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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
posted on 10/12/2014 11:20 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

2015 CopperDog 150 Who's Registered?

2015 CopperDog 150 Professional
Professional, 10 Dog Race (10 Dog Pool), 135 Miles, 3 Stages, $25,500 Purse, Pays 1st - 10th
Registration Cap: 32 Teams
  Bib Musher Kennel/Team City, State Fin
1 Chad Grentz Frost Creek Kennel Nisula, MI
2 JR Anderson River Rock Kennel Cook, MN
3 Amber Evans Silent Night Sled Dogs Milaca, MN
4 Becky Bean Kelly Jo's Solitaire Laurium, MI
5 Larry Fortier Coyote Run Sled Dog... Gaylord, MI
6 Tom Roig Valley Road Outfitters Shreve, OH
7 Bruce Magnusson Magnusson Racing Novi, MI
8 Bruce Magnusson Magnusson Racing Novi, MI
9 Richard MacAuley ThunderRidge Kennel West Branch, MI
10 Richard MacAuley ThunderRidge Kennel West Branch, MI
11 Tom Bauer Otter River Sled Dog... Chassell, MI
12 Jay Malchow Spirit Wind Kennel Bemidji, MN
13 Jake Golton Golton Kennels L'Amable, Ontario
14 Jerry Bath Bath Racing Kennel Lander, WY
15 Michael Bestgen Fugarwekennels St. Cloud, MN
16 Leanne Bergen Gone to the Dogs Sioux Lookout, Ontario
17 Dennis LaBoda Night Train Racing Sled... Hovland, MN
18 Dennis LaBoda Night Train Racing Sled... Hovland, MN
19 Frank Holmberg Holmberg Racing Sleddogs Newberry, MI
20 David Gordon Maple Ridge Kennel Duluth, MN
21 Matt Sturmer Deepwoods Husky Dogs Bruce Crossing, MI
22 Joanna Oberg Run Silent Racing Kennel Ignace, Ontario
23 Kris Sampson Chocpaw Expeditions South River, Ontario
24 Dave Turner Southeastern Sled Dogs Sandy, OR
25 Roy Smith Adirondack Kennel Racing... Lacona, NY
26 Darlene Walch Little Bear Kennel Gwinn, MI
27 Brian Kandler Mason, MI

2015 CopperDog 150 Professional

135 Mile, 10 Dog, 3 Stage, $25,500 Purse, Award 1st - 10th

The CopperDog 150 is back for the sixth 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 27 - March 1, 2015

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

Race Purse:
$25,500 (1st - 10th)
$7,000 First Place

Max Teams:
32

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 $25,500 race purse. 

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

2015 CD150 Race Purse

We are pleased to announce about a 6% increase in the 2015 CopperDog 150 race purse over the 2014 race.

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