ELY - The race roster is full for the 13th running of the WolfTrack Classic sled dog race on Sunday, Feb. 21. The first of 20 eight-dog teams and 20 six-dog teams will depart from the Ely Softball …
ELY - The race roster is full for the 13th running of the WolfTrack Classic sled dog race on Sunday, Feb. 21. The first of 20 eight-dog teams and 20 six-dog teams will depart from the Ely Softball Fields beginning at 9 a.m. on race day.
The race will run in accordance with the Stay Safe Minnesota COVID-19 guidelines and the WolfTrack Classic COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, said race coordinator Ellen Cashman.
”This year’s race will be different, but it was decided that it was important to run the race rather than cancel it,” she said.
The 2021 WolfTrack Classic is one of only two such races that will take place in Minnesota this year because of public health concerns over the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
“In spite of the challenges that accompany planning and organizing a race during this pandemic, the race will run unless additional restrictions are put into place before race day,” she said.
“Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the running this year’s race is keeping the public, the mushers, and the many volunteers needed to run the race safe,” Cashman said. “In order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, including limiting gatherings at outdoor activities to no more than 250 people, this year’s race will be run without allowing spectators at the start or finish or any other points on the race route or musher parking area.”
Efforts are being made to find other ways to offer live race coverage. IFan-TV Sports Network and Mushing Midwest will stream live coverage, according to Cashman.
“There will also be WELY live radio coverage. More information on these options will be made available just before the race, as is typical of past years,” she said.
In this challenging year, the WolfTrack Classic sled dog race needs sponsor support. For $100 anyone can be a Mile Marker Sponsor.
“These mile markers tell the teams who is cheering them on as they run the 50 miles of trail,” Cashman said.
To sign up to be a Mile Marker Sponsor, visit www.wolftrackclassic.com.
There are many other levels of sponsorship and ways to donate. More information is available at the WolfTrack Classic website.
Sponsorship funds and in-kind product donations are used for the musher purse which is split between the six-dog and eight-dog categories, with cash payments made to the highest placing mushers.
“In spite of the difficult year, the WolfTrack Classic is proud to welcome some of the biggest names in mushing to race in Ely, and we hope to keep them coming back to race in Ely for years to come,” Cashman said.