The Committee has decided to shorten the 10 Dog Stage Race this year because of winter’s late arrival. With the lack of snow this fall, we know many mushers will not have had the opportunity to spend much time on the trails with their teams. Snow is not an issue any longer in and around Kearney though, there is approximately 2 feet of snow in the bush. All trails have been brushed, packed and groomed, and they are all in excellent shape and ready for racing.
Therefore, for this year, the 10 Dog Stage Race Trail will start the same as it did last year, with the start line on Main St across from the LCBO in downtown Kearney, and then it will head south through Town until it heads into the bush at the walking trails and then onto the snowmobile trail for approximately 5 miles. After leaving the snowmobile trail, the race will continue as it did last year until it reaches Rain Lake Rd. At this point, we’ve eliminated the Coffee Lake Loop, so mushers will start the return into Town, but they will stay right on Rain Lake Road. Most of Rain Lake Rd is not plowed, but it will be groomed by the Snowmobile Club in time for Race Weekend. Just before the teams reach Town, the race will return to the snowmobile trail for half a mile and then enter the Gravel Pit so they can follow the normal route to the Finish Line.
By removing the Coffee Lake Loop, the race will be shortened to approximately 35 miles, and will only follow the snowmobile trail in the early morning and at the very end of the race heading back into Town. Our event falls on the Family Day weekend this year, and the province allows the public free access to the snowmobile trails this weekend, so traffic will be heavier later in the day, which can cause concern and potential safety issues for our competitors.