Allen has signed up to race in the 2013 Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race.
Allen has raced the CB300 for the last 10 years. He believes it is a phenomenal race in one of the most rugged yet beautiful spots in Alaska. The timing of the race is perfect for a Yukon Quest musher and dogs - three weeks separate the two races. As well, the mountainous trail is similar to that of the Yukon Quest.
As folks might remember, last season "the toughest 300 miles in Alaska" race was canceled after the race course was literally "un-raceable". Teams were stranded between checkpoints 90 miles into the 300 mile course with no trail to follow. Whether this was due to Mother Nature, human error or a little bit of both is now irrelevant. It was a blow to all race teams, dedicated volunteers and the entire Copper basin community.
In mid November 2012, according to the newly formed CB300 board, volunteers and race officials ... the 2013 race will go on! The race start is scheduled for January 12th and will begin in Glennallen, Alaska. This is exciting news for the mushing community as a whole.
The CB300 has been running since 1990. In 1996, the race was canceled due to severe cold weather and in 2012, the race was canceled due to trail conditions. For the remaining 21 years there has been a race. But, it is never easy! In 2005, two snow machines sank in Paxson Lake while trail breaking. Nearly half of the musher field scratched that year. In 2009, fifteen miles of trail were put in within minutes of the first musher reaching that section.
The CB300 always has a challenging trail with: incredible mountain summits, steep inclines, wet water crossings, waist deep overflow, ground blizzard conditions, wind swept lakes and often 30 to 50 below temperatures. Mushers should not sign up if they are looking for 300 miles of groomed trail.
The CB300 is the one of two 300 mile races in the north that covers 300 unique miles of trail. (The other is the Yukon Quest 300 that uses the first 300 miles of the Yukon Quest route.) This fact is awesome for a musher and dogs who get to see new and different trail through out the entire route. However, this fact is also an underlying problem with the race. Obviously, this means that 300 miles of trail through the Alaska Range Mountains, rivers and valleys must be maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Volunteers are just that ... volunteers. They use their snow machines, time and effort. And a great deal of effort it is! There are no reality show cameras following the CB300 trail breakers and volunteers, but in this day and age of Alaska "rugged man shows" perhaps there should be.
See you at the CB300!