2016 CopperDog 150
Professional, 10 Dog Race (10 Dog Pool), 135 Miles, 3 Stages, $31,800 Purse, Pays 1st - 10th
Registration Cap: 25 Teams
||Night Train Racing Sled...
||Otter Run Kennel
||Grand Marais, MN
||Holmberg Racing Sleddogs
||Stoney Creek Kennel
||Run Silent Racing Kennel
||Coyote Run Sled Dog...
||Wolf Ridge Kennel
||Otter River Sled Dog...
||Alder Creek Kennel
||Frost Creek Kennel
||Saint Cloud, MN
||Silent Night Sled Dogs
||Hermit's Cove K-9s
||Maple Ridge Kennel
||Mountain Dogs Racing
||Bad Moon Rising Kennel
||North Branch, MN
||Oregon Trail of Dreams
||Long Shadows Kennel
||Eagle Creek, OR
10/17/2015 10:09 AM
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, One of his first place wins was the Copper Dog 150 last year. Dennis's lead dogs are Mary, who loves to race and Felix, who keeps up with Mary.
Starting Chute Song: "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC
10/17/2015 10:16 AM
Otter Run Kennel
Irma, WI 54442
I've been intrigued with sled dogs ever since a trip to Alaska with my parents at age 15. I even brought a husky pup home with me that summer from North Pole, AK. The sled dog path was short as I went to college, married, had 4 kids and a job.... BUT over 30 years later brought me back on the runners and now it's been 13 years of working together with son Chad with a small kennel of Alaskan Huskies. Some say that the most valuable legacy we can pass on: not money, houses or heirlooms but a capacity for wonder and gratitude, a sense of aliveness and joy. That sounds like a dogsled team and grandchildren! How blessed, there's both in my journey.
Starting Chute Song: "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent
1/21/2016 11:09 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
10/17/2015 10:01 AM
L'Amable, 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.
Starting Chute Song: "The Stroke" by Billy Squier
10/17/2015 10:12 AM
Holmberg Racing Sleddogs
Newberry, MI 49868
This is Frank's 4th CopperdDog. He finished 5th and 4th and scratched once. Frank has been racing since winter of '98/'99. He currently has 34 dogs in his kennel. The leaders for this race are Ferret, Cosmos, and Celeste, team dogs are Nimbus, Eclipse, Legs, Heathen, Pocus, Frost, and Ruckus.
The team is sponsored by Oswald's Bear Ranch in Newberry, Hillary S. Newby DDS of Newberry and Sacred Heart Religious Goods of Marquette. Frank is looking forward to seeing the wonderful scenery of the Copper Country by dog team.
Starting Chute Song: "We Are Here to Make Some Noise" by Armin van Buuren
10/17/2015 10:52 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Good Time" by Alan Jackson
10/17/2015 10:44 AM
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 :).
Starting Chute Song: "Champion" by Beckah Shae
10/17/2015 10:01 AM
Bancroft, Ontario K0L-2L0
I grew up in a mushing family and enjoy every minute I can spend with the dogs. Other races are Wyoming Stage stop 5th place, The Pas 3rd place, and IronLine 3rd place.
My lead dogs will be Twixi and Laura - these dogs are just all around great to work with. Other hobbies are hunting, fishing, and water sports.
Starting Chute Song: "My House" by Flo Rida
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "The Gael" by Dougie MacLean
10/17/2015 10:03 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Raise Your Glass" by Pink
2/16/2016 4:21 PM
Wolf Ridge Kennel
Ray, MN 56669
I started racing dogs in 1989. I have raced in many races with numerous wins and top 3 finishes.
I'm looking forward to running a new race.
Starting Chute Song: "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Dogs" by Pink Floyd
10/17/2015 1:32 PM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
10/17/2015 10:00 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "The Only Way I know" by Jason Aldean
10/17/2015 10:03 AM
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
Starting Chute Song: "Drunk on a Plane" by Dierks Bentley
10/17/2015 10:20 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Grace Wins" by Matthew West
10/17/2015 10:04 AM
Hermit's Cove K-9s
Laurium, MI 49913
This is my 3rd year racing dogs and i enjoy learning something about the dogs or myself everyday. I have always had a love of dogs. Dreamed of having a bunch and now I sure do.
I am an RN at Aspirus Keweenaw Intensive Care Unit for the past 17 years. I am married with 4 kids. Am very grateful for a family that tolerates my crazy dog lady habits.
I would like to thank my parents for encouraging me to try new things. All the years they spent at the ice rink while I Figure Skated and now I chose yet another winter sport for them to watch.
Starting Chute Song: "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson
10/17/2015 10:50 AM
Maple Ridge Kennel
Esko, MN 55733
I have been running dogs for Maple Ridge kennel the last 7 years. My goal is to have 10 dogs crossing the finish line with me. The Copper Dog has the best volunteers and makes it an enjoyable race to run. Thanks in advance.
Starting Chute Song: "Hold On Tight" by Electric Light Orchestra
10/19/2015 10:50 AM
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.
Starting Chute Song: "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall
11/3/2015 6:57 PM
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!
Starting Chute Song: "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
2/22/2016 12:30 PM
Etna, WY 83118
Dylan Harris hails from Etna, WY and is running a team from Magnusson Racing. He first became interested in dog sledding as a junior musher in the Wyoming Stage Stop. From there he worked for a year at the World Champion Streeper Kennels.
Dylan has completed in the Canicross, took 3rd place in the Canadian Open 10-dog race and most recently completed the 6-dog Jack McPhail race in The Pas.
Starting Chute Song: "The Nights" by Avicii
10/21/2015 4:13 PM
Oregon Trail of Dreams
Bend, OR 97701
10/18/2015 10:58 PM
Long Shadows Kennel
Eagle Creek, OR 97022
10/17/2015 11:01 AM
Albertville, MN 55301
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.
February 26 - 28, 2016
10 Dog Team (10 Dog Pool)
137 Miles, 3 Stages
1 Night Stage / 2 Day Stages
$31,800 (1st - 10th)
$9,300 First Place
Calumet to Eagle Harbor
Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor
Copper Harbor to Calumet
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
|CopperDog 150 Race Purse
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.
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.
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.