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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley Runs at Full Speed for Annual Sled Dog Race

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - The 53,000 acres of prairie wilderness, dense forest and continuous trails are the setting for the Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race to be held Feb 15-16, 2014 on Camp Ripley

"For many years the Camp Ripley Training Area has been the safest and most accommodating controlled environment for military and civilian agencies to conduct full spectrum operations," said Chief Warrant officer Two Dan Bednarek "The usefulness of this environment for sporting events such as the Winter Warrior Sled Dog Race, and many others, has proven how it benefits the community," he added

For the second year in a row, the North Star Sled Dog Club has used the trails throughout Camp Ripley training areas for competition in 3 to 45 mile races Although generally open to the public, the areas north of post are for training purposes and closed to external use

"Most events are held along state trails accessible to snowmobilers and skiers and occasionally, the trails will cross roads which cause a safety hazard for the racers and their teams," said Bob Bzdok, Musher from Rice, Minn

The two-day event is just one of a variety of activities conducted during the winter around Central Minnesota Many of the activities that take place on Camp Ripley are not only available for Service-members and their families, but open to the public as well

"It's exciting to be a part of the crowd and cheer on the teams," said Staff Sgt Tim Krouth of the Camp Ripley Visitors Bureau "We don't get too many opportunities to see a sport like this in action locally," added Krouth

"Of course, the dogs are the most popular aspect of the sport, but we could not have made the event happen without the support of the Camp Ripley Staff," said Mrs Sally Bair, North Star Sled Dog Club

With the coordination from Camp Ripley Staff and continuous maintenance conducted by the Roads and Grounds department, the trails and staging areas ready for the event despite the changing weather conditions

"The beautiful, snow-covered trails along the Mississippi on Camp Ripley are groomed and the mushers are geared up for a fantastic weekend of competition," said Bair

Although the North Star Sled Dog Club has organized races in Minnesota since the 1960s, the Winter Warrior Race, part of the 'Spirit of the North' competition circuit, is new to Morrison County and offers an exciting activity venue for Service-members and civilians alike

Feb 14, 2014
By: Army Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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