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Category Archives: Sports Photography

Last weekend was the Spurs & Skis Skijoring Stampede in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The practice runs were on Friday and the actual races were on Saturday. We had planned to go to the races but when we checked the weather it was going to be 60 degrees on Saturday. We thought this would result in really poor conditions for skijoring so we decided to go up on Friday and watch the practice runs.

As you can see from the photos conditions even on Saturday were not the best. We watched some adults make the run. The horses were really moving it out.

More photos from the day can be found on my website.

Some of the younger skiers weren’t going quite so fast. In this sequence the skier was small and the horse big. The skiers was not all that confident. He would slowly ski to the top of the jump then let go of the rope and slide back down backwards.

This skier had a horse to match his skills.

We watched the practice runs for about an hour. This was one of the faster horses pulling the skiers. Unfortunately as he reached the end of the course the horse fell and landed on the rider. The rider was limping quite a bit before shaking it off. The horse returned to the starting gate where it was corralled by another rider.


After watching the start of the second leg of the CopperDog 150 in Eagle Harbor we drove back down to Calumet to watch the CopperDog 150 Dog House Race. As it turned out it wasn’t all that much. Teams were supposed to dress up and design a dog house for the race. Most of the team just pulled a sled down the course.

More photos from the race can be found on my website.

Several team members pushed and pulled a dog house down the course with another team member riding in the dog house.

When they reached the halfway point one of the team had to through dog biscuits into a dog dish. As it turned out it was harder that one would think. The best approach seemed to be to land them in front of the dish and let them bounce in.

While one team member tossed dog biscuits the other team members turned the sled around. Once the team member had successfully completed the dog biscuit toss the team then raced back to the finish line.


When we reached the races the first thing we noticed was the small number of racers. Normally there are about 60 sleds in the race but this year the number was down to about half that. I’m not sure of the reason although it has been a bitterly cold winter.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0336

Every race requires a large number of volunteers to get the sled dog teams to the start line. In the first shot the race officials were giving the volunteers instructions on how to work with the mushers to get the team to the start line.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0017

In this shot officials were showing how to attach the anchor for the sled. As each team arrives at the start line an anchor is attached so the team cannot talk off before the start time. When the team is ready to go the anchor is handed to the musher.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0018

We wandered around the area taking photos of the teams as they were getting ready for the race. I photographed from a pile of sand while some of the 8 team sled dogs took off. At this point there seems to be complete chaos but in reality a sled dog race is a highly choreographed event.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0031

My next photography location was at the start area where I photographed some of the teams being brought to the start line. Note the number of volunteers required to bring a team to the starting line.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0063

There were a large number of spectators near the start area but during the short break in the race while the next category of racers were preparing and most of the spectators left the area and didn’t return. I suspect they all went down to the ice caves which were accessible for the first time in 5 years.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0069

I moved down the race course to get some photos of the spectators and teams as then came flying by. One of the things I notices was that the snow was really coming down in large flakes and it made it very difficult to focus the camera.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0114

After another short break before the next category of racers I moved closer to the start line to help prevent my camera from searching for focus in the heavy snowfall. It also gave me a little different perspective on the race.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0328

At the end of the race there were some younger racers. The youngest was 7 years old and he had two dogs hooked up to his sled. His mother followed on the next sled. That seemed to be the pattern for the younger racers. They were all followed out into the course by the mother.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0358

With fewer racers participating we were able to head to Bayfield for lunch by late morning. After a lunch in Bayfield we returned to the race to watch some of the racers return to the starting line. Usually all of the dog teams that come in are dragging but some seem to still have a lot on energy. On racer said it was tough going because the trail was a little soft with the fresh snow. It snowed for most of the race.Apostle-Islands-Sled-Dog-Race-14-2-_0447

More photos from the race can be found on my website.

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We happened to be in Duluth last weekend when the 19th NorthShore Inline Marathon took place. The race not only had opportunities for inline skaters but also included runners and ski skaters. We watched from various locations in downtown Duluth and the waterfront.





Some skaters were not as serious and the elite skaters and were dressed in all manner of costumes.


More photos from the NorthShore Inline Marathon can be found on my website.