White Oak Sled Dog Race Cancelled For Second Consecutive Year
Warm temperatures and little snowfall has forced the cancellation of the annual White Oak Sled Dog Race. The annual event has been cancelled two years in a row due to weather conditions.
According to the Grand Rapids Herald Review, the final decision was made today after race volunteers surveyed the course. Weather forecasts in the area show little to no snow during the week with highs around the mid 40’s on Saturday.
Last year, organizers determined the trail was icy and unsafe after a downpour of rain, then several inches of snow, followed by warm temperatures.
In a blog post from last year, the race committee said, “we are scoping out a new route for next year, one that will not be so susceptible to warm weather, because the portions of this year’s trail that were back in the woods were still very ‘mushable.’”
The first race of the day was set to start at the White Oak Historical Site, north of Deer River. Mushers and their teams would travel 23 miles to the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, where they would then have an hour and a half “layover.” They would then head back to the White Oak Fur Post a the historical site.
A second race would then run from the historical site to a finish line at the fairgrounds with no turn around. The final “Big Dog” race would run 12 miles to TK Automotive in Cohasset. Breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, pure-bred Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds would compete in the race.