Two Major Mid-Distance Races in Russia Scheduled in 2013

My name is Anna Odintsova and I represent the North Hope Sled Dog Center, Russia (www.nordhope.com), the race organizing committee of the annual North Hope Stage Sled Dog Race (race.nordhope.info) and the Sled Dogs Helping Children Project. In cooperation with the race organizing committee of the Kalevala Sled Dog Race (huskygo.karelia.ru) we’d like to present our project to strengthen international relations in sled dogs and help foreign mushers to come over to Russia to participate in our sled dog events and exchange experience. We invite you to run the two major mid-distance races in Russia – the International Kalevala Sled Dog Race and the annual North Hope Stage Sled Dog Race – and get the most out of your visit to our country on favorable terms. The Kalevala Race is the largest international stage sled dog race in the European part of Russia (440km) and takes place in one of the most beautiful corners of the Russian North – Karelia, close to the Finnish border. Kalevala is the only race in Russia with a money purse – 800 000 rub (over 26 000$). Race Marshal: Terry Hinesly (USA). Race Dates: March 9-16, 2013 The North Hope Stage Race for the benefit of children is the second largest stage sled dog race in the European part of Russia and has been held since 2007 to raise awareness and support for children’s programs within the Sled Dogs Helping Children Project of the North Hope Sled Dog Center. Most of the money raised at the race goes to the Sled Dogs Helping Children fund and implementation of the children’s programs of the North Hope Center. The race is held each year in February on the territory of the North Hope Sled Dog Center, Kostroma region in a remote village of Dement’yevo. This part of Russia is known for perfect snow conditions and according to the mushers from North America (e.g. the 24-Iditarod veteran Terry Adkins, International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race director Frank Teasley and Iditarod musher Pat Moon) is similar to Montana and Interior Alaska in respect of terrain and weather conditions. The North Hope Race was the first race in European part of Russia to attract foreign mushers from the USA, Great Britain, Canada and Australia. Thus, since 2007 many foreign mushers have successfully participated in this event. Among them are: a 24-Iditarod veteran and vet Terry Adkins (USA), an Iditarod veteran and the IPSSSDR race director Frank Teasly (USA), Pat Moon (participant of two Iditarod races), Barbara Shaefer (the author of the “Be the Lead Dog”), Robert Stevens (musher and the race director of The Altitude 5000 Sled Dog Challenge, Australia), Jerry Joinson (musher, participant of the 2 Yukon Quest races) and many more. Traditionally since 2007 the Race Marshal of the North Hope Race has always been an experienced musher and race marshal from the US, Iditarod veteran Terry Hinesly and the Chief Vet – Iditarod vet, the president of the ISDMVA, holder of 3 golden stethoscopes – Dr. Caroline Griffitts. Race Dates: Feb.16-24, 2013 Within this project we offer the North Hope Stage Race as: A training race for the 440 km of the Kalevala Race to test the snow conditions of the country and let the dogs adapt – A possibility to meet the Race Officials that will be the same for both events – A possibility to meet Russian mushers and compare training and racing strategies – A training base between the two races to live, accommodate and train dogs and use local trails absolutely FREE OF CHARGE (you will also be offered a handler and an interpreter) – A unique possibility to visit two remote snow regions of Russia and run two major Russian races in one trip – A possibility to participate in non-commercial project for the benefit of children (read more on www.nordhope.com) and mush for a cause. The aim of this project is to help foreign mushers come over and race their dogs in Russia with less expense. We know how hard and costly the dog transfer is and we’d like to help mushers decrease their expenses and make their investment more reasonable offering the potential money prize of the Kalevala Race and the generous offer of the North Hope Sled Dog Center opening their home to mushers and their dogs for free for the period between the two races. In addition, this is a unique chance to learn our country from the inside being immersed in its everyday life with its traditional food, people, nature, culture, etc. and get a TRUE story, not its refined version which a real traveler is rarely searching for. We are convicted that the bond of a human being with sled dogs is deeply international by nature and we’d like the borders of the countries to fade and open up a whole world to unite and help our sport to evolve. Looking forward to having you at our events! Best regards, Race organizing committee of the North Hope Sled Dog Race, Race organizing committee of the Kalevala Sled Dog Race, Race Marshal Terry Hinesly.

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