Musher FAQ



What is the race schedule?

Saturday, February 8th, 2020
On this date you will check your team in at Race Headquarters at Lord Fletcher’s, have your vet check, and attend the mandatory Meet-the-Mushers & Hug-a-Husky event, followed immediately by the mandatory Mushers’ Meeting and Bib Draw.

Sunday, February 9th, 2020
On this date you will showcase your athletes as they race across Lake Minnetonka! There will also be an Finishers’ Banquet following the race and we encourage everyone to attend whether you have won prize money or not, as we will be giving away some great prizes and you must be present to win!


LORD FLETCHER’S, Spring park

Race Headquarters at Lord Fletcher's
Open from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sled Dog Veterinary Checks
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Meet-the-Mushers & Hug-a-Husky Event
3:00 p.m. 

Mushers’ Meeting & Bib Draw
(not open to the public)
4:00 p.m. 

Mushers’ Dinner / Social at Lord Fletcher's
5:30 p.m.     



Race Headquarters at
Excelsior Chamber of Commerce

Open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Opening Ceremony
9:30 a.m.

Race Start
10:00 a.m. 

Finishers’ Banquet
(must have a ticket for entrance)
4:30 p.m.

Klondike Wrap Party
(must have a ticket for entrance)
6:30 p.m.


What are the race classes offered?

For the 2020 race, we will be offering one 8 dog-40 mile race. 

We apologize to those who were counting on the 6-dog class. As this is our first year, and in order to fulfill our mission of presenting a world class sled dog race, we feel it is in the best interest of the mushers, spectators, and sponsors to offer only one class for the 2020 race. We plan to add additional classes, including a 6-dog and hopefully a rec class in future years. 

What the registration limit?

Due to parking constraints at the start, the race is limited to 40 musher registrations.

What is the purse?

We are offering a $25,000 purse.

Purse breakdown:

1st Place — $7,000
2nd Place — $5,000
3rd Place — $3,750
4th Place — $2,500
5th Place — $1,750
6th Place — $1,500
7th Place — $1,250
8th Place — $1,000
9th Place — $750
10th Place — $500

What are the registration details?

Registration will open on October 1st, 2019. From October 1st to December 31st, 2019, the fee will be $125. From January 1st to January 15th, 2020, the fee will be $175. Registration will close January 15th, 2020 or when we reach capacity, whichever comes first. If we reach capacity, you may add your name to our wait list.

You can register for the Klondike online or by mail. 

What does it mean that I am required to be a member of Mush with P.R.I.D.E.?

The Klondike Dog Derby is partnering with Mush with PRIDE by requiring that our musher’s or their kennels be Mush With PRIDE members. Please see the link below to read more about this great organization and the work they do.

If you are not already a member, you will need to pay an additional fee upon registration to join Mush with PRIDE. The fee is $15 for an individual membership, and $20 for a kennel membership, which covers multiple mushers from the same kennel.

Please note!

Mush with PRIDE memberships renew January 1. We will register you in January to ensure your membership is valid for the race.

I am a junior musher under the age of 18, can I race?

Under normal circumstances, only adult mushers over the age of 18 are allowed to race. However, our Race Marshall can override this rule based on your race experience. It is the Klondike Dog Derby’s goal to keep dogs and mushers safe. If the Race Marshall determines that you are experienced enough to tackle the race course in a safe manner, we welcome you as a competitor!

Will there be lodging options close to the race?

Yes! Please see our “Lodging Information” section under Musher Information for links to hotel options.

Are there host families available so I don’t have to pay for a hotel?

We are working hard to find host families that are capable of housing dog trucks and dogs overnight. If you are interested in this option, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Do I need to bring a handler?

Per the race rules, you are required to have one dedicated handler per team. If you have questions about this requirement, please contact the Klondike Dog Derby Race Coordinator at:

On the schedule there is a “Meet-the-Mushers and Hug-a-Husky” event listed. What is this and is it mandatory?

The Meet-the-Mushers and Hug-a-Husky event is mandatory for mushers. This is an opportunity for spectators to meet you and your dogs at a time where mushers are not distracted by vet checks or getting the team ready for the race. It is an opportunity for the public to get pictures and autographs, and to learn more about our racers. And it is an opportunity for the mushing community to educate the public about this amazing sport and the canine athletes that make it happen!

Is the Mushers’ Meeting / Bib Draw mandatory? 

Yes! We want to make sure all of our drivers have the information they need to run a fun and safe race.

What will the parking situation be at the race start?

We will have a large parking lot blocked off for dog trucks. We will have a parking crew there to assist you with parking your dog truck in the appropriate location. Please make sure to include on your registration form the size of your dog truck and whether you will have more than one team on your truck so that we can plan accordingly.

Will you have ATV’s or handlers to help take my team to the start chute?

Yes, we will provide ATV assistance as well as handler assistance to get your team to the start chute. 

What type of trail will I be running?

The Klondike Dog Derby will start in downtown Excelsior, MN. This is a small town bordering Lake Minnetonka. The street will be closed to traffic and snow will be brought in to create a downtown start chute. After leaving the start chute, teams will run a very short distance onto Lake Minnetonka. The rest of the race trail will be on the lake, finishing at the start.

Is the lake remote or populated?
What will we be looking at along the trail?

Lake Minnetonka is a premier location in the Minneapolis area. It may not be the quiet, remote trail system many mushers are accustomed to training or racing on, however, its urban and populated shores will provide mushers with a unique racing experience. The trail itself is lined with beautiful and opulent homes and many spectators will be viewing from the shoreline. We are expecting a large number of spectators both at the start/finish as well as at viewing points along the race route.

Should we be concerned about snowmobile traffic on the lake?

The Klondike Dog Derby race organization will be working very closely with Hennepin County Water Patrol to create a race course that does not travel through high snowmobile traffic. Hennepin County Water Patrol will also be present on the lake throughout the race to monitor snowmobile traffic and help ensure the safety of the mushers and teams. In addition, the Trail Committee will also position snowmobiles and safety points along the trail to assist teams in any tricky spots, or in case of emergency.  

Is the Finishers’ Banquet mandatory?

No, the Finishers’ Banquet is not mandatory. However, we highly recommend that all musher’s attend. If you have placed in a position with a monetary payout, you can only receive this in person. And even if you haven’t placed in the money, we encourage you to come for the great food, camaraderie, and the fantastic prizes that will be given out.

What is the Klondike Wrap Party and is attendance mandatory?

The Klondike Wrap Party is an opportunity to celebrate a successful day with our mushers, sponsors, and volunteers. Consider the “after party” to follow the slightly-more-formal banquet. This is not a mandatory event for mushers. Although we hope you stay and enjoy the festivities, we also understand that many mushers are traveling after the race and are eager to get on the road.

Is there a possibility that this race will be cancelled?

As with any race, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We are hoping she gives us a great winter with adequate cold temperatures and snow to create a smooth, hard and fast trail. In case of cancellation, you will be notified ASAP.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Your musher representative is happy to help!

Amy Flakne

Phone: 612.805.2914 | Email: