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 Good races for beginners?

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Vinter Posted - 06/21/2007 : 3:43:32 PM
Hi there. :) I'm looking for some information/advice concerning races for this winter. I'm what you would call a recreational musher, I suppose, and this will be my first year wanting to actually enter races. Not looking to really "compete" too much, but I think the dogs and I would have alot of fun at events.

I would like to attend a few "fun runs" or rec races, and maybe one slightly more competitive race, just for the experience. Right now I have a three dog team, two of my dogs (one being my leader) are "retired" race dogs, so they know what they're doing.

What I would like to know is what would be some good, beginner friendly races I could dabble into? Last year, I attended the Brainerd Dryland event, and loved the laid back, friendly atmosphere, even if I was only there as a spectator. Don't own a racing cart yet, so I need to stick to events with snow this year though.

Pretty much willing to travel anywhere in the Minnesota/Wisconsin/Michigan area for races.

I'm also kind of curious about the concept of borrowing dogs. How long do you have to know someone in order to trust them to borrow a dog or two at a race? There are, unfortunately, not any other mushers in my area -- at least to my knowledge. So I don't have anyone to swap or borrow dogs with/from if I wanted to run something more than a 3 dog class.
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Erik Posted - 07/25/2007 : 5:02:28 PM
Vinter, I'm not sure where you live but if it's in the Twin Cities area you might want to look into the Minnesota Malamute clubs race. It's typically around Valentines day and is held in Coon Rapids. Sometimes it gets cancelled due to lack of snow. The people involved with it are really easy going and friendly. They have some 1-2 dog classes and 3-4 dog classes.
Vinter Posted - 07/24/2007 : 11:23:56 PM
Thanks for all the responses. :) This has been really helpful.
I'll be keeping my eyes on the MUSH and Trailblazers websites for when the schedules come out.
huskyhauler Posted - 07/24/2007 : 4:29:55 PM
There is a race the first weekend in Dec. in Fon Du Lac, WI that is a fun race for a beginner. It is a 4 dog sprint race, but several teams were running 3 dogs at past races. It's called the "Can't Depend On Snow" race and is ran on wheels if there isn't enough snow for a sled. Also there are several folks from the Chicago area Adopt A Husky rescue organization that run in this race each year, and they would probobly be willing to borrow a dog to you for a 4 dog team. Lots of other fun events involved with this race also and all proceeds are donated to Make A Wish foundation.
gdm Posted - 06/27/2007 : 3:16:42 PM
For WI you have Trailblazers which offers a A & B class. A is for purse money and B is more for the rec. musher.

They are putting on a dryland event at the end of October. The 2nd annual Dirty Dog Dryland Race.
RSmith Posted - 06/27/2007 : 08:41:01 AM
With 3 dogs, you would get a good head-start at some of the well-run dryland events. Bikejoring or 3 dog rig will help you off to the right track!

good luck

P, Ann Nelson Posted - 06/24/2007 : 5:47:02 PM
By all means, check out the MUSH (Mid Union Sled Haulers) race schedule when it comes out this summer/fall. All of the races are held in Michigan (upper and lower peninsula)...usually at least 9-10 races to choose from. There is even a 3 dog class that would be perfect for you. No money prizes, but there are trophies, and they are such a great group of people! Very warm and accepting, friendly and helpful. There is a real family feeling to our get togethers, and while we do have some "serious" racers, most of us just love to be on the trails with our dogs! MUSH is a wonderful place to start, and many of our club members have gone on to run the Iditarod, as well as other well known races. Mostly we are all about having fun in the snow with our dogs, and human friends! If you would like more information, you can e-mail me privately.
Jake Robinson Posted - 06/22/2007 : 08:38:57 AM
Many of the sprint races in Minnesota and Wisconsin have 4 and 6 dog sport/rec. races. There is also a group called MUSH in Michigan that holds many 'rec' races.
datsun_1600 Posted - 06/21/2007 : 4:10:10 PM
Not exactly sure where u live - but the La Ronge Neckbone is an awesome fun race - very laid back. I did it last year and plan on doing it again this coming season - I ran it with 6 but most people use 10. I'm sure if u wanted to borrow some dogs people would be more than willing to lend them to you.

Review from Karen Ramstead:



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