When Outsiders hear of the Dog Powered Sport Association of the Yukon’s Hot Hounds Dryland Race Series, they probably think about fierce competition.
Instead, the dogsled races are more about maintaining a social network during the off-season, said race organizer Jon Lucas.
“We like to put these on in summer as well because in winter people see each other’s faces, they get to know each other, and in March no one sees each other until the end of the summer,” said Lucas. “So this is meant to be more recreational and more social.
“I feel it has an important social function as well because most mushers tend to be quite solitary, split all over the place. It keeps people together, keeps people talking.”
The dry-land season kicked off with the Chocolate Claim’s Dust Eatin’ Derby held Sunday off Fish Lake Road near Icy Waters fish farm. The event was the first of five dry-land derbies scheduled for this summer, with one taking place each month up to October.
“It was quite well attended actually – there were 17 entries,” said Lucas. “We clashed with a couple other things, so hopefully the next one will be better attended.
“It was a very good barbecue afterwards; people stayed on for a long time,” he added.
Aside from maintaining social ties, the races are also intended to help maintain fitness – for both owner and dog – during the summer months.
“It keeps your dogs and yourself pretty fit,” said Lucas. “Years ago ice hockey players would spend the summer drinking beer and eating pizza, while now they apparently keep training over the summer. It’s the same idea with dogs. Years ago, as soon as the snow was gone, the dogs were in the pen and on the chain, that was it until it started to snow again.
“In the dry-land racing you can carry on working with your dogs in the summer.”
The next event will take place July 11 off the Old Alaska Highway at the Drag n’ Fly Kennel. The event will also feature a freight pull for the dogs, an event dominated by Lucas’ dog Asha, a rottweiler who has won the freight pull at the Reach for the Sky and Take the Beer mushing event the last three winters.
“She is the reigning champ, but she has a chronic injury in her leg, so we’ll see how that goes,” said Lucas. “She’s still pulling.”
3.2-kilometre, two sled dog
1st Darryl Sheepway – 11:00
2nd Adam Robinson – 11:02
3rd Claudia Wickert – 11:03
4th Jon Lucas – 11:34
1.6-kilometre, one dog canicross (running with a dog)
1st Jon Lucas – 11:20
2nd Mark Manolis – 12:40
3rd Simi Morrison – 13:28
4th Melanie Bedard – 16:50
5th Janet Keller – 18:55
1.6-kilometre, one sled dog (bikejour)
1st Darryl Sheepway – 6:15
2nd Jon Lucas – 6:20
3rd Amil Dupuis-Rossi – 7:40
4th Mark Manolis – 9:53
5th Janet Keller – 9:54
6th Sandro (running with dog) – 9:58
Dry-land race schedule
July 11 – Cadence Cycling
Dryland at Drag n’ Fly Kennel
August 1 – Giant Anthill
Dryland at Chaos Kennel
September 12 – Eagle Pack’s
Mongrel Hordes Dryland at Gatt Kennel
October 3 – Yukon Brewing
Dryland at Kilometre 5, Mayo Road
Contact Tom Patrick at