Toyota Leaderboard July 18/13 Oct 04/13 Feb 11/14

Sports archive for January 19, 2010

New 100-mile dog sled race to start in Whitehorse

The Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon has announced a brand-new 100-mile race that will start from Shipyards Park on Feb. 27.

By Annalee Grant on January 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm

The Dog Powered Sports Association of the Yukon has announced a brand-new 100-mile race that will start from Shipyards Park on Feb. 27.

The Road Runner 100 will be open to 25 sled and 10 skijor teams, making it the longest skijor race in North America.

“We don’t think there’s another 100-mile race in North America, we think it’s the longest skijor race,” said Jonathon Lucas, vice president of the DPSAY.

The race grew out of the Yukon Brewing Copper Haul Twister League. Many participants in those races felt there was a need for a mid-distance race closer to Whitehorse.

Lucas said there are three races near Whitehorse every two years, including the Yukon Quest, the Yukon Quest 300 and the Percy de Wolfe Memorial. The Quest 300 starts in Whitehorse once every two years. Besides those, mushers have to drive to Alaska or other destinations to participate in the sport of mid to long-distance mushing.

Another concern was that spectators only get to see the start and finish of the races that do start in town. The Road Runner 100 will run close to the Alaska Highway at parts, so spectators can follow the entire race if they want to.

The close proximity to the road also helps increase the safety of the mushers along the way.

“At any point you’re pretty close to rescue,” he said.

The DPSAY board plans to grow the race from 100-miles to 200 in future years.

The 100 will be a test to see the feasibility.

After this weekend’s Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race, Lucas is unsure of whether the skijor race will extend to 200-miles as well.

Last year’s Copper Haul Twister league champion had a difficult time trying to ski behind his team in the soft snow caused by the warmer temperatures the area experienced this weekend.

“I just wasn’t used to such a soft and mushy trail,” said Lucas. “It was just hard work.”

The skijorer was extremely tired, and still sore from the race on Saturday.

“We’re used to training on hard packed snow,” said Lucas.

During the race, Lucas rethought the idea of entering the Road Runner 100, but changed his tune afterwards.

“At the end of the day it worked out to be a very good training race for me,” he said.

Lucas said the DPSAY will have to think about whether they will extend the skijor portion of the race to 200-miles after the first year, or whether they will keep it at 100 and only extend the dog sled portion.

“We’ll look at the state of people who finish 100-miles,” he said.

The Carbon Hill race had a record turnout this year. As of press time, results were not yet available.

The race will begin from Shipyards Park during the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous starting at 11 a.m.

The trail will follow the Yukon River, then the Takhini River before jumping along the Alaska Highway. The teams will get a five hour break   along the way before heading on to Haines Junction for the finish.

Lucas said the route gives sponsors a great opportunity, because at most dog sled races their presence isn’t as noticeable due to the lack of spectators along the trail.

The race is already sponsored by Icy Water Ltd., Arctic Backhoe, Whitehorse Motors and CKRW.

CommentsAdd a comment

No comments yet. Why not be the first?

Add a comment

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your full name and email address are required before your comment will be posted.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Comment preview