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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ford

Racing the Copper Basin 300

Last week I raced my first 300-mile dogsled race. This was not in the original plan for the season, but other ideas are brewing in the background that require me to complete mid-distance races. Anna was originally signed up, but graciously gave me her slot.


The CB 300 is known for being a tough race. There is a lot of elevation gain (nearly 10000' of elevation change), water crossings, and many twists and turns. The location of the race is known for always being at major sub-zero temperatures, but this year it was quite mild with -20ºF being the coldest.


My team consisted of a couple of vetted dogs, but several 2-3 year-olds. Llama (10) was my oldest, but she was my safety when leaving the race start. She is reliable because she has done so many races in her lifetime. She doesn't get nervous, she can sniff out a trail and never gives up. I had her lead with Laurakins (9) who is also reliable, but who is slowing down these days. My swing dogs were siblings Porsche and Lambo (2) who I moved up to lead after the first 50 miles. They lead 250 miles with confidence. I am so proud of them! The rest of the team dogs were Diggins (5), Rolls (2), Illiad and Odyssey (2), Wizard (2) and Yukon (1.5). Regal (3) and Feisty (9) were my wheel dogs.


Since this was my first 300 miler, our race plan had us resting a bunch and running at about 7-9 mph. At the checkpoints, I took care of the dogs not only by feeding them but also by giving them straw beds, checking their feet, and massaging sore muscles. I dropped Wizard and Feisty because they tuckered out before the finish line. We finished in 21st place with healthy happy dogs.


Anna has the Quest 300 next and then Iditarod! The mushing season seems to always fly by.








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