Race officials working to get trails in shape for Friday’s Fur Rondy Sled Dog Races

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 5:59 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s recent warm temperatures are causing a bit of concern for one of Fur Rondezvous’ biggest events. The Fur Rondy Open World Championship Sled Dog Races start Friday and some parts of the trail could still use work.

The 25-mile racecourse covers city streets and Chester Creek Trails. Race Marshal Janet Clarke said there’s no concern for the downtown portion of the race, since city crews will make sure streets are covered with snow. But warming temperatures have left several of the culverts that dogs must pass through with standing water and little snow. Clarke said the public can help.

“If there are skiers or other people out there who live along the trails and know that that culvert that’s near them — the Gamble culvert, the Lake Otis culvert, the Ambassador culvert — could use a few shovels of snow, we will appreciate that,” she said. “Throw it in there. We’ll be grooming it in for the next three days.”

Clarke said overall, trails have a good base of snow and are in decent shape, but groomers have also put in many hours to break up ice and make sure the race will be safe for mushers and their dogs. She said they also spent most of Tuesday removing up to 20 trees from the trails that had fallen in high winds.

“We are so close to the Rendezvous, so every one of those things that happened just makes you go, oh my gosh,” Clarke said. “But we will work. By Friday when they hit this trail the dog drivers will go ‘wait, I saw it yesterday and it didn’t look this good!’ It will look great by Friday.”

Clarke said crews will be doing a lot of work on the trails Thursday. Volunteers who want to help can call the Alaska Sled Dog and Racing Association Club House Thursday morning at 907-562-2235.

The Open World Championship Sled Dog Races run Friday through Sunday starting at 4th Avenue and D Street at noon. The races will last approximately two hours each day. A Rondy map shows the best viewing locations.

Clarke said people should definitely come out to cheer on the dogs but asked people to refrain from using the Chester Creek trails while the race is on.

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