Copper Dog 150 Closes Out the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Season with the First Superior Crown Winners

It was a warm and slushy race for the Copper Dog over the weekend. The Friday night starting block in Calumet filled the streets with the event’s largest crowd in the fourteen year history. Even with the warm temperatures, only one team bowed out of the race early. Giving Ryan Anderson a chance to win his first Copper Dog race.

“We started coming here when we started raising a young family. Just some time away from home, and I wasn’t able to get 10 days to go out to Can-am and that. So we decided to come here. And it’s always a challenge to try and race a team from Beargrease to UP dogs, and be competitive. And to come here, I’ve learned a lot, by having this opportunity, because of you guys. And I’ve become a better musher for it. So thank you guys, for not only the race, but for giving me the opportunity to grow as a musher. To all of the competitors, I love racing with you guys. Again thanks to my sister,  my wife at home. Connor my boy at two years old. And then Olivia at four. She’s starting her own team now. But we’ll see if she makes it. But I think she will. Again we appreciate it all, and thank you guys.” – Ryan Anderson, Bib #14, Saint Croix Falls, WI

And with the end of the Copper Dog race, comes the end of the inaugural Superior Crown Sled Dog Series. The three headed competition, challenged dog sled teams to take part in each the Tahquamenon Country, UP200 and the Copper Dog races. Earlier in the year, Tahquamenon Country and UP200 canceled their events for race conditions. Leaving the Copper Dog to crown the Upper Peninsula’s top dog sled team.

“And we had the option to cancel the triple crown, if you will. Or go forward with it. And we decided to go forward with it. Because we figured that, you go ahead. Put an asterisk on it. Call it year zero. But doing it this way, with what we’ve got. Is better for next year, for all three events. So just know we spent a lot of time thinking about this. I had a musher get a hold of me, and he said you can’t do it, dude. I’m like…watch this. (laughter). Because we feel justified, and we thought about it. Trust me, I’ve got a lot time and emotion into this. And I want to push it forward. We had 14 mushers sign up at the Tahquamenon Country. Nine of those mushers started the Copper Dog. Tied for First… Mike Bagsten, and Lynne Witte! (cheers)” – H.A. “Kiko” de Melo e Silva, Chief Timer, Superior Crown

Chief Timer H.A. “Kiko” de Melo e Silva, expressed pride in his team who worked tirelessly throughout each race to keep track of individual race times. Calling them the best in the business. To finish out the Copper Dog’s winners circle, the sportsmanship award was voted on by all mushers taking part in the race.

“I started out as a little girl, handing out bibs and banners. Many of you probably saw me cry that first year, cause I was probably scared of quite a few of you. But then I grew up. And I went to board meetings with my dad. And I would fall asleep outside of the boardroom. I did my homework in the boardroom. My life revolved around Copper Dog. And then I grew up again. And my goal was to become the youngest race director. And I got to be the Assistant Race Director for three years, from 15 to 17. And I got a family out of it. And I’m very thankful I got to share the trail with you guys. It makes my heart very warm, and I’m just very lucky you guys got to watch me grow up. And I can’t thank you guys enough for sharing the trail with me. And maybe I’ll come back and do it next year. And thanks to my parents for raising me the right way. That’s why I’m so nice, except when it comes to Ryan and JR (laughter). And thank you to Clayton and Terri Perry, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys.” – Maddie Longpre-Harrer, Bib # 12, Calumet, MI

Overall the Copper Dog 150 had a fantastic turnout from volunteers, teams and spectators. The Superior Crown Sled Dog Series hopes to come back after a underwhelming first year, with an even stronger field of dog teams, next year. Check out the Copper Dog official race times online.