Sunny skies, cool temperatures, and loud cheering created the perfect setting for this year??s CopperDog 150.
Starting in Calumet Friday evening, the race began with over 6,000 spectators crowded at the start gate. This is where the teams began the 138-mile trek though the Keweenaw, making their way to Eagle Harbor, then to Copper Harbor, then back to Calumet.
Of the 26 teams in the race, the top ten each got a share of $23,000. The winning time was 10 hours and 43 minutes with an average speed of almost 13 miles per hour.
??That was our goal this year, and our goal was to make sure there were no repeat winners," said first place finisher, Bruce Magnusson. "I might change my opinion next year. I would like to see a repeat winner.??
Families that came to watch were entertained with various activities throughout the weekend as well.
??This is just the perfect way to spend a beautiful Saturday watching the dogs, and it??s just fun for everyone,?? said Kristina Mechlin.
??We came up here today because of the beautiful weather. It??s a great thing to do--to bring people together and see the dogs--and it??s great exposure for the area, too,?? said Jim Hudecek.
The race brings the whole community together and is a fun family activity, but family bonding isn??t the only benefit from it. After all, all those families that come to watch the race have to eat somewhere.
Business and restaurant owners bring in more money in this weekend than they do on a normal weekend. Not only does it bring them business for the weekend, it brings year-round tourism to the area as well.
??This weekend is probably as good as the last two weeks together," said owner of the Tamarack Inn, Bill Degowski. "So, it??s really important to the community financially, and it??s just a great community event that everybody??s involved in.??
Only in its fourth year, the CopperDog has already become a widely popular race, bringing people from all across the country to watch and participate. Race officials say they hope the event grows bigger and bigger each year.