By Jennifer Martin
Special to The SUN
Last weekend, the Pagosa Nordic Club and Colorado Mountain Mushers, sponsored the fourth annual Pagosa Paw Winter Dog Sports Event. The Nordic event and sled dog race took place at the Toner Ranch and 35 mushers with over 100 dogs as well as many volunteers and spectators, gathered for the two-day event. Participants traveled from all over the state as well as Arizona and New Mexico to participate in this last race of the series this season.
Races consisted of eight-dog, six-dog and four-dog sled race divisions, skijor race (dog pulls you on skis), cani-cross race (dog pulls you on snowshoes) and a freight race (dog pulls weight).
Local musher Forest Bramwell was the winner in the four-dog sled division with a combined time of 16:54. His wife Jaclyn was hot on his tail in second place with a time of 17:55. Local skijor racer Jennifer Martin placed second in the 4-mile skijor race with a combined time of 26:03 and local cani-cross racer Sue Walan placed third in her 4-mile division with a time of 1:23:41.
“It is great to bring sled dog racing back to Pagosa Springs and get people out there recreating with their dogs,” says race organizer Jennifer Martin. “We had five youth racers this year, which was so inspiring. Five year old Xavier Avalos from Flagstaff, Ariz. even won the sportsman-sled fun race class. The event was fantastically attended by both mushers and visitors. I am very happy to see this event grow and everyone out there having a great time.”
A very special thanks to the Pagosa Nordic Club and the numerous volunteers who made the race possible, Forest and Jaclyn Bramwell for all the course setting, Cynthia Toner and Preston Goetzke for the spectacular venue and our numerous sponsors.
The Pagosa Nordic Club is a nonprofit whose mission is to enhance the winter recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs by maintaining accessible groomed winter trails for skate skiing, classic cross country skiing and snowshoeing for all ability levels and to encourage and promote the use of these winter trails through education, marketing and events.
For more information, visit pagosanordic.com.