Sixth running of Copper Dog 150 starts Feb. 26 in Calumet

CALUMET – Since it its first race in 2010, the Copper Dog 150 has attracted mushers from all over the world. In 2011 and 2012, the Copper Dog race included a musher from as far away as South Africa, the Copper Dog website stated.

Organization of the race began in 2009 and now includes two races, the Copper Dog 150 and the Copper Dog 80.

The Copper Dog 150, featuring 10-dog teams, covers 135 miles, and is run in three stages spanning three days. Stage One, spanning 49 miles, is a night run beginning in Calumet and ending at Eagle Harbor.

State Two runs from Eagle Harbor to Copper Harbor and is 41 miles less. Stage Three follows a different route, running from Copper Harbor to Calumet and covering a distance of 41 miles.

The Copper Dog 80 is a 77-mile race that will be run in two stages over two days, with teams consisting of six dogs. Stage One is a night run from Calumet to Eagle River, a distance of 42 miles. The second stage, beginning in Copper Harbor on Sunday, ends in Calumet, a distance of 37 miles.

For 2016, the registration cap has been reduced from 30 to 25 teams. As of Friday, 19 teams were registered to take part in the 150 race, according to the website. Of the 19 entries, Chad Grentz, Tom Bauer and Becky Bean are local mushers.

Copper Dog 80, with a registration cap of 18 teams, has 13 registered teams as of Friday. Of those, five are local, the website stated. They are Jerry Trudell of Calumet, Susan Serafini of Hancock, Kelly Jo Engle of Atlantic Mine, Abe Raskind of Chassell and Adam Schmidt, also of Chassell. In fact, Raskind and Schmidt are both of Otter River Sled Dog Training Center and Wilderness Adventures, and are both enrolled in Tom Bauer’s youth musher training program.

The deadline for registration for both races is Tuesday Feb. 23 at 11:59 p.m. Registration fee for the 150-mile race is $375 this year, with a first-place purse of $31,800.

The registration fee for the 80 mile-race is $175, with a purse of $2,750 for first place.

This year, as in the past, the race will begin as a night run, leaving Fifth Street in Calumet. This year’s race begins on Friday, Feb. 26, at 8:30 p.m.

A pre-race Opening Ceremony at the corners of Scott and Fifth streets in Calumet will take place from 6:30 to 7 p.m., just before the race begins.