Gunflint Mail Run organizers remain optimistic and hope for snow
WTIP File Photo

Gunflint Mail Run organizers remain optimistic and hope for snow

The annual Gunflint Mail Run dog sled race is scheduled for Jan 6, 2024. This winter, however, the lack of snow has made the 2024 race uncertain.

Race organizer Cathy Quinn spoke with WTIP about the Mail Run, and comparing current conditions to last winter said, “If you think back to last year at this time, we were drowning in snow.”

The organizers are trying to remain optimist, since weather can change quickly. However, they are also being realistic about the potential need to cancel the race. Quinn said, “We want to wait as long as we can, but we also recognize that we have mushers traveling from outside the area, as well as our vet team.”

Quinn said that ideally the mushers need about 18 in. of snow for good racing conditions. She also said organizers typically need about 10 days before race day to make sure that the entire race route was safe and clear.

If the race goes ahead, there will be several changes to the format this year. To start with, there is a smaller pool of racers, with only 15 teams, compared to 30 teams in the past. Additionally, all teams will run a 65 mile race with ten dogs on each team. This replaces the previous format of holding separate races for teams of eight dogs and twelve dogs.

People looking to volunteer or find out more about the race can get more information through the Gunflint Mail Run social media and website.

WTIP’s CJ Heithoff spoke with Cathy Quinn, an organizer of the Gunflint Mail Run, about the changes to the race this year, and the prospects of the event taking place.