IRON RIVER—Plans for this winter’s IronLine sled dog race, scheduled for Jan. 31 and Feb 1 2014, were laid out by race directors Josh and Grace Brindle during a community roll-out event sponsor celebration held Sept. 18 at the Windsor Center.
During the event, Grace Brindle thanked the many sponsors and volunteers who helped with the 2013 race and said that the race would not have happened without the support of the community.
Dennis Phillips, trail boss for the race, said that they’re hoping for a longer race, which would be a 40-mile race instead of the 32-mile route last year.
Last year, he said, the forming of the actual trail took a few tries, but they had mushers compliment the trail in the end.
“I highly recommend seeing the race from their [George Young Recreation Complex] deck,” Phillips said. “Come participate. It’s a blast.”
There will be slight changes in the trail to make it better for the 2014 race.
Seth Waters spoke about the business owners and sponsors in the community. He said that last year, they had a budget of $20,000, which has increased to $30,000 for this year.
The goal of those involved in the race is to return as much as they can to the local businesses and community.
“We simply want to bring something into Iron River that caters to our area in the winter,” Waters said. “That’s why we do this.”
Waters said they are hopeful of expanding the sponsorship from outside of the area as well and have been seeking larger sponsorships from corporations.
Many mushers, he said, have told him that when they come into town for a race and bring their team, they leave anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 behind. Last year, 24 mushers participated.
Organizers are also looking to expand the IronLine race into Crystal Falls in 2015 to help businesses in that community as well.