List of sled dog races
The list of sled dog races contains dozens of contests created by supporters of mushing, the sport of racing sled dogs. It is unknown when the first sled dog race was held. Humans have domesticated dogs for thousands of years, and sled dogs have been used for transportation in Arctic areas for almost as long. The first sled dog race to feature a codified set of rules was the All-Alaska Sweepstakes, which first took place in 1908. This was followed in 1917 by the American Dog Derby, which was the first sled dog race outside Alaska or the Yukon. In 1932, sled dog racing was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, but was not included in future games.
The most famous sled dog race is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an annual 1000-mile competition in Alaska. It commemorates the 1925 serum run to Nome but was not begun until 1973. The Iditarod helped restart worldwide interest in mushing, which had been thought of as anachronistic after the spread of snowmobiles. Since mushing's resurgence, the sport has proliferated and sled dog races are hosted in towns around the world, from Norway and Finland to Alaska and Michigan. Due to the cold temperatures needed for sled dog racing, most races are held in winter in cold climates, but occasional carting events, typically known as dryland races, have been held in warmer weather. These are not included in this list because they do not use sleds.
There are three typical types of sled dog races: sprint, mid-distance, and long-distance. These types can be broken down into sub-types. Sprint races cover relatively short distances of 4 to 25 miles/day, mid-distance races cover a total of 100 to 300 miles, and long-distance races cover 300 miles to more than 1,000 miles. Sprint races frequently are two- or three-day events with heats run on successive days with the same dogs on the same course. Mid-distance races are either heat races of 14 to 80 miles per day, or continuous races of 100 to 200 miles. (These categories are informal and may overlap to a certain extent.) Long-distance races may be continuous or stage races, in which participants run a different course each day, usually from a central staging location. Stage races are similar to cycling's Tour de France.
Generally, teams start one after another in equal time intervals, competing against the clock rather than directly against one another. This is due to logistic considerations of getting teams of dogs to the starting line for a clean timed start. Mass starts where all of the dog teams start simultaneously are popular in parts of Canada. Another mode of dogsled racing is the freight race, in which a specified weight per dog is carried in the sled.
- Baltic Winter Cup — Series of sleddog races across the Baltic states, on snow as well as on dryland. "Baltic cup"
- ADVANCE Sled Dog Challenge — The only snow based sled dog race event staged in Australia. Short-distance sprint races take place annually at Dinner Plain Village located north east in the Victorian High Country. see www.sleddogchallenge.com and www.visitdinnerplain.com. "Advance Pet Foods Sled Dog Challenge"
- American Dog Derby — Oldest dog sled race in the United States.
- Avannaata Qimussersua is Greenland's championship in dog sled racing, using the typically Greenlandic fan formation with 12 dogs. The championship includes all West-Greenland settlements north of the Arctic circle and is held annually in March or April. The route covers about 40 kilometres, mainly on land but occasinnally crossing lake and sea ice. In 2013 and 2014, it was held in the town of Ilulissat.
- Big Land Challenge Dog Team Race — Annual 20-kilometer race in Goose Bay, Labrador.
- Open North American Championship — Culminating event of the Alaska Dog Mushers Association competition season.
- 1932 Olympics Race — Demonstration race involving two 25.1-mile heats.
- Tok Dog Mushers Association Race of Champions — An Alaska Dog Mushers Association event hosted annually in Tok, Alaska for more than 50 years.
- Western Alaska Championship Sled Dog Race — Annual three-day, 15–20-mile sprint race held in Dillingham, Alaska, as part of the Beaver Round-Up celebration.
- Caledonia Classic Dog Sled Races - Annual 3-day event on and adjacent to beautiful Stuart Lake in Fort St. James, BC, Canada. 150km races plus sprints on well maintained trails both on and off lake.
- Can-Am Crown — Annual 250-mile race in Fort Kent, Maine.
- Copper Basin 300 — Annual 300-mile race starting at Lake Louise, Alaska.
- CopperDog 150 — Annual 150-mile race starting at Calumet, MI.
- Défi Taïga 200 — Annual 200-km race starting and ending in Fermont, Quebec.
- Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race — Annual 200-mile race in Oregon.
- Gin Gin 200 — Annual 200-mile sled dog race starting in Paxson, Alaska.
- Klondike 300 — Annual 300-mile race starting in Big Lake, Alaska.
- Knik 200 Joe Redington Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race — Annual 200-mile race starting in Knik, Alaska
- Kuskokwim 300 — Annual 300-mile race on the Kuskokwim River in Alaska.
- Nunavut Quest — Annual sled dog race from Igloolik, Nunavut to Arctic Bay, Nunavut.
- Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race — Annual 320 km race from Dawson City, Yukon to Eagle, Alaska and back.
- Pirena — Annual stage race across the Pyrenees from west to east.
- Qimualaniq Quest — A 320-kilometer race on Baffin Island, Nunavut, northern Canada. The 2009 race was canceled due to funding shortages.
- Tustumena 200 — Annual 200-mile race starting in Clam Gulch, Alaska. Named for Tustumena Lake.
- U.P. 200 — Annual 240-mile race in Marquette, Michigan.
- Wyoming Stage Stop Sled Dog Race — Annual stage race in Wyoming and Utah.
- Sandwich, New Hampshire — Annual 25 and 40-mile race in Sandwich, New Hampshire.Sandwich Dog Sled Races
- Caledonia Classic Dog Sled Races - Annual 3-day event on and adjacent to Stuart Lake in Fort St. James, BC, Canada. 150, 200 mile races plus sprints on well maintained trails both on and off lake.
- Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Races - Annual 200 (8 dog Iditarod qualifier) and 325 mile (12 dog Yukon Quest and Iditarod qualifier)race held in February, Prince Albert Saskatchewan to La Ronge, Saskatchewan.
- All-Alaska Sweepstakes — First organized sled dog race. Is not run on an annual basis.
- Alpirod — Defunct 1,000-km stage race in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France.
- Femundløpet — 400-km and 600-km category race with start and finish in Røros, Norway.
- Beringia — Annual 950-km race which takes place on Kamchatka, Russia.
- Finnmarksløpet — 1,000-km competition starting in Alta, Norway.
- Hope Race — Defunct 1,200-mile race from Nome, Alaska to Anadyr, Russia, across the Bering Strait.
- Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race — Annual about 1,000-mile race in Alaska from Willow to Nome. Commemorates the 1925 Serum Run.
- Ivakkak - Biennial 500-km race along the Hudson Bay in Nunavik, Quebec; from Inukjuak to Ivujivik. Launched in 2001 to promote traditional dogsledding and the purebreed race of huskies in Nunavik.
- John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon — Annual 400-mile race starting in Duluth, Minnesota.
- Kobuk 440 - Annual 440-mile race starting and ending in Kotzebue, Alaska.
- La Grande Odyssée — Annual 900 km (560 mi) race in French Alps, from Portes du Soleil to Haute-Maurienne.
- Pasvik Trail — Annual 500-km race starting in Kirkenes, Norway.
- Vindelälvsdraget — Annual 400-km relay race on the Vindeln River in Sweden.
- Race to the Sky, a 350-mile race held in Montana, United States
- Yukon Quest — Annual 1,000-mile race from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon one year; then Whitehorse, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska the next.
Several festivals or events host several races in a short span of time. In most cases, an event will host several different classes of events separated by distance and the number of dogs allowed. The festivals listed below may be affiliated with a mushing club.
- American Dog Derby — Oldest dog sled race in the United States.
- Caledonia Classic Dog Sled Races - Annual 3-day event on and adjacent to beautiful Stuart Lake in Fort St. James, BC, Canada. 150, 200 mile races plus sprints on well maintained trails both on and off lake.
- Fur Rendezvous Festival — A winter festival in Anchorage, Alaska that includes several sled dog races including the World Championship Sled Dog Race, a sprint mushing event.
- Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby — Collection of sprint races held annually in Haliburton, Ontario.
- Kearney Dog Sled Races — Ontario's largest dog sled races held in Kearney, Ontario on the western boundary of historic Algonquin Park. This race offers Sprint, 4 dog 4mile, 6 dog 6 Mile, Skijouring and a mid distance 10 dog staged (50km / day / 2 day) race. Held annually on the second weekend in February each year with a 20+ year history.
- Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby — Annual event of the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club in Laconia, New Hampshire that includes several classes of sprint races. The event has been hosted for more than 80 years.
- Wanaka Sled Dog Festival — Multiple-race event hosted in Cardrona, New Zealand. Held in conjunction with the Kirsty Burn Classic and the Kirsty Burn.
Organized sprint mushing clubs typically host a series of small races as part of a season of competition. These races often change from one season to another, and are not notable enough on an individual level to warrant separate articles.
- Affiliated British Sleddog Activities hosts several events annually.
- The Alaska Dog Mushers Association is the largest sprint sled dog racing club in the world. It operates several races annually, and its season culminates in the Open North American Championship.
- The British Siberian Husky Racing Association hosts a series of two-day heats each year.
- Chugiak Dog Mushers host a series of races in and near Chugiak, Alaska annually.
- The Siberian Husky Club of NSW Inc holds races at several locations in the state of New South Wales, Australia between May and September each year.
- International Sled Dog Racing Association. "History of Sled Dog Racing. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- White, Tim. "A history of mushing before we knew it". International Federation of Sleddog Sports, Inc. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- Famous Firsts, Natalie Rompella 2007, page 15, the All Alaska Sweepstakes was held in Alaska which was only a territory in 1917 and not part of the United States.
- Big Land Challenge. "Race info", biglandchallenge.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Alaska Dog Mushers Association. "GCI Open North American Championship", sleddog.org. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Tok Dog Mushers Association. "Tok Dog Mushers Association", tokdogmushers.org. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Dillingham Chamber of Commerce. "2009 Western Alaska Sled Dog Races", dillinghamak.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Hartt, Dave. "Can-Am Crown profile" January 22, 2012. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Copper Basin 300. "Copper Basin 300 sled dog race", cb300.com. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- CopperDog 150. "CopperDog 150 Sled-Dog Race", copperdog150.com. Accessed April 14, 2011.
- Eagle Cap Extreme. "Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race", Eaglecapextreme.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Gin Gin 200. "Gin Gin 200 Race Information", gingin200.com. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- Big Lake Aurora Lions Club. "Klondike 300", Klondike300.org. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- Nunavut Tourism. "Nunavut Quest", nunavuttourism.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Staff Report. "Funding shortage cancels Qimualaniq Quest", CBC News. March 6, 2009. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Tustumena 200. "Tustumena 200 history", tustumena200.com. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association. "U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship", up200.org. Accessed May 20, 2009.
- HOPE Sled Dog Race. "About the HOPE Race", hopesleddograce.com. 1992. Accessed February 28, 2009.
- Fur Rondy. "Anchorage Fur Rendezvous", furrondy.net. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Winterdance Dogsled Tours. "Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby", winterdance.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Lakes Region Sled Dog Club. "Race notes", lrsdc.org. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- "Many snowy paws set to mush on in sled festival at Cardrona Snow Farm". The Southland Times. August 22, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- Affiliated British Sleddog Activities. "ABSA season of sleddog activities 2009-10", absasleddogracing.org.uk. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Alaska Dog Mushers Association. "Alaska Dog Mushers Association", sleddog.org. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- British Siberian Husky Racing Association. "BSHRA Calendar", huskyracing.org.uk. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- Chugiak Dog Mushers. "Race schedule", chugiakdogmushers.com. Accessed May 21, 2009.
- The Siberian Husky Club of NSW Inc. "Sledding Calendar and Results", sledding.shcnsw.org.au. Accessed May 13, 2010.
- European Sled Dog Racing Association
- International Sled Dog Racing Association
- International Federation of Sleddog Sports