The Copper Dog 150 sled dog race is only about a month away. This year the race will add a fourth route to the competition. And that will mean a few more volunteers are needed. Each year, hundreds of people from around the Copper Country, and some even visiting from outside the mid-west, help fill roles, and keep the race coming back year in and year out. Race Volunteer Coordinator Krissy Tepsa says that there are close to 700 volunteers in total to put on the race.
“We’re at about fifty percent-ish, give or take a couple percentage points from over the weekend. There’s a total of 632 volunteer positions. So a lot of people are needed, a lot of bodies. And probably over 700 volunteers, after you factor in the volunteer firefighters, and police officers. There’s timing positions at certain crossings, bag checkers, people that will assist the veterinarians. There’s all kinds of positions available.” – Krissy Tepsa, Volunteer Coordinator, Copper Dog 150
Tepsa says that the Copper Dog volunteers have incredible passion for the event and the communities that dot the race routes. There are various roles from dog handling, to assisting at road crossings. Some of the most need volunteers though, are needed to help tear down Copper Dog’s starting block in Calumet.
“It’s pretty much the standard volunteers that are really needed. The crossing guards for the roads, dog handlers. And the set up and tear down of the fencing on 5th Street. That’s always a really big one we need help on. The more bodies, the better and quicker that goes. Once you start volunteering, you kin of catch the bug, as you know. I mean, it’s a great race, well organized. Everybody works together, and you just want to keep coming back for more. And once you learn, like a certain crossing, and you like that one, and you stick with it. And you go back year after year. But you can always sign up for more than one position.” – Krissy Tepsa, Volunteer Coordinator, Copper Dog 150
Keep an eye on the Copper Dog 150 website or facebook page for upcoming volunteer training opportunities. Training as a volunteer is very easy, and is important for those experiencing the race for the first time. Those interested in volunteering with the Copper dog 150 and their other races, can find more information on copperdog150.com.
The full race weekend takes place March 3rd – 5th. Friday night’s festivities are a great time for the family to see dog teams journey out of town, warm up by a fire, and spend time together. Copper Dog officials say that there are still some open spots for teams to still sign up. Please contact the Copper Dog 150 for more information on joining the race as a musher or volunteer.