Gull Lake resident Larry Miller and his dog, a mixed breed from the Heartland Area Rescue Team foundation, made their first appearance at the East Meets West Dryland Challenge dogsled race in the Adult Bikejoring Men's 1 class at Brainerd International Raceway on Saturday and Sunday.
For Miller, it gave he and his dog a great way to get some exercise. Miller started throwing Frisbees with his pooch this summer but found that amount of exercise just wasn't cutting it. He decided to buy a mountain bike and go out riding with his dog.
"I went and bought a new mountain bike and went riding with him for three miles," he said. "I haven't ridden a mountain bike that far in quite a while. I was definitely feeling it."
The first competitors in the Adult Rig 8 Dog Speed class took off from the starting line Saturday during the East Meets West Dryland Challenge at Brainerd International Raceway. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
His dog was a gift from his wife from the HART foundation, which is dedicated to finding homes for pets who have been abused and neglected.
On Saturday's run, Miller scored a time of 7:50.39 on the 3 1/2-mile track. He was able to improve his time to 7:37.76 on Sunday. He finished in third place with a cumulative score of 15:28.15 behind Johnn Molburg of Tyrone, Penn., who had a cumulative two-day score of 11:11.86.
Caleb Tysver of Battle Lake scored a first-place finish in the Adult Rig 4 dog class with a finishing time of 17:21.26.
Joel Nelson of Clear Lake took second place in the Adult Rig 8 dog class with a final total of 20:13.09.
Dave Steele, executive director of the International Sleddog Racing Association, was happy with the outcome of the two-day event. Now in its second year, the BIR race is part of an association that has been around for some time.
"We did add Bikejoring, the Scooter class, and the Canicross class in 2006, but the rig racing four-, six- and eight-dog class has been around for a long time," said Steele.
He noted that the ISDRA will sanction approximately 50-60 events in 2007 with the majority being in sled racing.
Daphne Lewis of Federal Way, Wash., was a competitor in the East Meets West Dryland Challenge Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway. Lewis competed in the Adult Bikejoring 2 Dog Speed Class. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
However, a few of those events will be cart events. That's because of a change that was made in the last few years due to the lack of snow in the Upper Midwest.
It has worked well for the association in that it has been able to add several more classes to expand the growth of its sport.
Steele started working on the 3 1/2-mile track about three months ago. He has been happy with the help of local ownership at the track.
"The race went very smoothly this weekend," Steele said. "We didn't have any problems last year, to be honest. There were a few minor glitches and things that we changed in the trail this year. Those things worked out perfectly."
Steele also said the track could work for a sled race for smaller dog teams if there was a large snowfall in the area. With larger dog teams needing approximately 8 to 10 miles for a competitive race the track is a bit short right now.
However, he certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of a longer track in the future.
Results (Cumulative total of two runs on Saturday and Sunday)
Adult Bikejoring 1 Dog- 1-Johnn Molburg 11:11.86, 2-Kelly Sipper 14:02.07, 3-Larry Miller 15:28.15
Adult Bikejoring 2 Dog- 1-Jamie Dittmar 16:19.80, 2-Kate Tesch 17:09.91, 3-Jim Benson 18:28.32
Adult Scooter 1 Dog- 1-Randy Carris 15:05.10, 2-Matt Olson 19:15.41, 3-Carin Offerman 19:45.35
Adult Scooter 2 Dog- 1-Joshua Tesch 18:26.00, 2-Molburg 18:48.81, 3-Jasmine Archer 19:14.63
Adult Rig 4 Dog- 1-Caleb Tysver 17:21.26, 2-Jenna Dittmar 17:36.46, 3-Molburg 18:29.85
Adult Rig 6 Dog- 1-Michael Marsch 21:49.00, 2-LeeAnn Nelson 21:49.35, 3-Jan Bootz-Dittmar 22:15.35
Adult Rig 8 Dog- 1-Bootz-Dittmar 19:42.95, 2-Joel Nelson 20:13.09, 3-Marsch 20:41.39
Adult Canicross 1 Dog- 1-Nolan Taylor 14:06.22, 2-Tesch 17:17.79, 3-Duke Rembleski 17:21.71
P.A.W.S.- 1-Roberta Blomster 6:18.28, 2-Angela Blomster 6:50.95
Zorbaz Sponsor Race- 1-Maggie Sargeant 5:18.32, 2-Danny Sargeant 5:44.29
Junior Bikejoring 1 Dog- 1-Jake Benson 4:36.94, 2-Tysver 5:34.84
Junior Scooter 1 Dog- 1-Benson 6:48.61, 2-Tysver 7:06.36
Junior Canicross 1 Dog- 1-Tysver 7:47.71, 2-Cierra Duval 8:37.37, 3-Andre Duval 9:10.92
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