In the chilly morning of February 19 eminent mushers and the best sled dog teams of the country accompanied with the loud barking of the rivals’ dogs and excited shout of supporters will cross the starting line of another 250 km adventure through the horizonless whiteness named North Hope Stage Sled Dog Race 2012. Stamina, passion, trust, faith, intuition, fearlessness, care and surely LOVE will determine the winners’ chances.

The 6th traditional annual North Hope Stage Sled Dog Race 2012 will take place on Feb.19-25, 2012 on the territory of the North Hope Sled Dog Center in Kostroma region, Russia. The veterans as well as the rookies are expected among the participants: the first ones – to defend their lead, the latter – to try themselves and their 4-legged athletes. The participants will have to run a 250 km distance through thick pine woods, fields and swamps, crossing the frozen taiga rivers. A challenging night run will sort out the weak. Skijjorers will dare to run the same distance alongside with mushers and their 6-dog teams.

North Hope Sled Dog Center  was founded on the basis of the orphanage at St.Nicholas parish of Russian Orthodox Church as means of social and psychological rehabilitation of orphan kids. Today the center offers a wide range of children-oriented programs like canine therapy projects for orphans, a program of developing personality potential for the physically challenged kids, etc . The North Hope Race was initially started for the benefit of orphan children and today all the money gained at the race goes to implement children programs of the center.

Junior mushers will have a chance to participate in a junior race called Little North Hope Race 2012 absolutely free of charge which will be held on Feb.24. On Feb. 22 the mushers will be giving charity rides for the challenged kids and children from the local orphanage. The art exhibition of crafts by the children from the NH center named “Sled Dogs Through Kids Eyes” and a photo exhibition called «North Hope» by volunteer photographers shooting pictures of North Hope Race since 2007 will be organized within the frameworks of the race as well.

Traditionally, the race will be held with the help and support and oversight of the two legends of the sled dogs in North America and dear friends of North Hope – Terry Hinesly (Race Marshal) and Caroline Griffitts (Chief Vet). For many years on they’ve been putting North Hope Race into their schedule right between the greatest races on Earth – the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest.

The North Hope Race is a unique event in the world of sled dogsas for 6 years it’s been put on with God’s help merely by a bunch of enthusiasts consisting of the graduates from the North Hope orphanage, workers and friends of the center under the keen guidance of a nun – Mother Paraskeva, the Race President and the founder of the center.  Besides, North Hope was the first in the European part of Russia that managed to bring international mushers and open the doors for Russin mushers to get knowledge and skills and exchange experience with mushers from the US, Canada and Australia.

Who will be the next incumbent of the North Hope challenged trophy – a Crystal Snowflake and the title of the North Hope Race 2012 Champion? What surprises will mushers run into on their way to the finish line? – You’d better come and see with your own eyes..

If you’d like to witness the ancient magic union of a man, a dog and white snow,  take a dive into the atmosphere of the unprecedented love and kindness, see the charm of the Russian back country,  challenge the Russian snow and mush for a cause – you’re welcome on board of the North Hope Race 2012!

For further details visit http://nordhope.com/races/2012-2

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