The 2017 Races take place February 15-17; tagging on Feb 14.
The race set up and planning is a year round activity that has several parts.
RACE CHAIRMAN and MARSHALL
Each year the club appoints a Race Chairman who sits on the Northern Manitoba Trappers Board and attends meetings year round. Before becoming the Chairperson, the individual serves a year as the race marshall, learning the ins and outs of the race and preparing to sit on the board the following year.
Byron Pease was 2017 Race Chair and Brett Hanson was marshall.
Starting in December each year, numerous members take to the trails that make up the 6, 15 and 35 mile loops. The club owns a groomer and work is constantly ongoing to ensure that a world class track is available.
The week before the races, The Pas Kinsmen move 2 trailers to the start line at Halcrow Lake. The club works on these trailers year round to ensure that they are able to meet the needs of the timers, registrars, mushers and volunteers. Each trailer has 2 rooms, the first trailer is for the mushers to have a warm place away from the crowds to gather between races at one end and the other end contains the registration room. The larger trailer is home to our timers and race officials, it is the heartbeat of the entire weekend at Halcrow Lake, the other end is a large lunch room that feeds and houses the volunteers.
On the Wednesday before the races, the club sets up at Gordy’s Tire Shop to register all the 10 dog teams and some of the 6 dog teams. Musher’s in the World Championship Dog Race can select a pool of 12 dogs that they can draw any 10 from over the 3 days of racing. All the dogs in the World Championship Race have a microchip inserted that can be scanned. A local vet, Ainsley Dyson of the Northern Veterinary Clinic, is on hand to help insert the chips. In 2017, we registered 191 dogs, and in 2016, we had 336 dogs come through.
CROSSINGS AND HIGHWAYS
The largest job during the races is the approx. 35-40 volunteers we need each day to ensure the safety of the mushers, dogs, and visitors. 8 volunteers serve as the highway crew and slow traffic at both ends of the race and inform them that the race is going on beside the highway, with most teams using a vehicle to follow along on the highway at 10-20 mph, cars need to be aware of the hazards that exist.
There are 12 crossings along the 35 mile loop that makes up the World Championship course. These are all crossing that have vehicles coming off the highway into a residential area. The volunteers set up straw bales that funnel the dogs over and back onto the trail, however between mushers, they must move the bales to allow vehicles to go by. They also assist mushers if needed to keep dogs on track, hold the sled while mushers work with dogs or preventing tangles. In some situations they also shovel snow onto the roads so that there is a better track for the dogs safety.