Sled dog racing set this weekend

BALDWIN —  Saturday and  Sunday, the Great Lakes Sled Dog Association (GLSDA) Stearns Siding Sprint Sled Dog Race will be at trails located, 5.5 miles west of downtown Baldwin, West Wingleton Road at Stearns Road.

Teams will be starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Event facilitator Linda Lange, of Baldwin, noted two events have already taken place on the trails.

“The reason they’re having an event in March is because it was postponed,” she said. “There wasn’t quite good enough conditions for a sprint race back in early January.”

Lange said this weekend’s event will be the biggest one.

“Last year, we had over 50 participants,” she said. “Most of the events take place in the morning. Probably the juniors and the kiddy race would be in the afternoon. I encourage people to come out early, that’s when the big teams come out. It’s a lot of excitement with 10-dog teams going out. The skijorers are always interesting. It’s nice for people to see them.”

Spectators are encouraged to come out.

“Last year, we had people from all over the country (participate),” Lange said. “I know the Wisconsin people are coming back. There will be people from Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, southern Michigan, northern Michigan. It’s a similar group to what we had last year.”

Lange also is entered in one of the classes.

“I’m helping to facilitate it,” Lange said.

Lange reported the Mid Union Sled Haulers, (MUSH) had a fun run the weekend of Feb. 21-22 titled “Far From Nome.”

The event featured a sleeping bag mass start, relay race and a poker run on the Stearns Siding non-motorized trail system in Sweetwater Township.

In January, the Michigan Dog Drivers Association (MDDA) had an event at the local trails.

Lange is a member of all the three organizations and is president of the MDDA.

“This will be the first year all three sled dog organizations have had events on the trail system,” Lange said. “This will be the second year for the event this weekend.”