17th annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race set for February 4th and 5thNearly 65 sled dog teams, hailing from Michigan to Oregon are expected to participate in this year’s Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, which will be held Saturday, February 4th and Sunday, February 5th, 2012 in Bayfield, Wisconsin. “The best thing about a sled dog race is that you can feel the excitement in the air!” says John Thiel of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. “The dogs love it, the mushers love it, the volunteers love it and all that energy ignites the crowd.” Thiel has been involved in helping to plan the race for 16 years.The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race features an 8-dog 80 mile race, 6-dog 60 mile race, and 40 mile Sportsmen’s Race, in addition to a Family Run on Saturday and a 16 & under Youth Race on Sunday. Races begin at 10:00 am on both days, with half of the total race distance completed each day. The start/finish line is located 15 miles north of downtown Bayfield at the Echo Valley Gravel Pit on Highway 13 with the course following The Sand River Trail System of Bayfield County.While northern Wisconsin’s precipitation has been late-in-coming, the Bayfield area recently received 4-5 inches of fresh snow. Inland from the lake towards the Chequamegon National Forest area, there is already a good base, according to local mushers. Since another round of lake-effect snow in the next few weeks is likely, conditions for the race should be very respectable.The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race welcomes the public and all ages are encouraged to come experience a bit of the energy that this exciting event exudes. Visitors can mix and mingle with the mushers during Friday evening’s Meet the Mushers spaghetti dinner at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion from 6pm-7pm or enjoy a presentation by Jim Ryder on Saturday evening at the Bayfield Inn at 6:00pm. Jim, a Wisconsin native, journeyed solo by dog team, 800 miles from Nenana to Nome, Alaska early in 2011, replicating the original Serum Run which follows part of the Iditarod Trail.At the race site, spectators will enjoy a warming tent with hot food and drinks available for purchase, a dog sled accessories vendor, and handmade outerwear by Wolfsong Wear. Bonfires will be ready to warm chilly toes in between watching the dog teams start the race. Spectators can also travel to multiple check point locations for race viewing. A complete Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race schedule is available at bayfield.org.The current sponsors of the 17th annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race are: Master Musher Sponsors; The Bayfield Inn, CF Design, Ltd, L & B Custom Woodworks, Northern Wisconsin Dog Mushers Association, Pinehurst Inn, Seagull Bay Motel, Silverwaves Jewelry, Winfield Inn & Gardens, Wolfsong Wear, Trail Support Sponsors; Xcel Energy, Printing Plus/Screen Line, Doggy Biscuit Sponsors; Honest Dog Blog, Racey’s Tasty Dog Biscuits, and Sled Dog Friends; Apostle Islands Realty and Harbor View Lodging. The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race Committee is still looking for a few additional sponsors to supplement trail grooming and operation costs. For more information about sponsorship, download the 2012 AISDR sponsorship letter. Please contact the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau at (715) 779-3335 for additional information about the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race.
I am a lover of all seasons, except for spring breakup in Alaska. This year