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Sled dog races to return to Frazee

After a three-year hiatus, the Frazee Sled Dog Races are coming back next month, with a few changes.

"We're going to try for a mass start, where you drop the flag and all the competitors in the event start at one time versus starting at timed intervals," Frazee Sled Dog Club President Neal Seeger said.

The mass start should be easier for those trying to figure out times of those participating.

"We can drop the flag, and the first one back is the winner," he said.

There will be several classes in the sled races this winter:

One race will include the three-dog junior, which is for kids under age 16, and skijoring, where skiers are pulled by dogs.

There will also be races for the four-dog professional, the six-dog professional and the eight-dog professional.

Although the races will be located just east of Frazee where they have been held in the past, another change for this race will be the trail.

"This year we're going to run in reverse," Seeger said. "This time we're going to try and run out to the north, go through the fields and across some lakes and farmland out there, and then come back in on the same trail we went out on."

He said the change came in part because the first part of the southern trail is windblown and drifted, so to cut back on mileage and having to keep that part of the trail cleared, all the participants will run the same trail.

The three-dog, four-dog and skijoring participants will run about three or four miles, he said, and the six and eight-dog races will add on another loop, upping the mileage.

"It's less trail we have to groom and maintain," Seeger said. "It's easier then for the crew putting it together to keep it together.

"It'll be a one-day race, just to get our feet wet again in the snow," he said, "and try and see what we can pull off."

Also making a comeback this year is the Cabin Fever Weekend community-wide celebration.

Held at the Frazee Community Center, there will be breakfast and lunch served, a silent auction, Bingo, a cake walk, chili feed and more. The sled dog awards will also be given out that evening. The evening will finish with a band.

"It's more than just a race, so those people who don't want to watch all the racing, they can always go to the event center and take part in the things there," Seeger said.