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Canyon Sled Dog Challenge is Cancelled

Canyon Sled Dog Challenge is Cancelled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 22, 2022

Photo by John Eaton
Liz Stanaitis runs three of her sled dogs on the Pine Creek Rail Trail during a demonstration in 2020. Enough snow had fallen the day before for the demos to be held but not enough to hold the Challenge.

The Pennsylvania Sled Dog Club has officially cancelled the Canyon Sled Dog Challenge due to this week’s weather forecast.

Mary Beth Logue, Challenge organizer, is inviting the public to meet some of her sled dogs, see sled dog teams in action depending on trail conditions, and to learn more about other dog sports, such as skijoring and canicross this Saturday, Feb. 26.

This special free event will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Darling Run Access to the Pine Creek Rail Trail. To get there, take U.S. Route 6 from Wellsboro or Galeton to Shippen Township, turn onto Route 362, drive about 1.5 miles, turn right, enter the access area slowly and park.

“Whether we can do a demonstration by running our dogs on the Pine Creek Rail Trail this Saturday is dependent on trail conditions,” Logue said.

This mid-distance sled dog racer who lives in Trout Run, Pa. will have seven of her Alaskan huskies with her at Darling Run as well as racing equipment and supplies. “I am also inviting other mushers to bring their dogs,” she said. “We may run on the trail if conditions are safe.”

At the Darling Run Access parking lot, Logue will give short presentations about mushing. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet her and her dogs and also to dress like a musher and stand behind a sled so a friend or relative can take their photo.

“My sled dogs are friendly so people can walk up to them,” Logue said. “I am bringing Hornet, Inish, Limerick, Ruby, Cyclone, Typhoon and Triumph.”

At 11 a.m. this Saturday, Logue will also have her huskies, sled and equipment on display at the Burnin’ Barrel at the Ansonia Valley Inn in Shippen Township (Address: 5440 Route 6, Wellsboro, PA 16901). This will give people a second opportunity to meet this musher and her dogs as well as dress like a musher and stand behind Logue’s sled to have their photos taken for free.

The Challenge is a mid-distance run on the Pine Creek Rail Trail that covers a total of 18 miles from Ansonia to Tiadaghton and back to Ansonia. Its purpose is to test the abilities of skijorers – cross-country skiers harnessed to one or two dogs – and teams of six to eight pro and registered breed sled dogs and their mushers.

The Challenge has been scheduled in 2018, 2019, 2020 and this year but due to a lack of snow or the threat of ice on the trail has not yet been held. In 2021, it was not scheduled due to COVID-19.

“If there is ice on a trail, it is not safe to run teams of six or eight dogs on it because there is no way to slow them down or to safely stop them,” said Logue.

“As of Monday, the weather forecast calls for an 87 percent chance of ice on Friday,” she said. “That’s why we called off the challenge. If there is some snow we might be able to hold demonstrations with our dogs on the trail at Darling Run this Saturday.”

The number of mid-distance races of 30 to 150 miles Logue enters in any given year is dependent on if there is enough snow to hold the events. “Some years I have gone to one race and other years, none,” she said.

The organizers of the Canyon Sled Dog Challenge are the Pennsylvania Sled Dog Club, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry and the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Feb. 26 event, visit the club’s Facebook page at https://www.pasleddogclub.com/races-events-source/2019/2/23/canyon-sled-dog-challenge or on Friday call the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at (570) 724-1926 or email info@wellsboropa.com.

Diane Eaton
dianetn@ptd.net
(570) 724-3800

Credits:

Writing: Diane Eaton

 
 
 
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