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From the very beginning this club was formed with the intent to produce and promote sled dog racing in the “Lake City” as an annual, “major winter sporting” event. Since the club was formed in 1929 the club survived the depression, the war, and has changed to keep each generation interested in promoting the history, the mission and the love of sled dogs. Because, it's all about the dogs.
A little background before our club and race came to be...
The historically known, "1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, was a transport of diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay across the U.S. territory of Alaska by 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs 674 miles (1,085 km) in five and a half days, saving the small town of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic." After the courageous serum run the world of sled dog racing really took off in the public eye. Of course sled dogs had been around prior to the serum run for thousands of years, working to provide transportation of equipment, people and food in remote locations especially.
The first sled dog races to be held in Laconia, New Hampshire took place in 1929 and 1930 as a part of a series of weekend events sponsored by the New England Sled Dog Club. The first race was a historical one; with one of the famous Serum Run mushers, Leonhard Seppala winning the championship derby which used to cover 40 miles. Today the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club has a trophy in Seppala's memory which is given out each year voted by the mushers to the best sportsman in the open class for the three day event. In 1931, the Laconia Sled Dog Club was formed to produce and promote sled dog racing in the “Lake City” as an annual, “major winter sporting” event. In 1936, “World Championship” was added to the title of the race and at the time, was the first and only sled dog race to claim that lofty designation. Former members of the Laconia Sled Dog Club banded together in 1957 to form the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club to include citizens from the surrounding lake villages. Since that date, the World Championship Sled Dog Derby has been produced by club members, working with the city officials, city roads and police departments, along with the cooperation of local Hamm radio and snowmobile clubs. Much of the races' financial support comes from the Lakes Region Area business community through their support of our annual auction and race advertisements.
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