For the second year now, the Rocky Mountain State Games added a sport that involves human and animal athletes. Last summer it was the dog agility competition that attracted some 500 competitors and their four-legged athletes, bringing additional visitors and tourist dollars into the region.
In 2014, the first Rocky Mountain State Games Dog Sled Race will take place on Feb. 8-9 at Hayden Divide Community Park in Divide, at the intersection of Highway 24 and Highway 67.
In preparation for the event, there will be dog sled demonstrations from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7 in Acacia Park, as part of the Sochi Olympic Downtown Celebration.
The Rocky Mountain State Games Dog Sled race is produced by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. Race organizers are the Colorado Mountain Mushers, and the race is sponsored by the Highlands Center in Divide.
The slate of races will range from one mile to eight miles over the course.
Eleven divisions will be open to Colorado mushers and their dogs in the sport. Admission to watch the event is free to the public. The races will be staged from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Divisions range from the sportsman one-mile canicross to the eight-mile sprint with eight dogs. Prize money of at least $1,000 will be awarded, but sportsman’s class is not eligible for prize money.
Starting after Christmas, mushers can register for the competition by visiting www.colomushers.org.