EAGLE HARBOR – It takes more than mushers, dogs and sleds to make a great dog-sled race. Hundreds of spectators make their way from the start of the CopperDog 150 in Calumet to the finish line in Eagle Harbor. Race volunteers also spread out on trails across the peninsula for an experience that goes beyond that of a spectator. Frank Ozanich has been involved for a number of years. He’s in charge of organizing other volunteers at crossing 214 for Garden City Road.
“Every crossing is unique. I get to where I am early, so I can pretty much get it set up. And then when people come up, then I can just show them what to do. But as long as you have the fencing, and the people as you saw today, this crossing went well. They’re coming out of the bush. And down the county road, and back into the bush again. So safety is the main concern. You know you want to make sure the dogs are safe, the volunteers are safe, and the public that are possibly using the road.” – Frank Ozanich, Garden City Rd. Lead Volunteer
Getting involved with a race like the CopperDog can be fun and exciting. He said the volunteer experience becomes more meaningful when cheering on the dogs, and getting trail updates from the mushers as they pass by. A lot of people are needed to have each race run smooth.
“600 people. 600 volunteers. Just about everyone, well everybody is a volunteer for this race, even the race officials. But it’s a lot of fun. And if you, if you like being out in the cold, in the snow. If you like dogs, if you like just interacting with people. I’d say come out get involved, cause it’s good for the area. And its good to get people out and involved because it’s just a lot of fun” – Frank Ozanich, Garden City Rd. Lead Volunteer
The weather may not have been the greatest this weekend, but it was meaningful for the teams that finished the race, and the volunteers who got to experience all it takes to run CopperDog. Many mushers said they were grateful for the efforts of race coordinators, volunteers and their dogs. A few even said the CopperDog is their favorite race to run each season. A volunteer appreciation event will be held later this month. Anyone who volunteered with this year’s race should be on the lookout for an email with more details.