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Sled dog racers show off winter garment know-how

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FRAZEE - If you want the secret to staying warm in frigid weather, ask a sled dog enthusiast.

Mushers, handlers and spectators didn't seem phased Friday by being out in the cold all day at the Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous.

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The area's temperature around noon was 10 degrees with a wind chill of 4 below, according to the National Weather Service.

That's ideal because it's too warm for the dogs if it gets above 20 degrees, said Heidi Brune, president of the Frazee Sled Dog Club.

Many sported hats made of fur - mostly fox and beaver - to protect them from the elements.

Race grand marshal Mike Arntson took it one step further and had beaver mittens, or choppers, in addition to his fox hat.

Mushers, in particular, need to dress for the cold because of the additional wind chill of traveling at 25 mph, Arntson said. Many wear face coverings or goggles.

"I don't know if there's any musher that hasn't gotten frostbite," Arntson said.

In an effort to make it more comfortable for spectators and participants, the first-time event organizers upgraded to handicap-accessible portable toilets so people had more room to take off their extra layers.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

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