Iron Dog 2022: Kids race snowmachines during Iron Dog Days carnival

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Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 5:48 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Members of the Iron Dog board made a racetrack and gathered youth snowmachines for kids to get a taste of racing. The event is part of Iron Dog Days in McGrath, a small carnival where the Iron Dog organization gets involved in the community instead of just passing through.

Around 25 kids gathered on the river for the races as they waited for the pro class racers to come in later that night. All of the children were decked out in their brand new helmets and goggles, donated by Donlin Gold the night before at a safety course and potlatch held at the tribal building in McGrath.

“This is a great opportunity for the kids to learn a little bit about safety to get out there and ride with their friends, and this is the future Iron Doggers,” Matt Shelborne, principal of the McGrath School, said.

Everyone got to go around the track once before the real racing started with three 120cc snowmachines going at it, being piloted by kids who ranged from 6 to 11 years old.

“It’s the fact that all these people came out here and brought us these machines in order to do this, and I just think that it just takes a lot of time to get these type of machines out here,” 11-year-old Gerald Greenamyre said.

It is cold and very snowy in McGrath this winter, so the town looks forward to watching the Iron Dog racers come through and now with more activities leading up to the racers arrival it is a win win. The kids in McGrath get to have activities to do and Iron Dog gets to spread winter safety awareness throughout the communities that the trail goes by.

“This gives us a little life at a much needed time, as the middle of winter, have something going on that’s not just Iron Dog passing through but it’s kids really taking part in it,” Shelborne said.

The races continued on for hours, with the kids riding the snowmachines until they literally ran out of gas on the river. Smiles were aplenty and the event kept the kids busy and got them excited for when the pro class teams started to come in that night. The kids had a much different outlook on racing than the pros do.

“Racing isn’t about first, second or third. It’s about having fun,” Greenamyre said

Iron Dog officials said that they will continue the fun next year with more races like this one and more giveaways for the kids.

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