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CopperDog 80 - Sport-Class

6 Dog Team, 80 Miles, 2 Stage, $2,570 Purse, Pays 1st - 5th

This 80-mile, 2-stage, 6-dog race enjoys the same excitement and energy as the Professional Class, including the fabulous downtown Calumet start on Saturday and downtown finish on Sunday. Recreational teams will leave immediately following the pro-class teams.

Race Dates: 
Friday, February 26, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016

Race Format: 
80 Miles
2 Stages

Race Purse: 
$2,570 (1st - 5th)

Max Teams: 
18 Teams

Don’t miss out on the friendly people, welcoming communities, challenging trails, formidable competition, and the peace and tranquility that blossoms from the Keweenaw trails at night.

Award money will be paid to first through fifth place.  There is a limit of 18 teams for this event, register early to secure your position.

In 2016, CopperDog is introducing its first two-stage race for 6-dog teams.  The CopperDog 80 is an 80 mile, 2 stage race. Stage 1 is on Friday, starting in Calumet and ending in Eagle River.  Stage 2 is Sunday, starting in Copper Harbor and ending in Calumet.

The CopperDog 80 Sport offers recreational mushers an opportunity to race in the big leagues sharing in the glorious fanfare of the fabulous downtown Calumet start and finish with thousands of fans cheering their teams off into the night.

FRIDAY: Stage 1 - Calumet to Eagle River

We don't skip a beat Friday night, CopperDog 80 teams head out right on the heels of the CopperDog 150 teams and share the same race route until the finish, where CopperDog 80 teams finish in Eagle River while CopperDog 150 teams go on to Eagle Harbor.

Many a 10-dog team have been tempted to take that left hand turn and follow the Sport teams into Eagle River, for the legends of Eagle Rivers welcoming hospitality is nothing short of legendary.

Musher's who have run the CopperDog 150 OR CopperDog 80 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 snow fence 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.

SATURDAY: Day of Reset

CopperDog 80 teams are given a day of rest while the CopperDog 150 teams progress from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor on Saturday.

SUNDAY: Stage 3 - Copper Harbor to Calumet

Stage 2 is 42 miles, mostly thoroughfare 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 back-country 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 2 is the climb from Copper Harbor to the top of Brockway Mountain, about 600' over 4 miles of trail (see stage 2 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. 

Good Luck 6 Dog Teams!

The CopperDog 80 is a challenging, two-stage, mid-distance competition for 6-dog teams and a excellent choice for a first race at CopperDog!

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 40 the perfect choice for a mid-March race. Experience of the CopperDog 40 for yourself!

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