Saturday, January 03, 2009

Red River Sled Dog Derby 2009

I have written about past sled dog races, never thinking I'd have an opportunity to write about its revival, but it's happening! Talk about exciting; to have sled dogs racing the Red River Valley again after nearly a century is indeed something to celebrate...

Todd Lerol, President of the Red River Sled Dog Derby Association, shared this with me:
I started training sled dogs and along with that came an interest in the history of dog sledding in the Red River Valley. My wife and I would like to see a race as close to the original Winnipeg to St. Paul Dog Derby as possible. There are a number of other things involved that would need to take place to have this happen. To get the mushers to come here, sponsors need to be obtained. An increased interest from the communities to have a winter event is also necessary. This all started during a year that most of the sled dog races that we had entered were cancelled due to a lack of snow. Emails were sent out to communities from Winnipeg to Fargo. Halstad, MN was the first community to be motivated in putting an event together with us. This past year a race organization was formed to work on planning the race for the coming year and to set goals for future growth of the race. This year we are seeing good interest from the mushers and some interest from sponsors. Currently the race is 150 miles. We are seeking volunteers to assist during the race this year and will have the first meeting with volunteers in Halstad on January 25 at 3:15 pm.
If anyone reading this has any interest in participating in the event or have any other questions on the race, be sure and check out the derby's website.

Approaching the Thompson Bridge south of Grand Forks, ND, on the Red River of the North...