Willow 300 Sled Dog Race

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w300logoWillow 150 Sled Dog Race 2023 Official Race Rules

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The Official Race Rules for the 2023 Willow 150 Sled Dog Race, have been adopted by the Willow 300 Sled Dog Race Association.

Any team who competes in the Willow 150 Sled Dog Race need to make sure and read every rule thoroughly, as these have changed from the past and it is the mushers responsibility to adhere to these new rules. Please make sure and mark your calendars with these dates, as it is not the W300 RESPONSIBILITY to remind everyone of times and dates. It is the musher/teams responsibility to make sure that they are at these mandatory meetings and vet check promptly.

Willow 150 Sled Dog Race rules of competition notice are as follows:

  1. ALL vet checks, Musher’s meetings, VOLUNTEER meetings and required paperwork are to be completed at the Willow Community Center on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  2. Musher’s meeting will start promptly at 3:30 p.m. (Please check Facebook or web page for any possible changes or additional information.)


  1. Willow Start and Finish
    1. The official starting date for the W150 will be Wednesday, January 25th, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at the Willow Lake in Willow Alaska. (If for some reason we are unable to start on Willow Lake, we will move the race to Happy Trails Kennel in Big Lake.)
    2. The W150 2023 race will conclude at the Willow Community Center in Willow, Ak.
    3. Musher must start the race with no less than 8 dogs and no more than 14 dogs in harness and
    4. will finish the race with no fewer than 5 dogs in harness at the finish line.
    5. No dogs will be replaced or added after crossing the starting line.
    6. MUSHER AND HANDLERS must NOT be under the influence and/or consume any alcohol and/or drugs of any kind during the race at any time. Such violations will result in immediate disqualifications. The W300 will follow Iditarod’s standards regarding such rule.
  2. Entry Fee and Purse
    1. The 2023 entry for the W150 will open Saturday, October 1, 2023. Receipt of $280.00 (which includes the $30.00 NONREFUNDABLE Willow 300 Sled Dog Race Association membership fee) will be required to be paid before the application will constitute the Musher's intent to enter the 2023 W150 Sled Dog Race.
    2. Musher fully understands and agrees to comply with each, and every rule as stated in this handbook upon signing up for the W150 Sled Dog Race.
    3. The Willow 150 Sled Dog Race reserves the rights to reject any entries.
    4. Entries are determined on the first come first serve bases. Entries postmarked on same day will be opened in random order.
    5. Entry fees must be either by: Check, Money Order, Cashiers Check or Square Payment (MC, VS, Discover, AmEx). NO CASH WILL BE ACCEPTED.
    6. Entry fee checks are to be made out to and mailed to:
      Willow 300 Sled Dog Race Association
      PO Box 138
      Willow, Alaska 99688
    7. If the musher is unable to fill(run) his or her position in the W150 Race, there will be NO refund of entry fees. However, you may find your own replacement to run the 2023 W150. Please notify Race Director of such changes before Monday, January 16, 2023. Any changes made after Monday, January 16, 2023, WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
    8. If any changes are made before Monday, January 17, 2023, the musher taking over the vacant position, will be required to fill out all new paperwork and pay the required membership fee of $30.00 before application will be accepted.
    9. Refunds of entry fees will take place ONLY IF the W300/W150 is cancelled at the discretion of the Race Marshall/Race Judges. (see #4).
    10. If race is cancelled W300 will reimburse musher a minimum of $200.00. The W300 Association reserves the right to withhold a maximum of $50.00 of the initial entry fee. This cost is to cover some of the trail development and grooming fees prior to the race. The W300 will do our utmost to avoid this small holding. If a cancellation does occur, a clean and transparent accounting of all cost of the trail development will be provided to each musher.
    11. Purse amounts will be determined and posted by December 1, 2023.
    12. All mushers/teams running the W150 race will be a W300 member and will be in good standing with the race.
    13. If using the W150 as a qualifier for the Iditarod and or Yukon Quest, it is the responsibility of the musher to present the Race Marshal with the necessary paperwork. The W300 is NOT responsible for the musher applications.
    14. The musher must be 14 years of age or older on the start day of the 2023 W150 Sled Dog Race. (PLEASE see the Addendum) ALL mushers must attend AND sign in for the mandatory mushers meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. This meeting will start at 3:30 p.m. DO NOT BE LATE, as a penalty can be given... This is a mandatory meeting.
    15. There may be additional forms this year to fill out. Please feel free to do so during the vet checks. You may also download these and submit them at sign in.
  3. Race Route and Trail
    1. The W150 is a 150-mile race with a minimum of 8 hours total layover taken at Susitna Landing the official checkpoints.
    2. NO musher will be allowed to stay more than 10 hours at the checkpoint during the race.
    3. The course covers approximately 150 miles from Willow Community Center to Susitna Landing and back to Willow Community Center.
    4. Approximate course is:
      1. Leave Willow Lake with a 70 mile plus run to Susitna Landing
      2. Leave Susitna Landing a 70 mile plus run back to Willow Community Center.
        ** Mileages are approx. and will be adjusted as the trail conditions warrant.
      3. The trail will be broken and marked prior to the race. However, due to the weather conditions there will be no guarantee of broken trails during the race.
      4. Mileages may vary from map and will be available online approx. 3 days prior to start of the race. However, trail conditions may delay the process.
      5. ABSOLUTELY NO GPS coordinates will be given.
    5. Official check points are Willow Lake, (Willow Community Center), Susitna Landing. (Start and Finish).
    6. Mushers must follow the described trail as marked. Leaving the marked trail for ANY competitive advantage will result in immediate disqualification.
  4. Outside Assistance
    1. Qualifying Mushers:
      1. Qualifying musher MAY NOT have outside help/assistance during the race at any given time.
      2. Qualifying mushers are REQUIRED to have a handler at each roadside checkpoint, and road crossings.
      3. Qualifying mushers handlers listed on contact form are REQUIRED to receive and care for returned dogs, clean up all straw, dog waste, booties and garbage within 30 mins of musher leaving checkpoint. Be prepared to bring your OWN cleaning supplies, i.e. Rake, shovel, trash bags, etc. Willow 300 DOES not supply these items.
    2. Non-Qualifying Musher:
      1. Unlike any other area races, W150 will allow outside help for non-qualifying mushers with only ONE dog truck.
      2. Each musher is REQUIRED to have a handler that is listed on the contact form at each roadside checkpoint and road crossing.
      3. Handlers are REQUIRED to receive and care for returned dogs and clean up all straw, dog waste, booties, and garbage with in 30 mins of musher leaving the checkpoint. Be prepared to bring your OWN cleaning supplies, i.e., rake, shovel, trash bags etc. Willow 300 DOES not supply these items.
      4. Handlers for non-qualifying mushers have the option to assist with dog care, sled repairs, etc. HOWEVER, if non-qualifying musher uses handlers for any assistance with dog care, MUSHER will not qualify to receive the Humanitarian Award.
    3. A one hour penalty will be given for ANY litter on the trail and or at any checkpoint failure to clean up in the allotted time. DO NOT leave any cleaning supplies at any checkpoint.
    4. Checkpoints will only allow 1 Dog Truck parking space per team. All other vehicles will pay for parking at checkpoints. Use the parking pass that is in your musher packet.
    5. All handlers, whether qualifying or non-qualifying will be responsible for the delivery of drop bags to mushers at the road checkpoints.
    6. Unused baled straw may be left at any checkpoint. However, make sure that it is properly contained.
    7. A musher may carry and use any two-way communication device including but not limited to 1) cell phone 2) satellite phone 3) GPS is permitted.
  5. Checkpoints
    1. Mushers must personally sign in and out of ALL checkpoints.
    2. Musher MUST have all mandatory gear when signing in and out of checkpoint.
    3. Bib number will be clearly shown at each checkpoint.
    4. Mandatory gear will be checked at the start of the race, Susitna Landing and at the finish line given checkpoint by the Race Judge and or the Race Marshal.
    5. Due to Covid 19, all mushers may sleep/rest in their dog truck or other designated places on the road systems checkpoints. Mushers are not required to do so but are given the opportunity to do so. However, there may be limited indoor space available to rest at the road system checkpoints.
  6. Passing
    1. When a musher and team are within 50 ft of another team, the team behind will have the Right of Way upon command. This rule DOES NOT apply with a mile of the finish line, which is no mans land.
    2. The passed team must remain behind for at least 2 minutes before resuming the trail. Ski Poles are NOT allowed when passing another team.
  7. Sled
    1. No sled is allowed to be shipped or taken out to checkpoints before the 2023 W150 race.
    2. Musher may have help repairing their sled ONLY if prior approval has been given by the Race Judge and or Race Marshal at the checkpoint that the musher is at.
    3. Mushers can use 1 trailer in addition to the sled ONLY if trail conditions allow. This will be determined at the mushers meeting.
    4. The musher can only carry dogs in front of their sled’s handlebar.
    5. Mushers may not carry dogs for another team under ANY circumstance.
    6. Dogs must be hauled in a humane fashion and must be covered if conditions warrant. The Race Judge/Race Marshal will make that determination.
  8. Mandatory Gear
    1. Cold Weather Sleeping Bag rated to -30
    2. Hand Ax with the overall length of 22 inches
    3. One Pair of snowshoes with bindings. Each snowshoe must have a minimum of 250 square inches in size.
    4. 3-gallon cooker with cooking gear
    5. 8 sets of dog booties for each dog at all times during the race.
    6. Dog coats for each dog.
  9. Dog Care and Humane Treatment
    1. All dogs entered in the W150 Sled Dog Race are under the jurisdiction of the W300, Chief Veterinarian and the Veterinary Staff from the time that they enter staging area before the race until after completion of the race.
    2. ALL dogs are subject at any time to an examination by race Veterinarians/Judges/Race Marshal prior to, during or immediately after completing the race.
    3. Concerns about the condition of the dogs may be brought to the attention of the Race Judge and or Race Marshal.
    4. The Veterinarian, Race Judge and or Race Marshal may make a on the spot decision regarding the dog health and or care.
    5. Dogs may be returned at any of the checkpoints. All returned dogs MUST be seen by a race Vet before leaving the checkpoint with the musher’s handler.
    6. MISTREATMENT OF ANY dog will be cause for immediate DISQUALIFICATION from the W150 Sled Dog Race.
    7. Whips and other violent tactics are not permitted. Any and all such actions will be reported to all major race organizations. The Race Marshal and Race Judge have the authority over this matter.
    8. NO drugs that may suppress the signs of illness and or injury or cause a dog to perform beyond its natural ability will be tolerated during the W150. The W150 follows the Iditarod’s list of prohibited drugs.
  10. Expired Dogs
    1. The death of any dog may result in the disqualification of the driver and or prohibit them from entering future races with the W300 Sled Dog Race.
    2. Any dog that expires during the race must be loaded, fully covered in the sled and taken to the next checkpoint and submitted to the Race Judge/Race Marshal or Race Veterinarian immediately.
    3. All dogs’ deaths will be treated as a priority with every effort being made to determine the cause of death in a thorough and reliable manner.
    4. In case of a dog’s death, the expired dog will become property of W300 for the purpose of performing a necropsy. If the necropsy shows musher abuse, the musher forfeits ALL EARNINGS and is banned from any races that are associated with the W150/W300 permanently.
    5. Dog deaths resulting in Disqualification are:
      1. Signs of cruel inhumane or abusive treatment
      2. Heat Stress
      3. Hypothermia
    6. The musher will not be penalized and may continue if:
      1. Cause of death cannot be determined
      2. Cause of death is due to circumstance, nature of the trail or forced beyond the control of the musher. This recognizes the inherent risk of wilderness trail in the state of Alaska.
      3. Cause of death is from an unpreventable or previously undiagnosed medical condition shown in the necropsy report.
    7. A necropsy will be performed on ALL expired dogs.
  11. Vet Checks
    1. Mandatory Vet check must be made prior to the race. W300 vet checks will be Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Willow Community Center.
    2. Vet checks will be as follows:
      1. Last name A-J will be first come first serve 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
      2. Last name K-Z will be first come first serve 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    3. For the purpose of these vet checks a maximum of 16 dogs will be examined.
    4. If teams have had a previous vet check from their vet within the last 10-day, team may submit that in place of a race vet check. However, paperwork will be reviewed and verified with the lead Veterinarian during the vet checks. If any concerns occur, musher/team may be asked to have a dog reviewed by a race vet the morning of the W300 race.
    5. If you are unable to attend the vet check on Saturday, Jan 24th, 2023 you are required to contact the W300/150 Sled Dog Race Director/Christine Stitt no later than 6:00 P.M, January 21st, 2023.
    6. All dogs must have current rabies and Parvo shots. (5way minimum). Proof must be presented during the W150 vet check.
    7. ALL teams, even if previous vet check has been done, MUST present proof of shots during the check in.
    8. NO proof, NO race!!
  12. Sportsmanship
    1. Mushers and their crew MUST demonstrate sportsmanship like conduct during all parts of the W150 race.
    2. Any conduct that is inappropriate toward the Race Marshal, Race Judge, Committee, Volunteers, Sponsors, Competitors, Trail Committee, and Spectators will result in a penalty or disqualification of the race and will NO longer be in good standing with the W150/W300 Sled Dog Race.
    3. This will be determined by the Race Judge (checkpoint) and or Race Marshal.
  13. Penalties
    1. The scale of penalties involved with rule breaking in the W150 Sled Dog Race are as follows:
      1. Time Delay
      2. Monetary Penalty
      3. Withdrawal
      4. Disqualification
      5. Future ban from W150/W300 Sled Dog Race.
    2. The Race Judge and or Race Marshal have the authority to withdraw a team that is out of competition or no longer making a valid effort to compete.
  14. Drop Bags
    1. ALL food drop bags must be in a gunny type bag and clearly marked with the following:
      1. Mushers Last name
      2. W300
      3. Checkpoint location
      4. Numbered bags 1 of 2, 2 of 2 etc.
    2. W150 DOES NOT provide any fuel/Heet for any of the checkpoints.
    3. W150 Sled Dog Race WILL NOT be responsible for returning a mushers dropped gear/bags from Susitna Landing to Willow Community Center.
    4. Any drop bags/gear left at ANY checkpoints MUST be picked up no later than 3:00 P.M Saturday January 28, 2023, at Willow Community Center.
    5. Any drop bags/gear left after 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, 2023 will be disposed of.

ADDENDUM to Rule 2(n)

W300 SDR would like to welcome any musher from the age of 14-17 to be a part of our W150 SDR for 2023. If you are interested in being a musher on this race, please make sure and read through all the rules thoroughly. There are special forms (available on website) that will need to be filled out before your entry can be accepted.

We look forward to you being a part of our race.