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.