Wednesday, February 4, 2009

World's Largest Skijoring Race

Posted by Ross

First thing is first, you are probably wondering wtf is skijoring. Basically it's dog sledding, but instead of a sled you are on cross country skis. On Saturday Minneapolis held the 4th annual City of Lakes Loppet. (pronounced lope et, or maybe lope pet). One of the events was skijoring.  Even though I've taken my dogs skijoring before, I didn't participate, as I didn't want to buy the necessary safety equipment (a quick release incase you fall and need to let the dogs loose).  My buddy John formed an all-star team with his dog Tigger, and my dog Mario.  Coco can't quite keep up, so she was a spectator.  Most people raced with one dog, and two is the limit.  

This was the world's largest Skijor race with over 100 registrants. I think last year's race with 67 may have previously been the largest race. Not a very popular event, but still very fun. There was a pretty large turnout of spectators as well. The entire city was buzzing as 40 degrees and sunny is the best weather we've seen in a while. It was a perfect day out today. Here's the lake about a half hour before the event.

John and the dogs:

His Yellow Lab, Tigger:

My dog, Mario:

The start:

The best part of the race to watch was the final 90 degree turn, that had a short, but steep incline. Quite a few wipe outs, a few distracted dogs, and at one point a muskrat wandered on to the course. He was shooed off into the crowd. There were a lot of dogs with the onlookers as well, so that little rodent created quite a stir.  John, Tigger and Mario finished in just under 15 miuntes, coming in 36th.  The race is 3 miles, so that's over 12 MPH.  So, you might say John is the 36th best skijorer in the world.

It was a great day to be out there. There was also some sort of bike race happening on Lake Calhoun, as well as a ton of kite boarders out there. Dogs pulling skiers, kites pulling boarders and bikers in the snow. All things you don't typically see.


BC said...

you kind of just made john internet famous. and so if you say that john in the 36th best skijorer in the world you are assuming that every skijorer flew into MPLS for this. thats quite an assumption.

Ross said...

BC- That's exactly like saying someone who wins the gold medal in the Olympics isn't the best because someone better could be out there.

BC said...

so you are comparing the olympics to the minnesota skijoring race. really ross?

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