Update: WolfTrack Classic has been cancelled due to weather.
We have had very warm temps and now rain in Ely. It is with great sadness the WolfTrack Classic Board of Directors has cancelled our 2017 race. We are pretty bummed – all of the work of planning and organizing and to be days away from seeing our mushers and their teams only to have to cancel. However after talking with people about the trails, seeing a weather forcast that calls for rain, then a freeze-up with no snow to cover bumpy trails formed by ice, we realized we could not guaranty a safe race.
The WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race continues the proud heritage of dog sled racing in beautiful Ely, Minnesota. Nested next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Ely is a popular destination for outdoor adventurists seeking thrills in any season. Over the years, Ely has been named to best lists in renowned publications such as Budget Travel magazine, Field & Stream, Canoe and Kayak and more. More recently, in October 2016, National Geographic named Ely, Minnesota as one of the "World's Best Towns for Outdoor Thrills,” a distinguished list of just nine worldwide destinations. On the tails of this honor, Expedia named dog sledding in Ely, Minnesota as one of the 16 adventures to add to your bucket list.
What could be more fitting in this type of setting than a dog sled race?
The 9th annual WolfTrack Classic takes place February 25-26, 2017 in these beautiful, natural surroundings. The race consists of two mid-distance races: a 6-dog and 8-dog competition. It all starts Sunday February 26th at 9:00 a.m. when the first 8-dog race team heads down the trail on its way through 50 miles of wild and beautiful boreal forest on the Taconite trail, which winds back to finish in Ely. The 6-dog teams also leave from the Ely start for a 30 mile race on the Taconite Trail to finish in Tower.
It all begins on Saturday when one of our great sponsors and longtime race supporter, Ely Veterinary Clinic, conducts mandatory vet checks for all the dogs. This is the first opportunity the public has to get a look at all the dog teams and rub elbows with the mushers. Food and beverages will be available in the west wing of the Vermilion Community College. This is a great fundraiser for the Wilderness Club, which always goes all out to come up with some tasty items.
The Musher Dinner starts at 4:00. All the mushers will be there for a delicious lasagna dinner, which includes a salad, beverage and dessert. The Musher Meeting and bib presentation follows the dinner. Everyone is welcome to attend.
On Sunday, February 26 at 7:00 a.m. the teams arrive at the Ely Softball Complex to get ready for the start of the race. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes for the mushers to prepare for the race, see the equipment that is used and the excitement of the dogs. Dog sledding is not just a sport or a hobby—it’s a lifestyle and one that the whole family is involved in from a very early age.
This year our race day headquarters will be in the banquet room at the Grand Ely Lodge. Spectators can stop in to get race information and have a wonderful meal off a special “Musher Menu” created in honor of the stars of the day. The Grand Ely Lodge will also be the place for the Awards Ceremony. After the last team crosses the finish line and the dogs are all cared for, everyone heads to the Grand Ely Lodge for the awards presentation, a hearty meal and conversations about the adventures of the trail.
The WolfTrack Classic would not be possible without the financial support of our sponsors. We are pleased to announce that this year’s purse sponsor is Miller Hill Subaru in Duluth, MN. Visit our website to see a list of sponsors—please support those who support the race. For more information about the race, our sponsors and volunteer opportunities, visit www.wolftrackclassic.com.