Calling all Sled Dogs Fans!

Guest Blogger, Tanya McCready: Since 1999, Tanya McCready and her husband Hank have shared their passion for dogsledding. Their race team also competes in the Yukon Quest 1000-mile International Sled Dog Race & Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The couple, their four children and 150 Siberian Huskies love introducing worldwide guests to the amazing adventure of dogsledding and the beautiful Canadian wilderness. Find out more about Tanya at Winterdance Dogsled Tours

If we haven’t quite convinced you to jump on the runners and give dogsledding a try first hand, there are more passive ways to still enjoy the world of sleddogs!

Ontario is host to about a dozen dogsled races in January & February. The races vary in length from short 100 meter runs for little children on miniature dogsleds with their favourite husky, to 4, 6 & 8 dog sprint races less than 10 mile, up to 120 mile races for big 12 dog distance teams.  All are amazing to watch!  Most races will run both Saturday & Sundays and many have other winter festival type activities to enjoy in the host town.

photo credit: Lyn Winans

Kid & Mutt races are a fan favourite!

Ontario is host to about a dozen dogsled races in January & February. The races vary in length from short 100 meter runs for little children on miniature dogsleds with their favourite husky, to 4, 6 & 8 dog sprint races less than 10 mile, up to 120 mile races for big 12 dog distance teams.  All are amazing to watch!

Most races will run both Saturday & Sundays and many have other winter festival type activities to enjoy in the host town.

If going to a race in person won’t fit in your schedule this winter, facebook has created a new kind of “mushing fan” the last several years. The largest & most famous sleddog races in the world, Alaska’s Iditarod & the Yukon Quest take mushers and their teams of 14 & 16 huskies on 1000 mile endurance runs through some of the most remote, rugged & harsh climate & landscapes North America has to offer.

With facebook, races & teams are now able to update fans around the clock to where teams are and the drama’s unfolding out on the trail. It allows a window into a lifestyle that these mushers embrace that few people will ever experience in todays world. From surviving -50 F temperatures, to battling up mountain summits in blinding blizzards, to running through overflowing rivers many fans find themselves swept up in the adventure, becoming addicted to watching their favourite teams GPS marker along the trail.  People tell stories of taking washroom breaks at work or in meetings to sprint to their computer to check on their teams progress, or staying up all hours of the night to make sure a team reaches the next checkpoint safely!  The Yukon Quest starts February 4th and they do an amazing job of getting their fans involved, visit yukonquest.com and look for their facebook link. This year a team from our kennel will be running the Iditarod and I know Hank & the dogs would love your online support!

Winterdance’s Hank Debruin & team starting Iditarod 2010 (Lily & Max in lead)

For great Ontario Outdoor Adventures, please visit www.ontariotravel.net/outdoor

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anita Mac says:

    So cool – I am dying to try dog sledding. What an exciting looking sport.

  2. Awesome team, we’ll be following you in Iditarod! Recreational mushing, bike-joring and scootering are easy and accessible for nearly everyone and any kind of dog (really: a couple of Shihtzus can run in harness in front of a scooter or bike, with a tiny bit of help). great way to exercise high energy dogs you just can’t walk on a leash or jog with.

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