115    Dog Sledding & Sled Dog Races  (040315)  ---  Burrr!  It’s damn cold!   But seeing sled dog races in person is awesome!

See photos of sled dog races (Photo Gallery > Minnesota Seasons > Winter  > Dog Sledding)

Dog sledding and sled dog races are very popular in Northern states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Dog sledding and Sled dog races usually use very powerful Alaskan Malamutes or Siberian Huskies. The three dogs in front are Alaskan Malamutes while the one under the trailer is a Siberian Husky, we believe.  See photo 1.  Alaskan Malamutes look similar to Siberian Huskies but are bigger in size.  Note:  In Japan Alaskan Malamutes are probably called “Alaska -ken”  while Siberian Huskies, “Siberia-ken (or Karafuto-ken)”.  The temperature was at about -15
°C, but these dogs enjoy the cold weather.  A person, who drives (or “ mushes” ) a dog team, is called a “musher* ”.   A musher and the dogs use teamwork to win the race.  For example, going uphill, a musher also pushes the sled to help the dogs.  Compared to skijoring (see Letter 41 & 113), dog sledding requires more stuff such as sled dogs, a sled, and harnesses to the dogs. 

Sorry I didn’t check how long the course was.  I thought it was 5 km or 10 km.  Ummm… sled dog races may have special race distances?  We’ll inform you of the distances if we find them later (see Note 2).  I was impressed by the fast speeds that dog sledding reaches in downhill parts of the course.

In a practical manner, dog sledding can carry more things than skijoring.  Dog sledding used to be very important transportation systems in Northern countries which have severe winters, and it still continues to be great transportation.  However, it looks like choppers, snowmobiles and ATVs (See photos:  Photo Gallery > Transportation ) can take some of their jobs nowadays.  

Note 1: We found that skijoring and dog sledding are very popular among women.  We should do these to meet girls.  J

Note 2: Sled dog race schedule (2003-2004) examples:
Several types of races < http://www.sleddogcentral.com/racelinks.htm#Sprint
Alaska Dog Mushers Association < http://www.sleddog.org/ >
Dog Sledding Events in Northern Minnesota < http://www.boundarywaterscanoearea.com/activities/dogsledding/dogsleddingevents.htm  >

Our pix:  Sled dog races, Badlands Sno-Park, Hudson, Wisconsin (030208)

Movie “Iron Will”:  see our note at Photo Gallery > Minnesota Events > Winter Carnival > Wilderness > Dogsleds

* Musher:  < http://www.rims.k12.ca.us/iditarod/about/whatis.html >  The word “mush” originates from the French word “marcher” which means “to walk”.

in Japanese

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