♦ Mark your calendars now! The 2016 WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race will be held February 27th and 28th.
♦ Jim Stoner, the official 2015 Steger WolfTrack Classic photographer has outstanding photos from the race posted here: http://www.stronerwildlife.com/Sled-Dogs/2015-WolfTrack-Classic - Check them out!!
Some excellent shots of the 8-Dog and 10-Dog teams coming across Bear Head Lake in Bear Head State Park.
- Reminder, Mushers received a free photo coupon in your musher's bag at the Chili Dinner.
Steger Mukluks & Moccasins has put on their Mukluks and stepped forward as the Premier Sponsor for the 2015 race. Proudly made in Ely, Minnesota, Steger Mukluks have logged countless miles on dogsled runners, polar expeditions, northern adventures and just getting about winter in comfort and style. The Wolftrack Board of Directors is very excited for this partnership and Steger's support of the race. Stop by their store on Sheridan Street in Ely and thank them for their support.
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Tribute to George Attla
The WolfTrack Classic would like to pay tribute to a
legendary sprint musher who was a big part of Ely sled dog race
history. George Attla passed away Sunday February 15th, 2015 in
Anchorage Alaska. He was 81 years old. George was vice president
of the Ely Sled Dog Committee and raced in the Ely All American
for many years. In 1972 he came in 2nd, in 1975 he won with a
record-setting time. He continued to dominate throughout the
70’s. The sled dog enthusiasm that showered Ely in the winter
led Mayor JP Grahek to proclaim Ely the Dog Sled Capital in
1980. The original sign that was at the entrance to Ely now
hangs at the Ely Chamber of Commerce.
George was one of the most decorated mushers in history. Throughout his life, Attla faced down numerous setbacks to his health, always finding a way to get back on the sled. Attla, who suffered from tuberculosis as a boy, spent nine years of his childhood in and out of the hospital, where they straightened and fused his knee. He refused to let that keep him from racing competitively, instead turning it into his trademark – the ‘Attla Kick’. He had open-heart surgery in 2008, and hip replacement surgery in 2009. Attla's historically long mushing career spanned a period of more than six decades. He continued mushing as late as the 2014 Arctic Winter Games last spring – at the age of 80.
“At almost 80, I look back on four decades of carrying the torch. To youth like my granddaughter, Georgia Attla, and those inspired by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, I pass the torch to discipline your mind and your body, to give your best. If I can do it, so can you.”
Picture from the 1990 All American Sled Dog Race. Team racing up Sheridan St. in front of the Ely movie theater.