A Message From The Chair

Hello mushers! I want to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed on all of the plans we are making for our 2015 race day. We are excited about the direction the event is taking, and pleased that we are still able to host one of the few racing events in Ontario.

If  you have been coming to the Marmora race for years you will notice a great deal of change has happened since we hosted the first ever long-distance race in Canada 36 years ago. Today, we focus our energy on sprint racing in an effort to create a more entertaining race day for spectators, as the start and finish lines generally remain busy and energized throughout the event. Another reason we love the sprint races is that they cator to the up-and-coming sport of skijoring, and to the heritage of the sport, the pure bred class; we notice an increase in participation in both of these categories at our 2014 event.

This year we are focusing on a one-day event. We are also pleased to have quite a few local organizations working on the other programming, including a bonfire and kids zone by the Marmora Scouts, our local Who’s Got Talent Show by the Marmora Youth Committee, the Back of Cordova Curling Bonspiel by the Marmora Curling Club, and a Snow-Pitch softball tournement. We are also working toward getting a beer garden in the fairgrounds so that you can enjoy a beer without leaving your dogs.

Overall we’re planning to offer you a fun day filled with dogs, fans, and snow!

Registration

We have decided to try something new this year.We are simplifying our registration process by eliminating the registration fee. Because of this our purse amount will be slightly smaller, and we will be paying out to 8th place finalist in each race. Currently, we have a total purse amount of $3,500 (though we are still seeking more sponsorship funds to increase the purse size) and we will inform you of the exact payouts closer to race day.

This year the registration will be held in the curling club lobby, which is very close to the musher parking – in fact, you drive right by the door when you enter the fairgrounds. Online registration is now available here.

Along with allowing us to set up registration in their space, the Curling Club will be up and running all day with warm food, coffee and a bar. So you are welcome all day to enjoy a bit of warmth and hospitality. Plus, you might get to see some good curling!

Musher Meeting

This year we will be hosting one musher meeting prior to our first race at 8:30 am inside the curling club. If you cannot make the musher meeting we will be handing out the rules and necessary information at check-in.

Race Info

You can see our suggested race day schedule below. Although the purebred class follows the mixed at the start, they are considered separate races and each with have their own purse. For the skijorers we are offering three races.

9:00 am – 10 mile race
11:00 am – 4 mile skijoring
12:00 pm – 4 dog 4 mile (pure + mixed)
1:00 pm – 2 mile skijoring
1:45 pm – 6 dog 6 mile race
3:00 pm – 1 mile skijoring
3:30 pm – Little Nippers
4:00 pm – Awards

Looking for feedback

Year after year we get asked the same question from visitors: “Can we ride on the dog sleds?” Often, we are lucky to have a couple mushers offer to take people around the fairgrounds, but we are hoping to expand on this idea as a way to really make our event unique. Because of this high interest in experiencing a true sled dog ride, we would like to ask if mushers are interested in spending Sunday, February 1 (following our race day), taking spectators on rides through the 4-mile course for a fee? We believe that guests would rather get out on the trails rather than stay within the fairgrounds.

This might be an opportunity for you to cover some of your travel costs, and would help to encourage interest in the sport, which would be hugely beneficial to you as a racer, to SnoFest and to the sled dog community.

We would like to advertise this in advance and to sell and book rides Saturday at the races. Once we know the number of mushers interested in participating we can schedule accordingly depending on how many runs you would like to do, timing, etc. Any feedback you have on this would be greatly appreciated. And please let us know what you would consider for pricing, distance, weight limits, and anything else you think is relevant. To sign up to participate, email Leigh Nash at snofest.coordinator [at] gmail.com.

Sincerely,
Jenn Bennett, Chair – Marmora Festival Events