Change of plans for Frazee sled dog races
The Frazee Sled Dog Club is mixing things up a bit.
During a meeting Dec. 18, the club voted 9-2 to cancel the winter race set Jan. 22-23, and ponder organizing a dryland race in the fall.
Many things prompted the change, including a lack of early winter snowfall, a shortage of volunteers, costs associated with a winter race, and the dependency on weather and snow to make the event go.
Dryland racing is relatively new to sprint racing. Wheeled "sleds" are used instead of snow sleds.
The group plans to gather information on dryland racing and ponder locations for the race which would be about 3 miles in length.
The club utilized dormant farmland for its winter race, and that will not be the case for a dryland race. Club members are looking for a site that could accommodate the start and finish line, along with spectator and musher parking, and are hoping to find one that provides a view of the entire race.
The track would be mowed or dirt.
"We're really excited about this change. There's nothing more disheartening than to plan a race and put all the work in and have Mother Nature not cooperate," said Frazee Sled Dog Secretary Gale Kaas.
The Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous was first held in 1999 near Ike Fischer's farm just outside Frazee. It was the brainchild of world sprint champion Eddy Streeper, farmer Ike Fischer and Frazee-Vergas Forum reporter Lori Fischer Thorp.
Races were held there eight times over the past 11 years, with the exception of 2003 when it was moved to Long Lake near Vergas due to lack of snow.
Over the years, the top open sled dog teams have competed in the event from all over the globe.
"We could not have pulled in these world contenders without the support of the local businesses. We thank our loyal supporters for all their help and financial assistance. We hope when the club gets a new plan ironed out these supporters will be on board," Kaas concluded.