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2014-01-03 at 14:39

Quality race

By Jamie Smith,
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While it might not be bigger, organizers of the second annual Gichigami Express Sled Dog Race say it's better.

Last year's race saw nearly 20 racers, while only 14 are expected to  take part in this year’s three-day, 180-mile races Saturday morning in Grand Portage.

But despite featuring less racers, this year’s competitors are coming from all over North America and include a few world champions, like British Columbia's Bud Streeper.

Director Beth Drost said word has been spreading about the race and its $25,000 purse.

"All the mushers are excited," she said.

Cold temperatures and lots of snow have made for great conditions throughout the course, which should see mushers and their teams top 12 miles an hour.

"We have a great field," she said of the competition.

As for the drop in numbers, Drost said races across North America have seen dwindling numbers this year.

"I'm not sure why," she said. "Maybe the economy."

Organizers are expecting more spectators this year though as the starting line will be at the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino. It begins at 10 a.m. EST,  9 a.m. CST.



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We've improved our comment system.
nat_geo says:
Leave your dog out in the cold with no shelter, get an animal cruelty conviction. Run it for three days in frigid temperatures with no shelter and call it a "sled dog", win a cash prize. But hey, the guy bundled up in 18 layers of arctic winter clothing says these short-haired dogs love running for three days in freezing temperatures, so who are we to argue, right?
1/3/2014 8:55:07 PM
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