Huge crowds lined up on the sides of the finish line at the third annual CopperDog 150 Sled Dog race. Officials said around 750 people showed up compared to a couple hundred from previous years.
Mushers raced back from Copper Harbor to cross the line in Calumet. Todd Brassard, the director for the race, said there were a lot of concerns.
"This was the year where it was kind of going to make or break the race. We needed to know if our volunteers are going to be in it for the long haul. Are the race teams going to want to come back? How's our race conditions going to be and we got lucky. We got snow; it was tough going for the first couple of days with all the fresh snow, but obviously this is great," said Brassard.
Musher bib number 23, JR Anderson, made first place this year after coming in second last year. "It was fun to see the dogs do what we trained them to do. Whether we placed first or fifth, I just like seeing my dogs run the way I trained them to run. Wherever that puts me in, always happy. Just to get first is the icing on the cake, I guess is what I'm saying," said Anderson.
Tommy, who was watching for his brother to cross the finish line, is impressed that mushers can do the entire ride. "I think it's really, really cool how they got it all started and how they can just get it altogether, so it goes from one place to another and all the way back again. I think it's kind of cool to do that. I think it's really cool especially that the mushers can do that and still live, seems pretty hard," said Tommy.
Bib number 14, 15-year-old Roy Bauer, said the trails were difficult with the snow. "The first leg of the race was excellent, then we got some snow, crazy wind storms. The second and third leg of it were pretty punchy, but it was good," said Roy.
This year's purse amount was $22,000. Mushers who came in first through twelfth place were awarded a piece of the purse.