SOUTH FORK— Mark Feb. 16–17 on your calendar for the South Fork Sled & Skijor Race at the Rio Grande Golf Club & Resort, a first for the town of South Fork.
Presented by the Rocky Mountain Sled Dog Club (RMSDC) and the town of South Fork, the event includes six classes of races. Fans will see dogs pulling sleds, skiers pulled by dogs (skijoring) and dogs leading racers on bikes (bikejor).
Founded in 1960, the Rocky Mountain Sled Dog Club will run five races in 2019. Their season begins with the Silverton Flying Dog Dog Sled Race on Jan. 12–13, followed by the Pagosa Paw Sled Dog Race in Pagosa Springs (Jan. 19–20).
The South Fork race charts a new course on the circuit. Last September, Race Director Mike Sullivan mapped out multiple courses on the outer edges of fairways along the golf cart path. But to add distance for longer races, Sullivan also extended the course up Alder Creek Road with a turnaround before the Alder Creek Guard Station.
Sullivan said he would welcome volunteers to hand-groom bridges and other parts of the course before the race, noting how this can be a good introduction to the sport. Now in his fourth decade working race events and mushing himself, Sullivan received multiple requests to add a race in South Fork.
The South Fork dog sled races include two categories (four-dog and six-dog). The skijoring and bikejoring racers will work with one or two dogs. Like most RMSDC races, this race is a sanctioned event offering prize money to top finishers.