Coming dog races will be more spectator friendly
The Boundary Dog Sled Classics are mixing it up this year by making their races more spectator friendly for the coming races on Jan. 25 and 26.
This year, organizers are changing the track to a sprint track where the dogs will race loops that range between three to six miles. This will let the spectator’s see more of the action as the dogs will never be far from sight.
In the past, the mid-distance races would cover 200 miles without the spectators being able to see much more than the starting and finishing lines.
“This will be a lot more spectator friendly,” said Dr. Ruth Sims, president of the Dog Sled Classics. “Before there was just one-spot — the start-line– that was really exciting.”
Sims, who is also the veterinarian at Kettle River Veterinary Services and the races’ vet, has created six classes for the race. The six-dog race covers six miles, the four-dog open covers four miles as does the four-dog purebred class. They three-dog race covers three miles and the two-dog skijoring race covers four miles.
The skijoring race might be the most interesting to spectators because the racer is tethered to a two-dog team with a bungee cord and riding behind them on skis.
There aren’t a lot of dog racers in the Boundary area. In fact, Sims says she is the only one, but she never has time to race. However, competitors will be coming from across Western Canada and the United States. At the time of the interview, Sims said she had commitments from Salmo, Rossland, Washington State and Cranbrook.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the lake and the concession stand while they are watching the races. Jewel Lake also offers outdoor activities like ice fishing and skiing. Visitors are also welcome to visit with the mushers and learn about the sport. The concession stand will be open from 11 to 2.
Previous dog races were held in 2011 and 2012. No race was held last year and in 2010 a race was attempted but the weather was too warm.