The 2017 Fur Rondy Open World Championship Sled Dog Race will have an “unprecedented” prize purse of $100,000, race officials announced Tuesday.


The board of directors of Greater Anchorage, Inc. and the Alaskan Sled Dog and Racing Association (ASDRA) called the race “the grandfather of all Alaskan races and the world’s most challenging sprint race” in a statement about the purse.


The race takes place over the course of a few days during the annual Fur Rendezvous gathering in Anchorage. The 2017 race is slated for Feb. 24 through Feb. 26.


Normally consisting of three 25-mile heats, last year’s race was shortened to one lap from the downtown start line and back after a ride around Mulcahy Stadium. The race was almost cancelled due to a lack of snow, which had to be trucked in to accomodate the race on Anchorage’s mostly dry streets.


The purse for that race was only $25,000.





“There are many exciting mushers entered again this year, such as the five-time defending champion Blayne “Buddy” Streeper,” race officials said in their statement.


As of 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, only 12 people had signed up, including Lina Streeper of Fort Nelson, Jack Berry of Homer, Dave Turner of Fairbanks, Emilie Entrikin of Fairbanks, Josh Schlosser of Willow, James Wheeler of Clam Gulch, Ken Chezik of Fife Lake, Don Cousins of Crooked Creek, ‘George Attla III of North Pole, Tommy Bird of Southend Saskatchewan and Jason Dunlap of East Salcha.


A prize of at least $12,250 will go to the winner of the 2017 race, according to ASDRA’s website.





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