The inaugural East Corinth Sled Dog Race was supposed to be held last year but it was postponed and then cancelled due to rain and unseasonable weather.
So race organizer Frank Thomas will try again on Saturday and Sunday.
“The rain didn’t help us,” said Thomas. “We will decide [whether to hold it or postpone it until nextweekend] Thursday. We can’t have a pure ice little bit of snow on the trail. We’ll see if the groomer can dig up the ice, make snow out of it and put it back down.”
Thomas said he is optimistic that the trails can be groomed so the event can take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. on each day. There will be a 9 a.m. drivers meeting at the Power Line Prowlers Snowmobile Club in East Corinth on Saturday. The snowmobile club is one of the major sponsors and Thomas is a member of the club.
It will be conducted by the Downeast Sled Dog Club and will feature $1000 in purse money for the open and pro classes.
“We had been talking about having a race in East Corinth for three or four years,” said Thomas. “We thought it would be a great place to have a race.”
So Thomas and wife Anita; George and Debbie Buswell, Terry and Lisa Pinkham and their families began putting the race together.
They promoted the race in Team and Trail Magazine for dog sledders and Thomas said he expects 80 teams to participate.
“They will be coming from New Jersey, New York, all of the Eastern states and Quebec,” said Thomas.
He also said this is early in the winter for a sled dog race and the small purse shouldn’t be a deterrent.
“People just want to race,” said Thomas.
There will be a number of different classes including skijoring for one or two dogs pulling a person on cross country skis for three miles.
Thomas said all of the races will be sprint races which means the distance will be 20 miles or less. The combined times for each day will determine the winners.
He indicated that some of the sled dog teams will be going 25 miles-an-hour when they leave the starting line.
“Because the races are short, they’ll give it their all [for the entire race],” said Thomas.
In addition to the skijoring, pro and open classes, there will be sportsman classes; a junior class for children 14-under and a small child’s class.