List of sled dog races

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Photo graphic depicting the elements of a sled dog team
Elements of a sled dog team

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.

Sprint races[edit]

Mid-distance races[edit]

Long-distance races[edit]

Multiple events[edit]

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.

Club seasons[edit]

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.


  1. ^ International Sled Dog Racing Association. "History of Sled Dog Racing Archived 2009-07-21 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed May 20, 2009.
  2. ^ White, Tim. "A history of mushing before we knew it" Archived 2009-02-18 at the Wayback Machine.. International Federation of Sleddog Sports, Inc. Accessed May 20, 2009.
  3. ^ a b 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.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Big Land Challenge. "Race info" Archived 2008-11-02 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 21, 2009.
  6. ^ Alaska Dog Mushers Association. "GCI Open North American Championship" Archived 2009-04-09 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 21, 2009.
  7. ^ Tok Dog Mushers Association. "Tok Dog Mushers Association", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  8. ^ Dillingham Chamber of Commerce. "2009 Western Alaska Sled Dog Races" Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 21, 2009.
  9. ^ Hartt, Dave. "Can-Am Crown profile" January 22, 2012. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  10. ^ Copper Basin 300. "Copper Basin 300 sled dog race" Archived 2009-02-25 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 20, 2009.
  11. ^ CopperDog 150. "CopperDog 150 Sled-Dog Race", Accessed April 14, 2011.
  12. ^ Eagle Cap Extreme. "Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  13. ^ Gin Gin 200. "Gin Gin 200 Race Information", Accessed May 20, 2009.
  14. ^ Big Lake Aurora Lions Club. "Klondike 300", Accessed May 20, 2009.
  15. ^ "Nome-Council 200 Sled Dog Race". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  16. ^ "Nome and Kotzebue Mushers Set to Race in Nome-Council 200". KNOM Radio Mission. Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  17. ^ "Council race". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  18. ^ Nunavut Tourism. "Nunavut Quest", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  19. ^ Staff Report. "Funding shortage cancels Qimualaniq Quest", CBC News. March 6, 2009. Accessed May 21, 2009.
  20. ^ Tustumena 200. "Tustumena 200 history" Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 20, 2009.
  21. ^ Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association. "U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship" Archived 2009-02-24 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 20, 2009.
  22. ^ HOPE Sled Dog Race. "About the HOPE Race" Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine., 1992. Accessed February 28, 2009.
  23. ^ "Iditarod - Last Great Race on Earth®". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  24. ^ "Race to the Sky – Montana's Premier Sled Dog Races". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  25. ^ "Yukon Quest | THE 1,000 MILE INTERNATIONAL SLED DOG RACE – Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon". Retrieved 2016-03-26.
  26. ^ Fur Rondy. "Anchorage Fur Rendezvous" Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 21, 2009.
  27. ^ Winterdance Dogsled Tours. "Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  28. ^ Lakes Region Sled Dog Club. "Race notes", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  29. ^ "Many snowy paws set to mush on in sled festival at Cardrona Snow Farm". The Southland Times. August 22, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  30. ^ Affiliated British Sleddog Activities. "ABSA season of sleddog activities 2009-10", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  31. ^ Alaska Dog Mushers Association. "Alaska Dog Mushers Association", Accessed May 21, 2009.
  32. ^ British Siberian Husky Racing Association. "BSHRA Calendar" Archived 2009-05-08 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 21, 2009.
  33. ^ Chugiak Dog Mushers. "Race schedule" Archived 2012-07-22 at, Accessed May 21, 2009.
  34. ^ The Siberian Husky Club of NSW Inc. "Sledding Calendar and Results" Archived 2011-02-23 at the Wayback Machine., Accessed May 13, 2010.

External links[edit]