Not much change for this year’s CopperDog race scene

Despite a few leadership changes, the CopperDog remains consistent as can be.

Board chairman Brad King said last fall the board had “a bit of a panic” regarding key leadership positions which led to bringing in new people, like their new director, Jeff Foss, and Marketing and Information Technology manager Jim Northey.

Other additions to the board include graphic designer Amber Voght and Krissy Kovachich as the new musher liaison.

Although they all are new to the positions, not much has changed with CopperDog. They have all been involved for many years.

“The race is fairly consistent this year,” said Northey. “I think the area we’ve been working on is a more effective use of social media.”

He said they are trying to make more use of their website. They’ve also updated signs and posters, but not much beyond that is new.

“We’re trying to provide consistency but match the quality that we’ve had in the past,” said Northey.

Foss blames himself for the lack of changes in the race.

“I didn’t want to do any because it’s all new to me,” said Foss.

Despite the few changes, Foss and Northey expect it to be a big year for the Saturday dog house races.

Even though this is its fifth year, Foss said, “this by far will be our biggest year.”

“The Dog House race will have a new level of excitement,” said Northey.

There will be more community involvement, with members of the fire department, Calumet High School and others creating teams to compete.

There is also a higher prize amount, from $500 to now $2,000 this year, thanks to company donations.

“It should be a wild Saturday,” said Foss.

One thing that worries Northey and Foss, besides the changing weather, is the number of mushers signed up. Northey said the entrants are coming in slower but should be consistent with the amount from last year.

There’s no penalty or fee to sign up late for the race, so there’s time for to sign up.

Foss said the reason could be a loss of training time with the inconsistent weather, so many mushers are trying to see if their dogs are healthy enough to race.

With the races, Foss hopes to mix it up next year to stay on trend. “There’s a small trend with the shorter races,” he said.

Foss said this will be the first year that they’ve had about the same amount of mushers in the 150 as the 80, with about 30 mushers.

He would like to see the 40 race added back, so there will be a 180, 80 and 40 next year. Another addition he wants to see is the race going through Brockway Mountain again.

“We’ll make it back over there again, somehow,” said Foss.