides on the lake in Bemdji while attending college there. Many years later after pharmacy school and 4 babies, we got our first dog.

I've finished MNR, CopperDog 150, mid distance Beargrease, Apostle Islands. My lead dogs will be Lil Brown and Mia. Lil is small but smart and sweet. Mia is young and learning the ropes from Lil. Honors besides dogs, kid' activities more dogs and more kids activities....sewing.

Sponsor is Trudy Midas with Espana Silk Dog and Horse products.

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "Grace Wins" by Matthew West

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:44 AM
Joanna Oberg
Run Silent Racing Kennel
Ignace, Ontario P0T-1T0

I got into mushing when some good friends of mine gave me a my first dog sled ride and I was hooked from the moment we took off :). I have been in love with running dogs and racing ever since :). My first win was the 2012 Midnight Run, was also Rookie of the year and won Best Cared for Team Award, also placed 1st in the 2014 Voyageur Classic, and 3rd in the 2015 mid-distance Beargrease to name a few. I placed 5th at last years CopperDog and was honored to be awarded "Best Cared for Team" from the vets!"

Main Leaders will be five year old Hawk who is super fast and three year old Viva. Vader, Zarko, Echo, Vashti, Venture, and Vapor are also good back up leaders. When not running dogs I enjoy reading, writing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking with my my Irish Setter and Beauceron, and competing in dogs shows/events :).

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song: "Champion" by Beckah Shae

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:50 AM
Dave Mills
Maple Ridge Kennel
Esko, MN 55733

Vet Check Slot: 9:20

Starting Chute Song: "Hold On Tight" by Electric Light Orchestra

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 10:52 AM
Rita Wehseler
Stoney Creek Kennel
Tofte, MN 55615


I have run many races including 2 3rd place finishes in the John Beargrease Marathon. I have finished the Can-Am Crown 250 in 3rd place and 2 second place finishes. I have also won the Apostle Islands 80 twice.

My lead dogs are Ron, Quest, Asland, and Ichor.

I would like to thank my sponsors Claire Seekins and Chris Johnson.

Vet Check Slot: 11:20

Starting Chute Song: "Good Time" by Alan Jackson

Finish Position:

Registered
10/17/2015 1:32 PM
Jerry Papke
Alder Creek Kennel
Kingston, MI 48741

Jerry Papke’s first experience with dogs came while hunting as a child. He transferred that love to sled dogs... and has completed 60+ races... usually finishing in the top-10. His lead dogs are Mike and Jander. Jerry builds log homes... and enjoys shooting pool, hunting and fishing and, most importantly, being a dad to daughter Maichen. Jerry would also like to thank his wife Ali for handling for him.

Vet Check Slot: 11:00

Starting Chute Song: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem

Finish Position:

Registered
10/19/2015 10:50 AM
Blair Braverman
Mountain Dogs Racing
Mountain, WI 54149

I attended a folk school in northern Norway where, instead of normal college subjects, we learned dog sledding & reindeer herding. This will be my second CopperDog. My lead dogs are Brook and River. Brook is a sweetheart and River can be a little timid but has great focus and they love running together. Most of the time, when I'm not dog sledding, I'm working on a book about the Norwegian Arctic. Luckily I really love my job.

The sponsors that I would like to thank are Richelle Hunt, Morgan Taxidermy, Up North Processing, and Beaber Construction ,Marc Braverman. Jeff Sharlet, Kathie Bollenbach, Doug Stanhope, and my parents, Jana Kay Slater and Marc Braverman.

Vet Check Slot: 9:00

Starting Chute Song: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye

Finish Position:

Registered
11/3/2015 6:57 PM
Tim Chisholm
Bad Moon Rising Kennel
North Branch, MN 55056

I started with weight pulling first with my Chesapeakes, escalated from there when I got my first husky and sled.done a few races, kind of the middle of pack guy, especially now with 4 dogs I'll be racing are 9-1/2 years old and an eight year old. lead dogs are wiley,maverick,iceman, kayna, and mooka.i also enjoy running, swimming, downhill skiing, and hunting and fishing if time allows!

My only sponsor is WAPITI LABS. thanks guys for the mobility tablets for the DOGS!

Vet Check Slot: 10:20

Starting Chute Song: "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Finish Position:

Registered
1/21/2016 11:09 AM
Frank Moe
Moetown Kennels
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Frank Moe runs Moetown Kennels. He and his wife Sherri live in rural Hovland Minnesota with their 44 dogs, cat and a pig named Petunia. He gives a big thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors who make the CopperDog happen. He says, "We're back because you all do such a great job. I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to be out there on the runners. Thank you."

He would also like to thank their sponsors Nutri-Source Performance Dog Food which is made in Minnesota and Lake Superior Trading Post, right on the harbor in downtown Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Vet Check Slot: 9:00

Starting Chute Song: "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Finish Position:

Withdraw
10/21/2015 4:13 PM
Jerry Scdoris
Oregon Trail of Dreams
Bend, OR 97701

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

Withdraw
10/18/2015 10:58 PM
Tim Curley
Long Shadows Kennel
Eagle Creek, OR 97022

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

Withdraw
10/17/2015 11:01 AM
Amy Flakne
Fugarwe Kennels
Albertville, MN 55301

Vet Check Slot:

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

2016 CopperDog 150 Pro-Class

10 Dog Team/Pool, 137 Miles, 3 Stage, $31,800 Purse, Pays 1st - 10th

The CopperDog 150 is back for the seventh annual running of the dogs in Upper Michigan's own Keweenaw Peninsula.  Join us in one of the Midwest's newest and most inspiring adventures in the sport of mushing.

Race Dates:
February 26 - 28, 2016

Race Format:
Professional
10 Dog Team (10 Dog Pool)
137 Miles, 3 Stages
1 Night Stage / 2 Day Stages

Race Purse:
$31,800 (1st - 10th)
$9,300 First Place

Max Teams:
25

Stage 1:
Calumet to Eagle Harbor
49.7 Miles

Stage 2:
Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor
44.3 Miles

Stage 3:
Copper Harbor to Calumet
41 Miles

Experience the stunning and picturesque trails from the shores of Lake Superior, to the rolling and twisting back country, and cresting the peak of Brockway Mountain.  Enjoy the friendly people, welcoming communities, challenging trails, formidable competition, and the peace and tranquility that blossoms from the deep backcountry of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The Keweenaw Peninsula is one of the most unique geographic features of the Great Lakes region.  "Lake-effect" snow storms contribute to the average 273 inches of snow-fall each year making the CopperDog 150 the perfect choice for a late season, March race.

Pro-class race teams are invited to join the fun and pit their and their team's skills and conditioning against other word-class competitors.  The best ten times take home a piece of the $31,800 race purse. 

posted on 10/16/2015 9:17 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

2016 Race Rules

Click to view or download the 2016 Race Rules.

Note that race rules are subject to change.  If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to toddbrassard@coppercog150.com.

posted on 10/17/2015 12:00 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog 150 Champions

Know the names of past CopperDog 150 Champions as they are the teams to beat. Since there are small alterations to the race routes each year, performance is show as average miles per hour rather than overall time.

Year Musher Team State S1 S2 S3 Final
2010 Ken Josefsen Caribou Creek MI 12.43 10.51 11.11 11.16
2011 Ross Fraboni Ten Squared MN 11.76 11.45 13.26 12.04
2012 JR Anderson River Rock MN 12.42 9.76 9.96 10.66
2013 Bruce Magnusson Magnusson MI 13.25 12.08 12.93 12.73
2014 Jake Golton Golton Ontario 12.05 11.97 12.53 12.18
2015 Dennis LaBoda Hovland MN 12.21 11.29 12.17 11.89
posted on 11/16/2015 8:56 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

2016 CD150 Race Purse

CopperDog 150 Race Purse
Position 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
1st 3,000 6,000 6,000 6,200 6,300 7,000 9,300
2nd 2,000 4,500 4,500 4,800 4,800 5,000 7,100
3rd 1,200 3,500 3,500 3,600 3,600 3,800 5,200
4th 1,000 2,500 2,500 2,600 2,600 2,800 3,300
5th 800 1,500 1,500 1,800 1,800 2,000 2,000
6th 500 500 900 1,100 1,200 1,200 1,400
7th 400 450 800 900 1,100 1,100 1,100
8th 300 400 700 800 1,000 1,000 900
9th 200 350 600 700 900 900 800
10th 100 300 400 500 700 700 700
11th - - 350 - - - -
12th - - 250 - - - -
Total 9,500 20,000 22,000 23,000 24,000 25,500 31,800
posted on 10/16/2015 11:00 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog 150 - Stage 1

The CopperDog 150 is perhaps best known by spectators for its fabulous downtown start. Fifth Street in historic downtown Calumet is pumped full of energizing music through a half mile of speakers with pre-recorded musher bios and music picks. Generally 4,000 to 5,000 fans line the snow road and the energy in the air is unbelievable.

Musher's who have run the CopperDog 150 often call the Friday night stage "technical" due to the more than 25 road crossings staffed will volunteers. Lead dogs can often be spooked by the number of people present at crossings or by volunteers that are a little too energetic. 

Starting in 2014, CopperDog planners are implementing measures to reduced the stress caused on dogs at road crossings. This includes re-education of volunteers concerning "mentally stressing dogs", reducing of the number of volunteers assigned to crossings and a liberal use of snowfence at crossings.

CopperDog invested in an additional 3,000 feet of snow fence for 2014. Half of this fence will be set up at the Traprock Bridge (Crossing #90) and the remainder cut into 25 and 50 foot segments, fitted with dowels, and distributed to volunteers for use at crossings.  Because the snow fence is support by dowels at either end (and sometimes in the middle), two to three volunteers can simply hold and stretch the snow fence in and out of position as mushers come through crossings.

Stage 1 is 49.7 miles and is typically composed 100% of groomed snowmobile trails. In 2013 mushers averaged 11.4 mph to 14.6 mph to the Traprock Bridge (Marker #90) then dropped to an average of 10.5mph to 12.75mphs for the remainder of the stage.

Looking at the elevation map (see below, see Google Earth data), mushers will see an initial drop in elevation between Calumet and Traprock, than 25 miles of relatively flat ground, followed by some good climbs to get over the hump into the Eagle Harbor Checkpoint.

Despite the high number of crossing, Stage 1 has been reported to be an exciting night run on well maintained snowmobile trails with friendly volunteers cheering teams forward. The Eagle Harbor Inn will have hot chili simmering on the stove and pulled pork sandwiches ready to serve. 

posted on by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog 150 - Stage 2

Where stage 1 out of the downtown Calumet provides fans with a healthy dose of excitement and energy, the Eagle Harbor checkpoint stands in stark relief; a small, remote and quiet community that quadruples in population as mushers and dogs bed down before moving north towards Copper Harbor on Saturday morning.

Dog trucks will fill every nook and cranny of Eagle Harbor and many mushers will sleep in their rigs. About four blocks from the start is the Community Center which will be dry and warm and offers a hard floor to sleep on, so bring your sleeping pads and bags if you would rather not sleep in your truck. Mushers can enjoy a hot breakfast at the Eagle Harbor Inn who puts out an early breakfast buffet.

The Eagle Harbor checkpoint is stage racing at its simplest. Race officials start early Saturday morning locating all of the teams, drawing maps, and lining up handlers to help dog teams back to the starting line. Teams depart in reverse order (slowest to fastest) which means lots of passing action for mushers and excitement for volunteers as teams come through crossings back to back.

Stage 2 is 44.3 miles, mostly snowmobile trail, but with some "back country" trail where conditions are more unpredictable. The backcountry trail is often in excellent condition, but at times has been punchy or deep requiring teams to break trail. In 2013, speeds varied from 8.6 to 13.4 mph with an average between 10 and 11 mph.

The "police tower" has been removed as of 2014 and the milage made up with a loop around Hoar Lake. The police tower trail was very difficult for the race organization to groom and maintain and presented a very challenging climb and slow progress late in stage 2. Hoar Lake is intended to be better groomed and a little less aggressive. Weather conditions will play a huge impact on the condition of this section of trail.

Mushers will see the fewest volunteers of the weekend over stage 2. With only a handful of road crossings, mushers will enjoy some quality time with their dogs on the trail. Arriving in Copper Harbor mushers have a mandatory vet check. Teams are checked in the order they arrive.

Copper Harbor is a wonderful place for teams to enjoy an extended layover leaving lots of time to have dinners and drinks at The Pines Resort, The Tamarack Inn Restaurant and The Mariner North

posted on by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog 150 - Stage 3

Thanks to the long layover between stages 2 and 3, mushers, their dog teams, the volunteers, just everyone comes into Sunday with renewed energy and focus. Each year the Copper Harbor restart gets better and better with the community shutting a major highway (US41) to enable mushers to launch out of Copper Harbor right from downtown. Our MC is back for the stage 3 start announcing teams as they enter the starting chute.

The Pines Resort and the Tamarack Inn Restaurant are well renowned for offering the best breakfasts in our region and they open very early between 5:30 and 6:00AM to ensure mushers, handlers, race officials, vets and volunteers have an opportunity for a morning cup of coffee and a hot meal before heading out into the cold.

Stage 3 is 41 miles, mostly thorofare snowmobile trail except for a few locations where we take teams off the beaten path for a little background adventure. In the early years, this short sections of backcountry could be pretty tough, but heavier grooming has reduced the difficulty of these sections of trail in recent years.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of stage 3 is the climb from Copper Harbor to the top of Brockway Mountain, about 600' over 4 miles of trail (see stage 3 elevation map). Mushers have reportedly loved this climb because its not only an amazing feeling to finally reach the summit and make the turn down the backside of the mountain, but its a perfect use of the dogs unbridled enthusiasm coming fresh out of Copper Harbor.

Once teams are over Brockway and through the back country that follows, its pretty much a straight shot down Trail 3 back to downtown Calumet where cheering spectators are welcoming teams home.  Teams average between 8.5 and 12.9 mph climbing brockway, right round 10.5 mph through the country and finally between 10 and 12 mph for the remainder of the stage.

The reverse start out of Copper Harbor tends to pack teams together bringing almost all of the competitors into downtown Calumet within an hour. The spectators are very excited to experience teams coming in back to back. Each year has drawn more spectators to the downtown finish. 

posted on by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top
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