IronLine co-director Josh Brindle discusses plans for the upcoming sled dog race with organizers during a meeting Jan. 9. Later last week, the group moved the event to Feb. 8 and 9 after unseasonably mild temperatures melted snow on trails through much of Iron County.
By Mark Lewis
IRON RIVER—Organizers have rescheduled the IronLine dog sled race, and the change could bring more teams to Iron County’s newest winter event.
“We’re running the same event. The only thing that has changed is the date,” co-director Josh Brindle said Monday. “The only thing that’s not going to happen is the downtown start.”
Races during both days will start near the Chamber of Commerce building at the Iron River RV Park.
Team IronLine announced the schedule change Jan. 12 after unseasonably warm temperatures and high winds melted what little snow Iron County had received and trails became impassable to sleds.
“There’s an overwhelming consensus that everyone wants to see this event come together,” Brindle added. “All of our sponsors are still with us. Everyone is very supportive.”
According to the National Weather Service, Iron River has received a sparse six inches of snow during just one significant storm.
Prior to the weekend, organizers had planned to move the starting point from downtown Genesee Street to the Chamber of Commerce RV Park.
Plans for the mushers’ village at the RV Park are still part of the festivities, Brindle said. Other community groups, including the West Iron District Library and merchants, plan to coordinate activities to accompany the race.
The event has mushers competing in two different races during two days. The route will leave Iron River, heading south on Apple Blossom Trail, then swinging east before crossing Stambaugh Avenue near Opal Street. The route heads northward toward the junction of Kofmehl Road and Bates-Gaastra Road before heading cross country toward Mid Summer Drive. The longer route will cross Chicagon Lake, running alongside Pentoga Trail around Youngs Lake before looping back toward Iron River.
Lack of snow has also prompted rescheduling of the Uphill Ski Drags at Caspian Hill. The Snowmobile Hill Climb was set for Feb. 2 but has been put off until Feb. 16. The Uphill Snow Drags will take place Feb. 17.