2017 CopperDog 150
Professional, 10 Dog Race (10 Dog Pool), 135 Miles, 3 Stages, $27,800 Purse, Pays 1st - 10th
Registration Cap: 25 Teams
||Frost Creek Kennel
||Hermit's Cove K-9s
||Jackson Hole Iditarod...
||Stoney Creek Kennel
||Two Harbors, MN
||Coyote Run Sled Dog...
||River Rock Kennel
||Otter River Sled Dog...
||Silent Night Sled Dogs
||Night Train Racing Sled...
||Otter Run Kennel
||Saint Cloud, MN
||Run Silent Racing Kennel
||Prairie Winds Racing
||Little Falls, MN
||Go The Distance
||Golton Racing Kennel
||Bad Moon Rising Kennel
||North Branch, MN
||Grand Marais, MN
||Grand Marais, MN
||Southeastern Sled Dogs
||Signal Mountian, TN
||Maple Ridge Kennel
10/8/2016 10:23 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 nine years and this year, and the last, I also ran in the IronLine in Iron River, MI.
This will be my fifth year running the CopperDog.
Starting Chute Song: "The Only Way I Know" by Jason Aldean
10/8/2016 10:10 AM
Hermit's Cove K-9s
Gay, MI 49913
I have always loved dogs and dreamed of owning a real team. I started with a kick sled and three Golden Retrievers and the rest is history.
I love learning something about the sport, the dogs, and myself everyday. These canines are incredible athletes that are amazing to watch during training.
I have worked at Aspirus Keweenaw for the past 18 years in the Intensive Care Unit. I am married with four kids. Huge thanks to my family for their understanding of my crazy world!
Starting Chute Song: "Flirting With Disaster" by Molly Hatchet
10/8/2016 10:49 AM
Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours
Jackson, WY 83001
Alix fell into dog mushing by accident. Looking for a winter job in 2009 she Googled "dog mushing" and ended up getting a job taking tours at Jackson Hole Iditarod Sled Dog Tours. It wasn't long until she was addicted and began handling for races. Soon she was on the runners herself. In 2013 she went to Alaska to train and race with Bill Kornmuller and traveled across Canada and the lower 48 racing in her first Wyoming Stage Stop where she got sixth place.
She also spent a year working with John & Liz Stewart training yearlings for Streeper Kennels. This year brought her back to JHISDT with an amazing opportunity to take over their race team. This year they competed in the Stage Stop, running a very consistent race and placing eighth.
She looks forward to her first time competing in the CopperDog. Alix says; "Running the CopperDog has been on my to do list for a few years. I'm nervous but excited as I hear its a very well put on race!"
Alix, and her husband, Sam run an business called Sleeping Indian Outfitters in Bondurant, WY guiding horseback rides and hunting trips.
She would like to thank Frank Teasley (which has run the CopperDog) for the opportunity to run his team and for all the support and the breathing room to train this team on her own.
Starting Chute Song: "Keep Pushin'" by REO Speedwagon
10/8/2016 10:57 AM
Stoney Creek Kennel
Two Harbors, MN 55616
I got my start with 10 Squared Racing a few years back (winning the CopperDog 150 in 2011), and bounced around a few kennels since then.
Last summer Rita Wehseler (which has raced the CopperDog in previous years) called me up and asked if I'd help - it's been a good fit.
The kennel is very young, but we're all learning very fast and hope/plan to be competitive in the future...
Starting Chute Song: "Come on, Let's Go" by Girl in a Coma
10/8/2016 12:07 PM
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. Team Fortier has been racing for approximately 15 years.
Larry was the Rookie of the Year at the Beargrease five years ago... and considers the CopperDog to be the best race of the year.
His lead dogs are Poppy, Zeus, Loki, and Tuba, running out of Coyote Sled Dogs in Gaylord, MI.
Starting Chute Song: "I Lived" by OneRepublic
10/8/2016 12:06 PM
River Rock Kennel
Cook, MN 55723
JR Anderson has grown up in the sport of sled dogs. This is his sixth time racing the CopperDog 150, with the first time in 2011 (and winning in 2012). He is proud to return to race against the most competitive Midwest kennels, as well as the incredible Copper Country!
JR, wife Anna, and daughter Sara live in Buyck, Minnesota. They care for 30 sled dogs, with most of the dogs bred and raised at River Rock Kennel. JR's lead dogs include: Man-O-War, Citation, Harry, Brownie, and Fox.
Chris Lang, Anna, and Elizabeth Chapman help train, care, and maintain the day to day activities at the kennel. This well oiled team also works together to ensure the dogs have the best possible care and attention during the race.
When JR isn't with the dogs you will find him building homes and commercial buildings for clients. Custom crafted woodwork is a specialty JR has perfected over the years and he is well known for his buildings original characteristics.
Starting Chute Song: "Beautiful Day" by U2
10/8/2016 2:53 PM
Novi, MI 48377
Bruce Magnusson started as a handler and 10 years ago, he got his own dogs... and has completed well over 50 races since then. He usually finishes in the top-10.
They won the CopperDog 150 in 2013.
Bruce has a great bond with his lead dogs... Siksik and Cheyenne. He comes from Magnusson Racing in Manchester, MI.
Starting Chute Song: "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith
10/8/2016 10:00 AM
Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures
Chassell, MI 49916
Tom Bauer has gone to the dogs! He started with a Siberian and her two pups in 1986 after they ran away and killed a neighbor's chickens three miles away. The fellow had been a musher 20 years back and brought over a sled and harnesses and suggested a way to put all that dog energy to good use. How Tom got them to pull that sled is a good tale.
In 1989 Tom discovered the very athletic Alaskan Husky while on a dogsled camping trip with some racers in Minnesota. With their help and encouragement he entered the first UP200 in 1990, which he finished with the help and encouragement of two veterinarians. He also ran the first CopperDog 150 and the first IronLine 80 as well as many other races in the Midwest and Canada.
Tom worked for two years as a sled dog guide on the Punchbowl glacier near Girdwood, AK for Seavey's Iditaride. He and his wife Sally currently own and operate Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures out of Tapiola, MI near Houghton where they offer personalized adventures, teach people how to drive their own dog team, and guide them through the forests near their home on the Otter river. Find them on Facebook and share their adventures.
Starting Chute Song: "Dogs" by Pink Floyd
10/8/2016 10:03 AM
Silent Night Sled Dogs
Milaca, MN 56353
Got interested in mushing after we saw dogsled rides on the lake in Bemdji while attending college there. Many years later after pharmacy school and four babies, we got our first dog.
I've finished the Midnight Run, CopperDog 150, mid-distance Beargrease, and 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. Hobbies besides dogs, kid' activities, more dogs, and more kids activities... sewing. Sponsor is Trudy Midas with EspañaSILK All Natural Grooming Products.
Starting Chute Song: "Do Life Big" by Jamie Grace
10/8/2016 10:06 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 CopperDog 150 in 2015 ...and 2016!
Dennis' lead dogs are Mary, who loves to race and Felix, who keeps up with Mary.
Starting Chute Song: "Hells Bells" by AC/DC
10/8/2016 10:06 AM
Otter Run Kennel
Irma, WI 54442
This is Martha's 14th year of dog racing. She helps her son Chad raise, train, and race the dogs out of Otter Run Kennel.
They have won the "short race" (then the CD40) back in 2013.
The highlight for 2017 was winning the Beargrease Mid-distance for the third straight year. But that could change as she hops on a plane to Anchorage the day after CopperDog to meet grandbaby number five.
Starting Chute Song: "Howlin' at the Moon" by Sam Bush
10/8/2016 10:13 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 eight year at the CopperDog 150. His lead dogs are Summit and his little brother, Captain.
Starting Chute Song: "Drunk On a Plane" by Dierks Bently
10/12/2016 2:02 AM
Run Silent Racing Kennel
Ignace, Ontario P0T-1T0
I got into mushing when some good friends of mine gave me a my first dogsled 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 first in the 2014 Voyageur Classic, and third in the 2015 mid-distance Beargrease to name a few.
I placed fifth in the 2015 CopperDog and was honored to be awarded "Best Cared for Team" from the vets!
Lead dogs will be Viva, Vader, Echo, Tamar, Sahara, Nikita, and Oxy. When not running dogs I enjoy reading, writing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and hiking with my Irish Setter and my Beauceron.
Starting Chute Song: "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten
10/8/2016 2:18 PM
Prairie Winds Racing
Little Falls, MN 56345
I was bitten by the mushing bug 17 years ago. Long story short, there were cookies and milk, a National Geographic article on Susan Butcher and a VERY active nine year old imagination. I drug my whole family down the rabbit hole after that.
Some of my previous races include the Empire 130, Beargrease mid-distance, Apostle Islands, IronLine, Mid-Minnesota, and the Snowflake Classic.
Lead dogs for my team will be Zephyr, Cora, Boo, and Rue. If we end up in the lake you can blame Zephyr, if we make it back safely it'll be all thanks to Cora.
When I'm not running dogs or doing other kennel things, I work full time for the Minnesota National Guard. My "off season" hobbies include running & training for half marathons and the occasional bodybuilding competition.
Big thanks to my sponsors Tischler Wood Products and Davis Family Farms.
Starting Chute Song: "Crazy = Genius" by Panic! at the Disco
2/3/2017 12:20 PM
Go The Distance
Monona, IA 52159
I got an old sled for the kids to play with and things just snowballed from there. I have done the 2015 & 2016 Midnight Run and 2015 Beargrease mid-distance.
This is my first year doing the CopperDog and my third sled dog season.
I prepare the best I can and expect that anything can happen... at anytime. And yeah, enjoy the journey!
Starting Chute Song: "Rocky Mountain Way" by Joe Walsh
2/15/2017 7:07 PM
Hovland, MN 55606
I started running dogs 20 years ago after I bought a sled and got a "free" dog. I thought it was a cheap way to spend some time in the wilderness.
I have raced in the Midwest and Montana - this season we ran the Midnight Run, Apostle Islands, Beargrease mid-distance, and Gunflint Mail Run.
Leaders this race will be Mimas, Slider, Atlas, and Liberty.
Starting Chute Song: "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)" by Fall Out Boy
2/16/2017 10:31 AM
Cornucopia, WI 54827
I have been running dogs with my wife Krystal (which has raced the CopperDog) for five years and this will be my second time running CopperDog 150.
It was fun last time, and I am sure it will be great again!
Starting Chute Song: "When Worlds Collide" by Powerman 5000
1/9/2017 2:00 PM
Golton Racing Kennel
L'Amable, Ontario K0L-2L0
I got into mushing with my family in 1996 when I was four. I have raced all across North America; CopperDog - first (2014), third (2015), fourth (2016), Wyoming Stage Stop, Can-Am Crown 250, Midnight Run - first (2014), second (2015), first (2017).
I look forward to racing the CopperDog 150 every year and can't wait to be back in the UP!
Iris and Josie are my lead dogs.
Starting Chute Song: "It Ain't My Fault" by Brothers Osborne
2/27/2017 9:44 PM
Saint-Zénon, Québec J0K-3N0
I met Marco with his dogs in 1995 and dove into the sport. We live in Québec, Canada and have a kennel of 70 dogs. After doing sprint racing in Québec in the beginning of 2000, we started looking for longer races.
We have been a part of the central-Canada circuit since 2005 with the World Championships in The Pas, Manitoba. We have participated in the Wyoming Stage Stop, Open North American Championship, Can-Am Crown, and other races.
We love being with our dogs and racing them. We travel, whole family in tow, to wherever a race may take us.
Starting Chute Song: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
1/23/2017 12:27 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. I have done a few races, kind of the middle of pack guy, especially now with four dogs I'll be racing that are 10-1/2 years old...and an nine year old.
Lead dogs are Wiley, Maverick, Iceman, Kayna, and Mooka. I also enjoy running, swimming, downhill skiing, and hunting & 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
2/24/2017 10:21 AM
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Frank Moe runs Moetown Kennels. He and his wife Sherri live in rural Hovland, MN with their 44 dogs, a 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, MN.
Starting Chute Song: "Call Me the Breeze" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
11/17/2016 2:03 PM
Grand Marais, MN 55604
10/8/2016 10:17 AM
Southeastern Sled Dogs
Signal Mountian, TN 37377
10/8/2016 10:10 AM
Maple Ridge Kennel
Esko, MN 55733
10/10/2016 1:22 PM
Albertville, MN 55301
10 Dog Team/Pool, 137 Miles, 3 Stage, $27,800 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.
March 3 - 5, 2017
10 Dog Team (10 Dog Pool)
137 Miles, 3 Stages
1 Night Stage / 2 Day Stages
$27,800 (1st - 10th)
$9,000 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 $27,800 race purse.
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
Click to view or download the 2017 Race Rules.
Note that race rules are subject to change. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to email@example.com.
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 implemented 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 and beyond. 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), if the planning team can continue to work out access. 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.