Mushers And Dogs Get Ready To Run In The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race
Early February is going to be an exciting time to visit Bayfield, Wisconsin when the Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race kicks off. “We always have near perfect snow conditions in Bayfield, and this year is no exception! All the early snow in the Midwest this year means that the mushers and dogs are sharing another wonderful season,” explains John Theil, owner of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing, “The best thing about a sled dog race is that you can feel the excitement in the air! The dogs love it, the mushers love it, the volunteers love it and all that energy ignites the crowd.”
Theil has been actively involved in assisting in the planning of this race for 15 years, and along with over 40 “Voluntourists,” this years Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race will be a great event! “The voluntourism program has become such an amazing success. We have again increased our numbers over 2009 greatly, and we even have people coming back to experience these races for a second time,” explains Kristen Sandstrom, Marketing & Events Manager for the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau.
"The best thing about a sled dog race is that you can feel the excitement in the air! The dogs love it, the mushers love it, the volunteers love it and all that energy ignites the crowd," states John Thiel of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing - Theil has been actively involved in assisting in the planning of this race for 16 years.
The upcoming race begins at 10:00 am Saturday and Sunday with half of the total race distance completed each day. There are two main races: an 8 dog, 80-mile race and a 6 dog, 60-mile race. A 40-mile Sportsman's Race and a 16 and under 8 to 10-mile Family Race will also be held over the weekend. Multiple spectator locations with amenities including warming tent with concessions and bonfire.
The start and finish line is located 15 miles north of downtown Bayfield at the Echo Valley Gravel Pit on Hwy. 13. The course is The Sand River Trail System of Bayfield County. Programs with a map of the course will be available at the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau Visitor's Center and at the start/finish line location.
Pre-race activities begin at 6 pm in the Lakeside Pavilion on Friday with a "Meet the Mushers" dinner that is open to the public. A pre-race musher's meeting will follow with bib numbers assigned and instructions from race officials handed out. Following this meeting, mushers will have their teams inspected and approved by the race veterinarian who will ensure that all teams are in good health.
Don't miss the Mushers' Mix and Dinner at the Bayfield Inn starting at 5pm on Saturday. The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday and will begin immediately following the races at approximately 4pm.
By Leroy Worley
For more information on the race visit http://bayfield.org/festivals_events_sled_dog.php, or for other current events, attractions, or to plan your trip visit the at Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau at www.bayfield.org or call (800)447-4094.