Thursday, December 8, 2011

T200 smaller in roster, bigger in heart

Zoya Denure, at the start of Iditarod 39, is one
of the top contenders for this year's T200.
Like many winter sports, dog mushing is struggling to find its place in the downward spiralling economy. Larger races like the Iditarod and Yukon Quest as well as the Fur Rondy World Championship Sprints have established sponsorship capable of supporting the expenses incurred by putting on a race.

The T200 has been dealing with the loss of funds all year, and this year are only working on the Junior T and the T200. The shorter T100 will not be held this year, with the hope that it will return next season. 
The race will take place January 28th, and is a race that is used as a rookie qualifier for races like the Iditarod. So far ten teams have signed up with Paul Gebhardt - a previous TChampion - and Zoya Denure as the "headliners." Gebhardt is a local musher, and DeNure is favored by mushing fans for her treatment of her dogs as well as her sled dog rescue work.

The race will be longer with a new stop in Homer planned. The purse is a substantial 10,000 that the Kasilof community voted to give the race from a state grant. This race is an institution, one worth saving. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to help see the race through.

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