SLIDESHOW: Dozens of teams prepare for Cook County’s Gunflint Mail Run

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COOK COUNTY, MN — 30 teams will hit the trails starting Saturday morning for the 42nd annual Gunflint Mail Run sled dog race.

This year will be different, as the teams will have to take the weather into effect.

On Friday, mushers along with their dogs and veterinarians were on hand to check in for the event.

The temperature for Saturday’s race is expected to be in the 30’s, which may seem nice, but mushers say it isn’t optimal for the dogs.

The dogs in the race are used to training in negative degree temperatures, and with the above freezing temps, it will force the dogs to work harder.

In addition, the snow conditions will impact how much pressure they put on their joints, which could result in injuries.

Veterinarian Dr. Kristina Kiefer says the mushers must be aware of the snow conditions.

“If it is soft punchy snow, be aware of, if there’s previous tracks that have be laid, the snow’s packed a little bit better. That might be better than getting off the unbeaten path so to speak. And then taking it a little bit slower,” said Kiefern.

Mushers are divided by two different classes that will either race for 100 miles or 65 miles.

The race is set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Trail Center Lodge.

A winner will be crowned on Sunday.

Neil Vierzba

Neil Vierzba

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