Sled Dog Races
After being handlers for two years in a well respected racing kennel, it provided the inspiration for us to build our own dog team and participate in long distance sled dog races!
The first training started in August 2009 with the main goal to enter Finnmarkslopet 500km. We learnt our craft from the dogs, season to season and after three successful years in the eight dog class, with results at FL500, Femundlopet and other smaller races, we became highly motivated with the confidence to create a new goal of entering the FL 1000km!
Our new enthusiasm received a sharp setback after a disappointing first attempt in 2012 when we had to scratch from the race but the sobering defeat helped us decide on a new and non traditional way of training and racing.
This rewarded us in 2014 with a super 15th Place and Best Dog Care Award, all in an environment characterized by multiple storms with a dropout rate of over 50 percent of teams.
We ran a full team of 14 dogs 750 km to the check point Sirma – never achieved in the history of the FL1000.
Around 36 hours later we reached the finish in Alta with 11 happy and healthy dogs – finally, after two disappointing years we were on target!
The most important races in Norway
The most prestigious and toughest long distance race of the winter season, takes place every year starting and finishing early March from the town of Alta, Northern Norway. It has been renowned for being the Worlds Northernmost and Europes Longest race and is divided into two classes with different distances (500km and 1000km). The 1000km teams can start with 14 dogs, with the race route extending East to Kirkenes by the Russian border and back again across the Finnmark Plateau. The best drivers can cross the finish line in around six days. The other 500km class must be successfully completed in order to qualify to enter the 1000km but these teams can only start with eight dogs, coming to the finish line in around three days.
With the largest number of participants, the Femundløpet held in February, is probably the most popular long distance sled dog race in Europe. It is easily accessible in southern Norway, and starts in the World Heritage listed town of Røros. There are two classes; the 400km with 8 dogs and the 600km with 12 dogs.
The Bergebyløpet takes place in February on the Varanger Peninsula in Eastern Finnmark. Due to its exposed position by the Barents Sea, Varanger is subjected to a very harsh climate, which you often get to experience during the race. Since 2015, the race has a new profile with the length of the route doubled, making it the second longest dog sled race in Europe.