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2017 CopperDog 150 Race Offerings

CopperDog Mushers,

With the scent of fall in the air, as the colors change, we reflect back on years-past; so many inspiring sled-dog moments right here in our own back yards of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We feel blessed and are truly amazed, overwhelmed even, by all of the dedicated mushers, volunteers, sponsors, and spectators that come together year over year to celebrate mushing and community vitality in the Keweenaw.  Together, we have grown CopperDog from a simple idea to a world-class event that brings joy to the hearts of so many.  Thank you for sharing you love of mushing with us and inspiring everyone who loves CopperDog.

First, a few notes from 2016...

CopperDog has a long established pattern of growing the race purse by roughly $1,000 each year, sometimes putting the money into the top positions, sometimes in the bottom.  For 2016, the Board of Directors broke from the usual pattern and increased the purse by 25%. The objective was simple, to see if (1) the increased purse would have an impact on registrations and (2) to determine if our fundraising ability would support a larger purse.  We learned from the exercise, mainly about where we fit in the sport, who we want to be, and how we want to go about funding future races.

Now, on to 2017...

For 2017, CopperDog will be returning to its prior conservative growth patterns.  This means that we will be backing off the 2017 purse to bring it back in line with prior growth patterns. Specifically, reducing the purse by about 12% ($4000) with respect to 2016, but actually increasing the purse over 2015 by 8%.  Ultimately, this is a much more conservative and fiscally responsible strategy. The CopperDog has also strives to keep the race affordable for mushers, registration will be the same as 2016, at $375. 

2017 CopperDog 150 (10 Dogs, 3 Stages, 135 Miles, $27,800 Purse)

  • Friday, March 3 – Saturday, March 5 (Friday is a night run)
  • Professional (mushers must be qualified for the event, see race rules)
  • 10 Dog Team / 10 Dog Pool
  • 3 Days / 3 Stages / 135 Miles
  • Stage 1: Calumet to Eagle Harbor (49 miles, night run)
  • Stage 2: Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor (44 miles or less)
  • Stage 3: Copper Harbor to Calumet (41 miles or less)
  • Purse 27,800, Pays 1st – 10th (9000, 6000, 4000, 2500, 1800, 1200, 1000, 850, 750, 700)
  • Goal of 25 teams
  • Registration fee $375 (registration deadline February 28, 11:59PM), this will include one musher meal for Friday opening meeting and a commemorative CopperDog item.

Purse 10-Dog Race
Position 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1st 3,000 6,000 6,000 6,200 6,300 7,000 9,300 9,000
2nd 2,000 4,500 4,500 4,800 4,800 5,000 7,100 6,000
3rd 1,200 3,500 3,500 3,600 3,600 3,800 5,200 4,000
4th 1,000 2,500 2,500 2,600 2,600 2,800 3,300 2,500
5th 800 1,500 1,500 1,800 1,800 2,000 2,000 1,800
6th 500 500 900 1,100 1,200 1,200 1,400 1,200
7th 400 450 800 900 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,000
8th 300 400 700 800 1,000 1,000 900 850
9th 200 350 600 700 900 900 800 750
10th 100 300 400 500 700 700 700 700
11th - - 350 - - - - -
12th - - 250 - - - - -
Total 9,500 20,000 22,000 23,000 24,000 25,500 31,800 27,800

CopperDog 80 (6 Dogs, 2 Stages, 77 Miles, $2,750 Purse)

Based on success of 2016 and excitement from mushers, CopperDog is continuing to offer the traditional 6-dog teams a two-stage competition with the same format and fees as 2016. The CopperDog 80 will continue to be a 77 mile race that will take place in two stages. The first stage (42 miles) begins Friday night, downtown Calumet to lantern lit Eagle River. The second stage (37 miles) begins on Sunday in Copper Harbor ending in downtown Calumet.

  • Friday, March 3and Sunday, March 5
  • Recreational (no prerequisites)
  • 6 Dog Team (no pool)
  • 2 Days / 2 Stages / 77 Miles
  • Stage 1: Calumet to Eagle River (42 miles, night run)
  • Stage 2: Copper Harbor to Calumet (37 miles or less)
  • Purse $2,750, Pays 1st – 5th (1150, 750, 450, 250, 150)
  • Goal of 18 teams
  • Registration fee $175 (registration deadline February 28, 11:59PM), this will include one musher meal for Friday opening meeting and a commemorative CopperDog item.
Purse 6-Dog Race
Finish 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1st - - 500 500 500 500 1,150 1,150
2nd - - 300 300 300 350 750 750
3rd - - 200
200 250 450 450
4th - - - - 100 175 250 250
5th - - -
100 125 150 150
Total - -
1,000 1,000 1,200 1,500 2,750 2,750


Registration opens for the CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 80 on Saturday, October 8 at 10:00AM and closes on Tuesday, February 28, at 11:59PM.

Withdraw and Refunds

We are continuing to pursue our more lenient policy with withdraws and refunds. Refunds are typically issued within two weeks of notification of withdraw.

  • Withdraw before January 31, 2017 and received a 100% refund of the registration fee.
  • Withdraw between Feb 1, 2017 and Feb 20, 2017 and receive a 50% refund of the registration fee.
  • No refunds will be issued to entrants who withdraw after February 20, 2017.

Thank You

Once again we would like to thank mushers for their consideration of the CopperDog 150/80. We will be "flipping" our website to 2017 in the coming weeks. The 2017 Race Rules will be out soon as well with an exciting special announcement in regards to our chief vets.

An extra special thank you goes out to Dr. Ladd for his continual support since the 1st CopperDog weekend. Many of you may know, but he has made a career change and moved to Virginia to focus on canine rehabilitation. We will greatly miss him and his expertise. CopperDog sends a heartfelt thanks. Please know that our new chief vets will carry on in his great tradition and will continue to push for happy, healthy dogs and happy, healthy mushers!

posted on 9/20/2016 9:45 PM by Meredith LaBeau | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog for Kids! A Class Acts Show at the Rozsa

CopperDog 150 has partnered with the Rozsa Center, Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts, and Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures to bring CopperDog for Kids Live to the big stage. 

A Class Acts event, providing rich educational opportunities to young students, CopperDog for Kids is rich with music, video, performance and participation by the kids. Perhaps the absolute best part of the 45 minute show is a real dog team on stage. 

This show is sure to please and delight. The shows are coming up Thursday, March 10. Because this performance is popular and seats are limited, you should get your tickets 24 hours in advance by calling 487-2073. The show is recommend for ages 4+.

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts
9:30 AM & 1:30 PM
Grades K-5

Please join CopperDog 150 on Thursday March 10, for this high-energy Class Acts event!

The CopperDog 150 is a weekend of outdoor adventure that thrills and delights people from near and far. Set on the stage of the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula woodlands and background trails, the CopperDog 150 celebrates timeless tradition, challenging competition, and the pride people feel when coming together to do something truly amazing. Much of the inner workings of CopperDog happen behind the scenes, many hours of planning and preparation are required to organized this world class event.

In 2015, the CopperDog 150 partnered with Houghton Elementary School to entertain and educate over 600 K-5 students at their "IditaREAD" assembly (thanks Brockit, Inc. for the photos). The CopperDog presentation was composed of music, videos, banners, snow fence, race officials, a musher, racing gear and a real dog team. The event was an amazing success and rated by many teachers and students as their best assembly ever.

Now, through the Class Acts program at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the CopperDog 150 is bringing this amazing experience for kids to the big stage. Kids will be entertained with sights and sounds while they learn all about the people and types of jobs (Race Director, Race Marshall, Race Judges, Trail Boss, Chief Vet) behind the CopperDog 150 and witness the race start come together before their eyes. The grand finally of the event is meeting a real musher and their dog team.

Cost? The cost for Class Acts is $1 per student per performance.

How to Book? Call Michigan Tech Ticketing Operations at least one day prior to the event, (906) 487-2073. Payment must be made in advance, more than one day prior to the event. Invoices will be provided at the time payment is processed. We request one chaperon per fifteen students. Teachers and chaperons must sit with their classes. For more information about booking, please call Michigan Tech Ticketing Operations at (906) 487-2073.

Attached is a flyer that can be circulated with K-5 teachers who may be interested in bringing their classes. They can use it to also share details of the event with their students, and there is a "color the sled dog" section.

Please let me know of any questions or concerns.

Bethany Jones

posted on by Bethany Jones | permalink | Back to Top

2016 CopperDog 150 Appreciation Night


All CopperDog volunteers, sponsors, and mushers! You all made for a great CopperDog season again this year, and we're throwing a party to thank you for all your contributions! Join us Friday evening, April 29th from 7-9 in the Calumet Theater ballroom for food, fun, and prizes!

posted on 4/26/2016 10:51 AM by Meredith LaBeau | permalink | Back to Top

2016 CopperDog Champions

Another exciting weekend of outdoor adventures comes to a close. The annual CopperDog 150 exists to bring people and organizations together to accomplish great feats and have a really great time; adventure for everyone involved. To everyone involved we say thank you for another exciting CopperDog 150.


CopperDog 150 Champions!

We proudly present the champions of the CopperDog 150 professional sled-dog competition. This grueling 3 day, 130 mile competition is not for the faint of heart.  Congratulation and hope to see you back next year to defend your titles!

1st Place - Dennis LaBoda (2 consecutive years)
2nd Place - Martha Schouweiler (Copper Harness Award)
3rd Place - Frank Moe
4th Place - Jake Golton
5th Place - Frank Holmberg
6th Place - Rita Wehseler
7th Place - Joanna Oberg
8th Place - Eli Golton
9th Place - Larry Fortier
10th Place - Thad McCraken

Red Lantern (Last Place) -  Tm Chisholm

Sportsmanship Award - Blair Braverman


CopperDog 80 Champions!

We proudly present the champions of the CopperDog 80 recreational sled-dog competition. This grueling 2 day, 82 mile competition is not for the faint of heart; and take another look, women owned the race this year. Congratulation ladies and hope to see you back next year to defend your titles!


1st Place - Mallory Sturmer
2nd Place - Lynn Witte
3rd Place - Alex LaPlante
4th Place - Chrissie Bodznick
5th Place - Geri Minard

Red Lantern (last place) - Randy Foust

posted on 2/29/2016 12:57 PM by | permalink | Back to Top

SAVE THE DATE! MARCH 3 - 5, 2017

Absolutely amazing volunteers...

To all of the volunteers who came together to make the seventh annual CopperDog 150 an extraordinary event. The weather was less than ideal this year, but the level and quality of participation and support from everyone was simply amazing.

Mushers reported at the wrap up "Musher's Meeting" (a time for mushers to come together to give feedback to the race) that our volunteers are the best in racing. All of the mushers were especially thankful and appreciative of how volunteers were so quiet and still at trail crossings and the cheering encouraging them forward as they moved away. Perfect execution!

(and read Other's Thoughts also... don't be shy... tell us what you really think)

2017 CopperDog 150: MARCH 3 - 5, 2017

Everyone, please mark your calendar for the 2017 race! We hope everyone will come out for more CopperDog fun!

Planning a little further into the future... here are race dates through 2020:

  • 2017: March 3 — 5
  • 2018: March 2 — 4
  • 2019: March 1 — 3
  • 2020: February 28 — March 1

If you have been bitten by the CopperDog bug, get more involved -- WE NEED YOU! The CopperDog 150 is looking for the next generation of amazing people to carry the CopperDog 150 into the future with fresh ideas, please contact us! (

Also, please leave feedback to let us and others know about your experiences this week. Leave feedback here:

posted on 2/29/2016 5:14 PM by Meredith LaBeau | permalink | Back to Top

This Weekend: Experience the 2016 CopperDog 150

The seventh annual CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Competition is this weekend (February 26 - 28, 2016). Three days of outdoor fun and adventure for then entire family kicking off Friday night with music, food and shopping in the streets of downtown Calumet.

Keep up to date on the competition...

When races in progress, follow the teams live...

Please use hashtag #CopperDog150 when posting on social media.

posted on 2/26/2016 12:30 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

Message from The Chair

The race countdown timer shows 24 days, 22 hours, 7 minutes, and 42 seconds to go. By the time you read this the race start will be even closer. Tick. Tick. Tick.

IT’S ALMOST COPPERDOG TIME! In a few short weeks everything you love about the race will be back: the electricity of 300 canine athletes straining at their tethers, the music of their howls filling the night, friends and family bundled up in their winter gear with only smiles visible inside the bunched fur hoods, fireworks, music, and beautiful winter scenery; God’s Country.

This is the kind of event that makes you proud to live in the Keweenaw. The Friday-night street scene in Calumet is reminiscent of the boomtown’s glory days. You can practically feel the presence of the bygone miners strolling the streets along side of you – ecstatic for another Copper Country party to brighten the winter.

As part of the team that plans CopperDog 150 I feel both anxiety and excitement this time of year. Did we forget anything? Do we have enough volunteers? What is the condition of the trails? Our planning team got off to a slower-than-usual start this fall because of some key vacancies in our organization. Like any organization we have constant turnover and it is very hard to replace the incredible folks who need to step away for a time. But because of the great community spirit we are always blessed with someone new who is willing to step in – not to fill their predecessor’s shoes but instead to stand on their shoulders and continue the tradition.

The dogs are coming! Please join us on the last weekend in February for some good old-fashioned Yooper fun. If you want to get a little closer to the race please (please please) consider volunteering for one of our many crucial tasks. It will be an experience you won’t forget. For those who have volunteered in the past – come on back. We need you.

It’s almost CopperDog time! Tick. Tick. Tick.

posted on 2/1/2016 11:36 PM by Brad king | permalink | Back to Top

Volunteer Now for the 2016 CopperDog 150!


Volunteer registration is now open or the 2016 CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled dog races this coming Feb 26 - 28, 2015.  There are literally hundreds of shifts and positions to fill and we need your help.  Interested?  Just take a look at the 2016 Volunteer Schedule, find something that suites your liking and click sign-up for as many shifts as you want.  If you do a lot of volunteer, please watch out for overlap conflicts in your schedule.

Register a Couple, Group, Team, etc.

When you register more than just yourself for a volunteer shift, you become responsible to bring all of the people you indicated.  Kids age 14 and over are considered able bodied volunteers, but there must be at least one adult (18+) on each shift.  Kids 13 and younger are welcome to volunteer, but do not count towards the minimum number of volunteers that must be present. Volunteering is fun for the entire family, we just need to make sure that our bases or covered to provide a safe event for all.

Buggy Wuggy

Our volunteer system is a home brew and can be a little buggy from time to time.  Please let us know if this happens to you, if the system doesn't work as expect, or you just have ideas on how to improve it.  Send an e-mail to Todd Brassard with a description of the problem.  Cut and paste the error if you can.

Are You a Newbie?

Volunteering for CopperDog is ridiculously easy!  And working a shift or three CopperDog weekend is a lot of fun.  Please just thousands of people who have discovered that volunteer is the best way to experience CopperDog weekend!  And THANK YOU for the help!

posted on 12/12/2014 7:00 AM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

CopperDog and Coffee - An Exhilarating Combination

Keweenaw Coffee Works has roasted a limited edition Spirit of the Trail 2015/2016 coffee blended exclusively for CopperDog 150. Using beans from small hold farms, the blend contains warm notes toffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, and nut – the perfect gift for the coffee connoisseur on your Christmas list or for this winter season! All profits from Spirit of the Trail sales support CopperDog 150. Shop local and support local businesses and events this holiday season! Spirit of the Trail is available at River Valley Bank of Calumet or the Keweenaw Coffee Works shop on main street Calumet.

posted on 12/23/2015 7:45 PM by Meredith LaBeau | permalink | Back to Top

Welcome to CopperDog!

What could possibly inspire 45 race teams, 450 of volunteers, and thousands of spectators to spend a weekend in the Keweenaw snow, working and playing together in freezing temperatures?  The CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 sled-dog races!

The CopperDog 150 and CopperDog 40 brings 50 professional and recreational teams, 440 sled dogs, and over 5,000 of fans to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula for 138 miles of sled dog racing through a pristine winter wilderness. This amazing race takes place annually the first weekend in March. Over the course of the weekend, the sled dog teams make their way from historic downtown Calumet, to the warm and welcoming community of Eagle Harbor, to the ever beautiful Copper Harbor, and then back to downtown Calumet again. Along the way, fans and volunteers cheer them on and provide friendly assistance.

The race starts on historic Fifth Street in downtown Calumet, Friday night. Thousands of fans crowd the streets as each sled dog team launches into the dark night, cheering them on. When the last team has disappeared down the trail the street party continues, taking over the town of Calumet with music, dancing, food, and drink.

Meanwhile out on the trail, volunteers are ready. For each leg of the race, hundreds of volunteers oversee the trail, record times and relay them by wireless radio network to the live webcast, and assisting mushers with road crossings.

Saturday morning, after the hospitality of the Eagle Harbor Inn and a nights rest in Eagle Harbor, the teams depart to Copper Harbor. Saturday afternoon fans, families, and volunteers welcome the teams in from the trail, and can meet the dogs and visit with mushers before the mid-race banquet that evening.

Sunday morning, after a full night's rest, the teams leave Copper Harbor and make the climb up Brockway mountain.  Teams race along the crest of the mountain until they reach the top, then turn downward and return to Calumet, where they once again travel through the town (lined with cheering fans) and cross the finish line.

It’s a fun filled weekend involving the entire community – a family party taking place on the entire peninsula. Come join us for this unique experience!

Fans are welcomed with open arms and volunteers (and more volunteers) are always needed.

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

"CopperDog Spirit" Video from 2010

A few highlights from the 1st annual CopperDog 150 held in March, 2010.

A huge thanks to Craig Gossen and Jeff Frenette for the excellent video work.

Copyright (C) 2010-2013 Brassard Media. All rights reserved.