Caledonia Classic: ready to race

The Caledonia Classic is back and it will be held on Feb. 26-28 in Fort St. James.

  • Feb. 17, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Get ready and get set!

The Caledonia Classic is back and it will be held on Feb. 26-28 in Fort St. James.

Craig Houghton, event organizer is thrilled with what this year’s event has in store.

“Because of the warmer weather this year, one of the highlights is that we will have more teams participate in the stage race as compared to previous years,” Houghton said.

The Caledonia Classic has been a staple of the winter season in Fort St. James for about 18 years.

It is the only race that combines sprint, mid-distance and long distance races into one exciting weekend.

Houghton, along with co-organizer, Joanna Vinnedge, has helped organize the event since the very beginning and he has seen many changes over the years.

“There are three races in the province but we are the biggest,” Houghton says.

The other two are in 100 Mile House and Fort Nelson, B.C.

Mushers from all over attend the Classic. “We’ve had mushers from western Canada, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Montana and Washington take part,” Houghton said.

So how does one become a musher?

A good start is to become a handler for someone. You’ve got have a passion for sled dogs. If not, then don’t do it,” Houghton says.

For Houghton, the Classic has been a passion for him since the beginning and he is grateful for all of the support received from the community, the snowmobile club and the District of Fort St. James over the years.

“And it wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers,” he said.

Approximately 30-35 volunteers help with the Classic during the week and 10 dedicated volunteers help put it together leading up to the event every year.

According to Houghton, the event is much more spectator friendly than in previous years.

The stage race, which is the highlight of the Classic, takes place over three days, travelling 50 miles a day. The one musher with the best total time is the winner.

Weather depending, the Classic is set to take place on Stuart Lake.

And if you are planning to attend, you might even have the rare opportunity of being be pulled by a sled.

 

For more information about the Caledonia Classic visit: http://www.fsjcaledoniaclassic.com/