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Ely Chamber of Commerce, WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race

Excitement is in the air! The Ely Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the 2023 WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race, which includes several pre-race events.

Saturday, February 18th, stop by Mike’s Liquors for the Earth Rider Brewery beer-tasting event from 3 pm to 6 pm. The WolfTrack Classic crew will be there handing out race information. It’s not too late to be a mile marker sponsor for $100.00 or make a $30.00 donation to the race and take home a limited edition, signed “Northern Night – Aurora Borealis” print.

On Friday evening, February 24, Timber Trail Lodge will host a volunteer meet and greet event. All volunteers and sponsors are welcome. There will be a bonfire, hot beverages, light snacks, and outdoor winter fun.

Saturday, February 25, the mushers and the teams will start arriving in town and preparing for the race. At 3:00 pm, the teams will assemble in the Minnesota North College – Vermilion campus parking lot. This is the first opportunity for the public to meet these beautiful and energetic rockstar athletes and their mushers. The college’s Wilderness Club will provide an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner from 4-7:30 pm in the school cafeteria. Tickets are available at the door for $10.00 per adult and $5.00 for youth. The dinner is a fundraiser for the club. Two of our Purse Sponsors, Sundog Sports and Timber Trail Lodge will be at the dinner.

The main event is Sunday, February 26, featuring two mid-distance races a thirty-mile, six-dog race, and a fifty-mile, eight-dog race. The public is welcome to attend; however, please leave pets home. Spector parking will open at 8:00 am on the Old Airport Road parking lot. It will close at 8:45 am, or when the lot is full. If the lot is full, when you arrive, you will be directed to side street parking or the Ely Chamber of Commerce parking lot. The recycling center is closed on race day.

The teams promptly leave the Ely Softball Complex on Old Airport Road (Forest Concrete Plant) at 9:00 am. The energy of the 420 dogs is a frenzy of high-pitched anticipation. The eight-dog teams hit the trail first, followed by the six-dog teams at two-minute intervals until all teams are on the trail. Teams travel the Taconite Trail and return to the Ely start/finish area. Spectators won’t have to wait long before teams come across the finish line at noon. While waiting, enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a light breakfast snack while supplies last, compliments of Midco Communication. New this year will be three warming fires near the dog trucks, start-finish, and coffee area, also provided by Midco Communications. Schultz Excavating is providing the firewood, and Dutchman Tree Service will keep those warming fires burning – thank you to both businesses for their support.

The WolfTrack Classic is only possible with generous support from area businesses, the community, and volunteers. The race will be live-streamed through iFan Sports. The link for the iFan channel will be available at WolfTrackClassic.com and on Facebook @ WolfTrackClassic. Please remember to support the sponsors who support the race. Ellen Cashman Race Director, wolftrack@ely.org or 218-365-6123

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