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Pagosa PAW Sled Dog Races return to Pagosa Springs

By Jennifer Martin
Special to The SUN

Photo courtesy Jennifer Martin  The fourth annual Pagosa PAW winter dog sports event includes spectacular dog sled racing, as well as Nordic skiing. The event will be held this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22 and 23, at the Toner Ranch, located 15.5 miles north on Piedra Road from U.S. 160.

Photo courtesy Jennifer Martin 
The fourth annual Pagosa PAW winter dog sports event includes spectacular dog sled racing, as well as Nordic skiing. The event will be held this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22 and 23, at the Toner Ranch, located 15.5 miles north on Piedra Road from U.S. 160.

Come join the Pagosa Nordic Club and Colorado Mountain Mushers for the fourth annual Pagosa PAW on Feb. 22 and 23. This winter dog sports event includes spectacular dog sled racing as well as Nordic skiing.

Races start at 9 a.m. both days and include a six-dog, 6-mile sled race; four-dog, 4-mile sled race; 4-mile skijor race (dog pulls you on skis); 4-mile cani-cross race (dog pulls you on snowshoes); and 4-mile freight event. There is also a sportsman class offering a 1-mile course for those who just want to try it out. Cash prizes are awarded for competitive entries (based on a combined score for racing both days) and medals for sportsman participants, along with a drawing for additional prizes.

This is an incredible spectator event, so you’ll want to arrive before 9 a.m. to catch the excitement.

Race location has been changed due to low snow conditions and will now be held at the Toner Ranch located 15.5 miles north of Pagosa Springs on Piedra Road from U.S. 160. After crossing the Piedra River bridge, turn right on Taylor Lane. Go 1.7 miles to the race site on the left; there will be a corral and cattle chute on the right.

The Toner Ranch provides a great venue for racers and spectators with excellent views. The 16-mile drive will take 30 minutes or so, so plan ahead and be sure to arrive before 9 a.m. for the most excitement. The drive will be well worth it.

To register as a racer, call Jennifer Martin at 264-9358 or visit colomtnmushers.org. You can also visit pagosanordic.com for trail grooming reports, trail maps and event details.

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.

See you at the races.

This story was posted on February 21, 2014.