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Copper Basin 300 a go if it gets enough volunteers, sponsors

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Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 11:48 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Efforts have begun to reorganize and rejuvenate the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race in Glennallen, after it was announced the 2013 race would be canceled.

Last year’s race was canceled less than a third of the way through when teams piled up and were unable to traverse a heavily drifted section of trail with 40 below temperatures between the Meier’s Lake and Sourdough checkpoints.

When the board of directors dwindled with volunteer support also dwindling, the 2013 race was canceled in October.

Some local residents and supporters banded together Nov. 5 in Glennallen and confirmed the race will be held with the start on Jan. 12. The race will run its usual on a counter clockwise rotation with the start and finish in Glennallen.

During a Nov. 5 meeting in Glennallen, organizers set up a board of directors led by Sarah Valentine and a committee of supporters. The group met again last night in Glennallen.

“Enough people complained about the race being canceled that a small group of supporters decided to hold a meeting and see if there was enough interest to keep the race alive,” Valentine said in an article in the Copper River Record. “As of now, the race is still on but we have a long way to go.”

Several key positions were filled during the Nov. 5 meeting, according to the Record article.

Jamey Kemp has volunteered head up the Trails Committee, working to ensure mushers do not face the same problems and trail conditions encountered during the 2012 running of the race.

Lianne John has taken on the roll of acting volunteer coordinator, while Valentine will head the board and work on renewing and generating sponsors for this year’s race.

Prospective volunteers and sponsors can contact the newly formed race committee by email at

The committee is still searching for a race marshal and will need about 150 volunteers to make the 2013 race a success.

The Copper Basin 300 serves as a qualifier for the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest.

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