Important Fur Rendezvous Update!

A Fur Rendezvous sprint team departs 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage in 2014. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

A Fur Rendezvous sprint team departs 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage in 2014. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Good morning AKontheGO readers —

Yesterday was a bit of a scramble as many of you read my Kids in the Outdoors column in the Alaska Dispatch News and then saw an update on Facebook from ADN saying the Fur Rendezvous World Championship Sled Dog Races were canceled.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, Fur Rondy organizers backtracked and decided to, in fact, go forward with the races despite hideous conditions between downtown and the Campbell Tract.

Hooray, the sprint mush competition is still on! Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Hooray, the sprint mush competition is still on! Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Here’s what we know right now: 

  • Fur Rendezvous sprint mushing championships are ON, but at a greatly reduced distance. Typically the races cover a loop of 24 miles out and back between Anchorage’s 4th Avenue and the Campbell Tract near Elmore Road in southeast Anchorage. This year we hear that races will be but 5 miles and loop barely to the edge of downtown before returning to 4th Avenue.

Best places to watch the action, and when: 

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 p.m. to around 4 p.m.
  • Downtown is your best bet, from the starting line in front of Fur Rendezvous headquarters (near the Balto statue on 4th Avenue), heading east toward Cordova Street, and along Cordova to the hill leading down toward the Chester Creek trail system.

Be sure to…

  • Leave your own dogs at home. These pups have a job to do, so no sniffing the residents!
  • Keep kids off the trail. Sled dogs of the sprint variety travel up to 20 MPH, and it takes 50 yards to stop a team from full gallop. Watch kids carefully, as sled dog teams are quiet while racing.
  • Bring your camera and smartphone! You too can take excellent photos of racing sled dogs and their happy faces.
  • Add a thermos of hot drinks, a backpack of snacks, and maybe a camp chair or two if you plan on hanging around for the duration.

Find parking in any of the Easy Park garages near 4th, 5th, and 6th Avenue neighborhoods. 4th Avenue will be blocked off, and do watch for police officers and trail guards as you travel around downtown.

Psst: The carnival will also be going, so head over to 3rd Avenue and ride the Gravitron!

Don't forget to stop by the Fur Rendezvous carnival while downtown. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

Don’t forget to stop by the Fur Rendezvous carnival while downtown. Erin Kirkland/AKontheGO

~EK

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