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2018 CopperDog 80 Results

The ninth annual CopperDog 80 boasted its largest field with 19 teams entering the race. Tristan Rivest won the event with a strong showing in only his second CopperDog appearance. One of our frequent participants, Alex LaPlante, finished with an impressive second place. Erin Becker placed third in her second CopperDog not far off the pace. We welcomed some new teams to the field this year and are looking forward to their return next year.

Place Musher Bib Time mph Appearances Wins
1 Tristan Rivest 31 6:39:44 12.05 2 1
2 Alex LaPlante 18 6:54:40 11.62 7  
3 Erin Becker 23 7:09:53 11.21 2  
4 Liz van den Toorn 20 7:11:35 11.16 1  
5 Jerry Trudell 26 7:12:08 11.15 7 1
6 Laura Bontrager 21 7:14:21 11.09 1  
7 Kelsey Beaber 30 7:27:56 10.76 2  
8 Susan Serafini 24 7:29:17 10.72 5  
9 Frank Caldwell 34 7:30:47 10.69 1  
10 Geri Minard 19 7:49:38 10.26 8
11 Amber Evans 29 7:51:48 10.21 8  
12 Brian Kandler 33 7:56:43 10.11 3  
13 Adam Schmidt 32 9:11:18 8.74 2  
14 Marcus Benjamin 36 9:47:48 8.20 1  
15 Tim Chisholm 28 11:02:48 7.27 4  
DNF Gerhardt Thiart 22     2  
DNF Becky Bean 25     5  
DNF Hanna Tiura 27     1  
DNF Kelly Jo Engle 35     4  
posted on 3/8/2018 1:22 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

2018 CopperDog 80 Who's Registered?

2018 CopperDog 80
Competition, 6 Dog Race (7 Dog Pool), 77 Miles, 2 Stages, $3,250 Purse, Pays 1st - 5th
Registration Cap: 18 Teams
  Bib Musher Kennel/Team City, State Fin
1 26 Jerry Trudell ...Sharks Came Racing Calumet, MI
2 25 Becky Bean Hermit's Cove K-9s Gay, MI
3 18 Alex LaPlante Maple Ridge Kennel Esko, MN
4 19 Geri Minard Silver Creek Kennel Newberry, MI
5 23 Erin Becker Prairie Winds Racing Little Falls, MN
6 24 Susan Serafini Two Hearted Racing... Hancock, MI
7 20 Liz van den Toorn Magnusson Racing Cheboygan, MI
8 22 Gerhardt Thiart Magnusson Racing Manchester, MI
9 21 Laura Bontrager Magnusson Racing Cheboygan, MI
10 27 Hanna Tiura Team Upland Racing Calumet, MI
11 28 Tim Chisholm Bad Moon Rising Kennel North Branch, MN
12 29 Amber Evans Silent Night Sled Dogs Milaca, MN
13 35 Kelly Jo Engle Kelly Jo's Solitaire... Atlantic Mine, MI
14 34 Frank Caldwell Team Caldwell Newberry, MI
15 30 Kelsey Beaber Flying K Kennel Mountain, WI
16 36 Marcus Benjamin Flying K Kennel Mountain, WI
17 33 Brian Kandler Kandler Racing Mason, MI
18 31 Tristan Rivest Rivest Kennel Saint-Zénon, Québec
19 32 Adam Schmidt Otter River Sled Dog... Kaukauna, WI
20 Ryan Beaber Flying K Kennel Mountain, WI

Registered
11/18/2017 10:09 AM
Jerry Trudell
...Sharks Came Racing
Calumet, MI 49913

Jerry and his wife Pat are transplanted southerners now residing in Calumet. They were introduced to the sport of mushing in 2006 through a chance meeting with local musher Truman Obermeyer. After a couple of years handling and running retiring dogs they caught the virus BIG TIME and began building their own kennel. They currently have 15 runners and one retiree. His lead dogs are Kashi and Kellogs.

Jerry has attended every CopperDog and his favorite memories are the enthusiasm of all the people involved in the race. When asked about what he likes about CopperDog, Jerry's response was "the outpouring of community support."

Vet Check Slot: 8:40

Starting Chute Song: "Dog Days are Over", Florence and the Machine

Finish Position:

Registered
11/18/2017 11:12 AM
Becky Bean
Hermit's Cove K-9s
Gay, MI 49913

Becky Bean is returning for her fifth CopperDog! Becky runs Hermit’s Cove K-9s in Gay, Michigan. Her kennel currently has 28 dogs, five ducks, four cats, and four rabbits. One more type of animal and we’ll rename it Hermit’s Cove Zoo!

Becky got into mushing by handling for Kelly Jo Engle during the 2012-13 race season. She ran a small team of dogs that spring and was in awe of their working ability and dedication. After that she was hooked and immediately wanted to start racing!

Beckys favorite CopperDog memory is being out in the back country in Copper Harbor and seeing eagle wing prints on the snow. She enjoys the energy and support the race receives from our small community. It’s exciting to have a race of this caliber in her backyard!

Becky's lead dogs this year are True Grit and Driver. She would like to give a huge thank you to Geoff, Nathan, and Annalise. She’s always grateful to her family for tolerating and supporting her mushing madness. "They sacrifice many things, allowing me to chase a dream, or at least dog butts down the trail. Mush Love!!!"

Vet Check Slot: 11:00

Starting Chute Song: "Old Time Rock & Roll", Bob Seger

Finish Position:

Registered
11/18/2017 2:57 PM
Alex LaPlante
Maple Ridge Kennel
Esko, MN 55733

Alex became involved in mushing when she started volunteering at the Beargrease. She and her husband, Dave, have approximately 50 dogs in their kennel. Her lead dogs are Monax, Lettie, and Charlie.

Her favorite memory of CopperDog was going down the chute a few years ago when then music was really loud!

Alex is the proud mom of two teenage boys who are "awesome." Her husband is her handler and "he is the best."

When asked what she doesn't like about CopperDog, her answer is pasties! But, "seriously though, this is a great race."

Vet Check Slot: 11:00

Starting Chute Song: "Let's Go Crazy", Prince

Finish Position:

Registered
11/18/2017 10:37 PM
Geri Minard
Silver Creek Kennel
Newberry, MI 49868

Geri got involved in mushing after going on a sled dog trip in Bayfield, WI, she then handeled for a musher for a year and was hooked. She has 13 dogs in her kennel and her leads are Maxine, Quill, Snoopy, and Pepper.

Her favorite memory of CopperDog, besides winning the CD80 in 2017, is the view from Brockway Mountain. When asked about what she likes about CopperDog her reply was, "the race format, emphasis on dog safety, the people on the race committee."

In addition to mushing, she is also an avid runner and runs the trails year round.

Geri would like to thank the following sponsors: Forest Insurance Center, Dr. Hilary Newby, Joe & Bonnie Bennett, Jay & Loretta Holnagel, David & Joan Coven, Mr. & Mrs. Bernard Bak, Superior Health & Wellness, Ron & Carolyn Ford, Angel Hardy, Robert Robinson, and Mike & Markeeta Mäki.

Vet Check Slot: 10:20

Starting Chute Song: "State of My Head", Shinedown

Finish Position:

Registered
11/18/2017 11:56 PM
Erin Becker
Prairie Winds Racing
Little Falls, MN 56345

Erin started mushing at nine years old after eating some Oreos and milk with her grandpa and reading the National Geographic article on Susan Butcher. After that it just kind of snowballed from "I want a puppy" to racing! She has 20 dogs in her kennel and her lead dogs are Zephyr, Rue, and Penny.

This will be her second year of racing at CopperDog. She handled for Becky Bean in 2016 and fell in love with the race. She ran the 150 last year and is back for some more this year!

Her favorite memory was her main leader, Zephyr, single leading the last 17 miles into the finish last year. She "didn't think the wild child had it in him."

Erin said she "loves the community involvement and the excitement of the spectators. Add in absolutely beautiful trails and it's just an awesome weekend of mushing."

Vet Check Slot: 11:00

Starting Chute Song: "Shut Up and Dance", Walk the Moon

Finish Position:

Registered
11/19/2017 12:03 PM
Susan Serafini
Two Hearted Racing Kennel
Hancock, MI 49930

This years CopperDog will be Susan's fifth year racing. When she hasn't raced, she's volunteered. She got involved in mushing after Walt Babcock introduced her to skijoring.

Susan's favorite memory of CopperDog was last years finish in downtown Calumet as her dogs ran very well that day. Her lead dogs are Lily and Grace.

She loves the way the community comes together to put on this "AWESOME" event.

Vet Check Slot: 8:40

Starting Chute Song: "Pumpin Blood", NoNoNo

Finish Position:

Registered
11/19/2017 6:52 PM
Liz van den Toorn
Magnusson Racing
Cheboygan, MI 49721

Elizabeth "Liz" van den Toorn is running her first CopperDog 80. She will be running dogs from the Magnusson Racing Kennel. Liz chased the romanticism of mushing and found Bruce's kennel on SledDog Central.

Liz is looking forward to experiencing all the great stories she’s heard about CopperDog firsthand. Her lead dogs are Penny and Pence. We look forward to watching Liz run her first CD80.

Vet Check Slot: 9:20

Starting Chute Song: "Life is Better with You", Michael Franti

Finish Position:

Registered
11/19/2017 6:52 PM
Gerhardt Thiart
Magnusson Racing
Manchester, MI 48158

Gerhardt Thiart is running his third CopperDog. He ran the CD35 in 2011 and the CD150 in 2012. Gerhardt is a handler for Bruce Magnusson at Magnusson Racing Kennel, and along with two other CD80 mushers will be running dogs from the Magnusson Kennel.

Gerhardt is from South Africa and got into sled dogs by watching Iditarod DVDs when he was living in Cape Town, South Africa.

Gerhardt's favorite memory of CopperDog is that the race had the South African flag hanging at the start chute. We’re honored to have Gerhardt back and will have his flag displayed again this year. Gerhardts lead dogs are Packwa and Falla.

Vet Check Slot: 9:20

Starting Chute Song: "Beauty inthe World", Macy Gray

Finish Position:

Registered
11/19/2017 6:52 PM
Laura Bontrager
Magnusson Racing
Cheboygan, MI 49721

Laura Bontrager is running her first CopperDog 80! Laura is running dogs from Magnusson Racing Kennel. Her favorite memory of the CopperDog is being at the Copper Harbor checkpoint last year and mentioning to Bruce and Monica that she would be available to handle for them, and now she has the best job in the world.

Laura got into mushing as a six year old being mentored by Bob and Jan Shaw and she was lucky enough to run their dogs throughout school. Their passion for the sport and love for dogs rubbed off on her early and she’s been hooked ever since.

Laura likes the community support that surrounds the CopperDog, as well as the downtown Calumet start. Her lead dogs are Smoke and Yona.

She would also like to thank Magnusson Racing and Jan Shaw for all their support!

Vet Check Slot: 9:20

Starting Chute Song: "Sweet Caroline", Neil Diamond

Finish Position:

Registered
12/12/2017 2:41 PM
Hanna Tiura
Team Upland Racing
Calumet, MI 49913

Hanna is our second-youngest musher this year at 14 years old! It will be her first year mushing in the CopperDog! She got into the sport from her Father, Brian Tiura, who was the first CopperDog director.

Her kennel has 10 dogs and her lead dogs are Lara and Juneau. Her favorite memory of CopperDog, thus far, was handling for Frank Moe.

Vet Check Slot: 8:40

Starting Chute Song: "Move", Toby Mac

Finish Position:

Registered
2/4/2018 9:23 PM
Tim Chisholm
Bad Moon Rising Kennel
North Branch, MN 55056

Tim and his wife, Nancy, run Bad Moon Kennel in North Branch, Minnesota. His kennel currently has 12 Huskies and one Cheasapeake house dog. His lead dogs are Mooka and Anna. This will be his fourth time attending CopperDog.

Tim has several funny stories from his years of mushing, including training his dogs while he rode a bicycle.

He would like to thank everyone for helping him out last year, especially the fellow musher who saved his team at the beginning of the race. His favorite memories of CopperDog are the people, the atmosphere, and the party in Copper Harbor.

Tim indicated the CopperDog is the funnest race he's ever been to, "the volunteers will do anything for you except run a team, but, if asked, I suppose they would run a team too!"

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

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

Finish Position:

Registered
2/5/2018 8:32 AM
Amber Evans
Silent Night Sled Dogs
Milaca, MN 56353

Amber became involved in mushing after she went to watch a race in college. Her kennel has 20 dogs and her leads are Yokel and Lefty.

Her favorite memory of CopperDog is the time with her husband, kids and dogs, especially in Copper Harbor. She very much likes the trails and community support of the race.

Amber's Dad passed away in November and she has been training this season with a broken heart. When she told her kids she may not run CopperDog this year, her 12 year old said, "Then I will walk there. It's the highlight of the year." So, they are "coming back to a race we love and a community that has supported mushers in a fantastic way every year!"

Vet Check Slot: 10:20

Starting Chute Song: "Do Life Big", Jamie Grace

Finish Position:

Registered
2/17/2018 10:05 PM
Kelly Jo Engle
Kelly Jo's Solitaire Kennel
Atlantic Mine, MI 49905

The 2018 CopperDog will be Kelly Jo's seventh time attending! Truman Obermeyer introduced her to mushing 22 years ago - it was his "fault" for getting her into mushing, as she put it!

Her favorite memory of the CopperDog was last year's race when her leader, Earl, who is now retired, ran his last race in single lead at 10 years old. This year, she doesn't have any specific lead dogs - "everyone is getting a turn!"

Kelly Jo wants all of the volunteers to know how special they are to this race. She was emotional as she described what it means to her to see volunteers at every crossing with a smile on their face as they encourage her on and clap for her and her team.

Vet Check Slot: 10:40

Starting Chute Song: "Waka Waka", Shakira

Finish Position:

Registered
2/18/2018 9:43 AM
Frank Caldwell
Team Caldwell
Newberry, MI 49868

This will be Frank's first time attending the CopperDog. He and his wife, Regina, moved from upstate New York to the UP in May of 2017. He sprint raced for 18 years and this will be his first stage race and he's looking forward to the experience.

He raced mid distance races mostly in the Eastern United States. Although, when he did start mid distance racing the lack of snow and poor conditions caused the majority of races that he entered to be cancelled the last two seasons.

Frank was able to run the Can-Am Crown 30 both years but conditions were also unfavorable for training at home so the dogs weren't in as good as shape as he would have liked. Since moving to the UP, he has gotten the most miles on his team yet at over 1,300 training miles. His lead dogs are Hemlock, Cameron, Larry, and Fender. So now all Frank asks for is good conditions for the race and to see what his middle aged group of wonderful, hard working dogs can do!

If you ask Frank how he got into mushing, he'll tell you he "saw some weird looking trucks going off into the Pine Barrens in NJ in the mid 1990's and followed them!!!"

He also wishes "good luck to all of my competitors and thank you to everyone who makes this race happen. Happy Trails!"

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "Crazy Train", Ozzy Osbourne

Finish Position:

Registered
2/19/2018 7:31 PM
Kelsey Beaber
Flying K Kennel
Mountain, WI 54149

This will be Kelsey's second year running the CopperDog. She was 11 when she first ran! Her lead dogs are Tulip and Pork Chop. She really likes the chute songs and the downtown start.

Kelsey says "hopefully this will be my last CopperDog 80 so I can do the CopperDog 150 next year. I plan on doing all the longer dog races next year when I am 13. I did two eight-dog races this year already."

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "Thunder", Imagine Dragons

Finish Position:

Registered
2/24/2018 8:23 PM
Marcus Benjamin
Flying K Kennel
Mountain, WI 54149

Marcus Benjamin was a late entry this year from the Flying K Kennel. He joins Kelsey Beaber from Flying K, where they currently have 47 dogs at the kennel. Marcus has attended the CopperDog five times, this is his first time as a musher. He started getting into mushing five years ago helping out with the IronLine race.

Marcus' favorite thing about CopperDog is talking with Lyle Ross, and all of the information he can pack into his head from the other mushers.

Welcome to your first CopperDog as a musher, Marcus!

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song: "September Doves", Lost Dog Street Band

Finish Position:

Registered
2/26/2018 3:46 PM
Brian Kandler
Kandler Racing
Mason, MI 48854

Brian Kandler is returning to CopperDog for his fourth race. He hasn’t run CopperDog since 2015, and we’re excited to have him back! Brian is from Mason, Michigan and runs Kandler Racing kennel. His kennel currently has 20 dogs. His lead dogs will be Merlot, Bubba, and Emma.

Brian got into mushing by looking for a way to play with his first pet Husky and tried cross-country skiing with his dog. His favorite memory of CopperDog is that the community is always awesome, and running through beautiful country. He also enjoys that CopperDog is a well-organized race with a great fun atmosphere.

Vet Check Slot: 11:20

Starting Chute Song: "Virginia", The Marcus King Band

Finish Position:

Registered
2/27/2018 12:02 PM
Tristan Rivest
Rivest Kennel
Saint-Zénon, Québec J0K-3N0

Tristan Rivest is joining the CopperDog 80 race from Rivest Kennel in Saint-Zénon, Québec. This is Tristan’s second time running CopperDog. He finished second in 2017 in the CD80. He got into mushing “in his moms belly!”, so you could say he’s been in the sport his whole life.

His favorite memory of CopperDog is the lantern lit finish in Eagle River, and the huge organization that puts on the race. His lead dogs this year are Lotus and Prunelle.

Vet Check Slot: 10:40

Starting Chute Song: "Thunderstruck", AC/DC

Finish Position:

Registered
Adam Schmidt
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures
Kaukauna, WI 54130

Adam is back for a second run in the CopperDog 80! His lead dogs will be Violet and Fender. When asked how he got into mushing, he said he preferred his cats, goats, cows, ducks, chickens, etc…the whole zoo! He never grew up with dogs, but when he was in elementary school, he knew he wanted to be a musher. He followed the Iditarod, did research on Alaska, and memorized the Iditarod song that blared through the halls during the race.

When he came up to Michigan Tech, he went mushing through the Outdoor Adventure Program at Otter River. It was -55°F (BRR!) Afterwards, he asked Tom if he needed help - from there he went on to lead Tom's “youth musher” program.

Ryan has lots of great memories from the CopperDog. His favorite is a tie between seeing his first wolf on the trail back to Calumet and the start of the race, with all his friends, family, university, and community supporting him. "My adrenaline was so high I don’t remember it all!"

Adam would like to thank Tom and Sally Bauer for their help in getting him into the sport; his support team of family, friends, university, and girlfriend for encouragement & help; and Jerry Mitchell and Carmelita's for their sponsorship of his team.

Adam is a fourth year junior in chemical engineering at Michigan Tech. Last year, he had co-op in Kentucky and didn’t see more than a half an inch of snow…"It’s good to be back!"

Vet Check Slot: 11:20

Starting Chute Song: "Roundtable Rival", Lindsey Stirling

Finish Position:

Withdraw
2/19/2018 7:31 PM
Ryan Beaber
Flying K Kennel
Mountain, WI 54149

This will be Ryan's second time attending the CopperDog. His favorite memory was his first year when he got to be on the trail with his amazing 11 year old daughter, Kelsey, the whole race. "It was very special."

He loves that he gets to participate in the race with Kelsey, but, this year he is betting she will beat him and not run the trail with him.

Ryan got into mushing by running sprint dogs as a hobby and it was "a trap!! All of a sudden I owned them!" His lead dogs are Tulip and Calamity. He's looking forward to the downtown start and all the amazing volunteers!

Vet Check Slot: 10:00

Starting Chute Song:

Finish Position:

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