Loyalty is a characteristic intrinsic in the canine world.
A dog's unconditional devotion to their master not only creates a sweet moment for the one beholding the interaction, but that faithful relationship allows them to come together as a team to compete in a race unlike any other.
It's the first annual Iron Line Dog Race in Iron River, and it has brought in a crowd of unique racers and their teams.
Director Josh Brindle explains the importance of having a race like this in the community.
??We just saw this as a win-win for the community," said Brindle. ??We know a couple other races up here that do this kind of thing, and we got those guys involved. The Copper Dog people were awesome mentors for us and a couple other mushers.??
Ryan Redington comes all the way from Alaska with his whole team of dogs.
??We left home the day after Christmas, and right now we got a little over 9,000 miles on the truck,?? explained Redington.
Ryan says he and the dogs have won many races and even has a special history with dog sledding.
??My grandpa is the founder of the Iditarod," he shared. ??He started the race in 1973. I??m kind of born into the sport of mushing, but I love it and I can't think of what else I??d like to be doing right now.??
Locals came out to support the racers, and although it was a brisk U.P. night, they seemed to enjoy it.
The racers wasted no time, and at 6:30 on the dot, the dogs were off!
The Iron Line is a 32-mile long race; the Iditarod race in Alaska that Ryan Redington referred to--that??s a 1,049 mile-long race.