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Race Director - Jeff Foss

Jeff’s first taste of the Keweenaw occurred when he arrived for school at Michigan Tech to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Soon after arriving he fell in love with the Copper Country and spent much time exploring it’s wonders. Before leaving he had found a passion for organic gardening. This led Jeff into his first career as an organic vegetable farmer, which he did for 15 years, mostly in the Madison, WI area suppling local restaurants there.

His love of the Keweenaw never faded. He returned to the Copper Country in 2011 with his family. Wanting to support the local communities, he saw the CopperDog as a great way to do that. He was recruited into the position of Trail Boss at that time, which was quite the introduction to the world of sled dog racing. From there he spent four years as the Trail Director where he worked closely with the Race Director. This is Jeff's first year as Race Director. His experience as the Trail Director and his work with International Frisbee Inc. as the Tournament Director for the International Frisbee Tournament, the oldest Frisbee tournament in the world, have prepared him well for the challenges of leading a 400 person volunteer organization that spans the entire Keweenaw.

posted on 12/21/2017 10:51 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Asst. Race Director - John Bryant

John grew up and currently lives in Milwaukee Wisconsin. He has strong ties to Houghton and the Keweenaw. His family has deep roots in Central, and are active in the Central Mine Methodist Church reunion yearly which brings descendants of those who worked the mine back to Central to celebrate each summer. He spent his summers growing up in Eagle Harbor, attended Michigan Tech, and along with his daughter is a frequent visitor at his family’s homes in Eagle Harbor.

John has had an interest in Siberian Huskies and has had several of them over the past 20 years, so when CD began he took an immediate interest in the race. He started out as a volunteer handler at the Eagle Harbor checkpoint in 2011. Watching the first team come down the hill into the Eagle Harbor checkpoint was all it took for him to know he wanted to see the race become a great success! John has become more involved in many aspects of the race weekend over the past seven years including technical coordinator, assistant start/finish coordinator, safety and communications, and assistant chief handler.

With 20 years of career progression in the airline and aviation industry John brings strong organizational skills, and a people (and dogs!) first mentality to the great mix of people who make up the CD team. He looks forward to seeing the race continue to grow and being the race mushers love to run.

posted on 12/21/2017 11:12 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Asst. Race Director - Maddie Harrer

Maddie Longpre-Harrer was born in Laurium on tax day, as she likes to tell people, April 15th 2003. She is a busy young lady. In school she participates in Student Senate, Pep Club, JROTC, she volunteers in a 1st grade classroom, and so many more things. At the age five she got her first taste of CopperDog when her parents Amy and Doug volunteered for a road crossing and followed the race around. Year two and three of the CopperDog Maddie would hang outside of the CopperDog board room listening to them talk about the race and wishing she could somehow be a part of it. Sometimes she would even fall asleep on the couch outside the board room.

Year four was when it all began for her. Her dad decided that it may be a good idea for her to come along on Sunday morning to ride along with the race to the finish. The reason her dad decided on taking her along was because Maddie was putting in the time and was seen at just about every event the CopperDog had put on. Year five Maddie began riding along for the entire race with her Dad and Race Judge Lyle Ross. She was given the hard job of keeping them both in line at just the young age of 10. When Maddie turned 11 she mentioned to her dad, Doug, that she would like to be the race director some day. Of course her dad said that something like that could not happen until she was 18 or older but Maddie was determined to work towards this. Maddie has continued to work hard to understand every aspect of running a race. During the 2018 race she had heard about the day money in memory of a special part of her CD150 family. Maddie sent a message to Race Director Foss and asked if they had a plaque for it or anything other than the check to present. When she found out that they only had the checks Maddie went to the CHS woodshop teacher, designed the plaques, picked out the wood, the size, and carried those with her through the race.

This year 2019 Maddie was asked by Race Director Jeff Foss if she would consider taking charge of the CopperDog's newest race, the CopperDog 25. Of course Maddie was beaming! That part of her dream of taking on more responsibility with the CopperDog had come true. Not only does she still have to keep her dad Doug Harrer and Lyle Ross under control and on task but now she gets to do something that she's dreamed about for many years. In this sport many kids want to be a musher or work with their parents in handling their team but not Maddie. She's one of the crazy ones who wants to run a race and be with her dad! This is all driven by the bond that she has formed with all of the people running the race and the love that she has for the mushers. Maddie will also tell you that she feels that her Musher, Vet Staff and CopperDog family is some of the best friends that she has ever had. This bond is why she does this! Maddie grew up around this race and continues to stay. She plans on being the future of this race in the many years to come.

posted on 12/21/2017 11:12 PM by Jim Northey | permalink | Back to Top

Chief Timer - H.A. "Kiko" de Melo e Silva

Kiko only saw snow for the first time as a teenager. Dog sled racing?!? Think Disney movies.

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Kiko first arrived in the United States at age 15 in 1987 and the Copper Country in 1990 to attend Michigan Technological University… twice.  Since then, the Copper Country has been home to this research engineer working for the department of civil & environmental engineering at his Alma matter.

A strongly believer in community involvement, hard-work, and parties, volunteering for the first CopperDog 150 was a no-brainer (being gently led to help with race timing however was a “no-brains”). But taking ownership and having a “whether you think you can or you can't, you're right” attitude, the first race was a feat and the second race better yet.

Kiko has contributed greatly to the integrity and professionalism of CopperDog by continually developing and evolving the philosophy and technology by official race timing.  Kiko designed and continues to develop a timing application that leverages the latest Google Sheets technologies to accurately record start and finish times, calculate statistics and standings instantly, and communicate all data to a central database in real-time for officials and fans. Kiko's accomplishments with race timing are nothing short of amazing.

He has lived with dogs, cats, cows, horses, chickens, pigs, birds, some fish, an iguana, and a sheep. He is also good with numbers, pointing, and he can yell really loud. Kiko is strongly committed to making this regional event involving many peoples, cultures, and communities a sustainable success – he does not take his participation as Chief Timer and the race’s positive impact on local people and places lightly. To Kiko, a hopeless romantic, the CopperDog 150 brings the Copper Country alive as if it were a time machine going back to the thriving copper mining days of over 100 years ago.

Kiko lives with his wife and two kids in Calumet and the rest is history…or at least lots of snow. Look for him in his orange mining hat, light and all. Portuguese spoken.

posted on 10/13/2014 7:53 PM by Todd Brassard | permalink | Back to Top

2020 Officials

Race Director
Jeff Foss
Asst. Race Director
John Bryant
Asst. Race Director
Maddie Harrer
Chief Timer
H.A. "Kiko" de Melo e Silva
Copyright (C) 2009 - 2020 Todd Brassard. All rights reserved.