Saturday, February 13th: It was a chilly start to the morning at -24 degrees but by race time it turned into a beautiful brisk sunny day; probably perfect for the dogs! This was the 28th year for the Mid-Minnesota 150 Sled Dog races. The eight-dog pro class and six-dog recreational class began in Outing at noon and 12:30 pm and finished in Remer. Here's an excerpt from the Brainerd Dispatch:
Dan Levno, co-organizer, said when the race started it was first geared toward larger dog teams but through the years, it changed from 10-dog teams to the six- and eight-dog teams, which were more in line with what mushers were handling.
The event, and the race course, has changed over the years. It now has two different classes, a 30-mile race for the six-dog teams and a 60-mile race for the eight-dog teams. The race has a history of attracting mushers from the region and from outside Minnesota. Organizers moved the race from a winner's purse to charging an entry fee and giving back an equal portion to each musher.
"It has really changed the complexion of the race," Levno said. "It's a love of the sport, which is what it is. ... Everybody leaves with a smile on their face and they have a good time."
Levno said it's about being together with people who really love the same thing, being out in nature running with their dogs. That camaraderie, Levno said, brings people back year after year.
The race has attracted as many as 96 sled dog teams. The average number of teams each year is more often 20 to 22. Levno said a lot of sled dog races have fallen by the wayside, but the Mid-Minnesota 150 has endured.
Once again in conjunction with the Mid-Minnesota 150 Sled Dog races, the Remer Chamber of Commerce sponsored a very successful Chili cook-off event at the Remer Fire Hall. There were 16 chili entries in all, and with 100 ballots cast by the chili eaters they voted for their favorite belonging to Gerald (Jerry) Varner of Remer (his chili was #14 in the lineup). He wins the $50 1st prize and bragging rights for the best chili! The Remer Chamber wishes to thank all the volunteers who helped make the event possible and all those who participated in the festivities!
Below are photos from the day: Race winner for the eight-dog pro class was Erin Becker pictured by the sled dog trophy and with her winning plaque. We saved a spot for a photo of our chili cook-off winner Jerry Varner.