CALUMET — Dog sledding spectators, handlers, and teams have been rolling into Calumet throughout the day, as volunteers and workers used the final staging hours to make some last minute preparations for this evenings 7:00 starting time.
A bed of snow lines fifth street as technicians finish wiring the sound system and networking necessary for tonight’s race. Free WiFi is a perk that spectators can enjoy, but a data system has been put in place to allow for real time monitoring of the teams as they reach their check points.
Volunteers arranged parking and closed nearby streets making room for the dogs and the mushers. Who are anticipating a good race for the 10th annual Copperdog 150.
“I’m just excited to get out there and get out on the trail,” said Rita Wehseler of Stoney Creek Kennels. “It looks like it will be great weather. We have plenty of snow obviously. The dogs are ready, I’m ready, I just want to get out there and get going.”
Rita is a seasoned musher who was introduced to the sport from a friend.
“I’ve been running dogs for 25 plus years,” Wehseler said. “I was actually a missionary in Tanzania, when I was introduced to a musher who was an ex-professional wrestler named Paul Ellering. I got introduced to him and he put me on my first sled, and as they say, the rest is history. So I’ve been running dogs ever since then.”
Many of the teams come from the colder areas of the midwest, but some travel from across international boarders to participate and compete in races across North America.
“I’ve mushed dogs all the way from Minnesota to Maine,” said Wehseler.
Race time begins at 7:00 and ends on Sunday afternoon with many activities scheduled throughout the northern region of the Copper Island. A full listing of events can be found at www.copperdog150.com