Sled dogs will start running this morning

LACONIA — Jen Lyman of the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club said she expects the Laconia Classic to begin as scheduled at 10 a.m. this morning.

She said the club will likely use about 20 snowmobiles to pack down the 15-mile course and then bring a groomer in from the Belknap Snowmobile Club.

"It'll be slow going tomorrow but Saturday and Sunday will be perfect," she predicted.

Lyman said that depending on when it stops snowing today and whether or not the area gets any sleet will be the final determinant of how the trails are packed and what time today's race will begin.

The start/finish line is in the open field just north of the intersection of Old North Main Street and Parade Road, directly across the road from the entrance to the old State School property.

The six-dog race is scheduled to begin today at 10 a.m. with the three-dog race at noon and the unlimited race at 1:30 p.m.

Should the trail require some additional packing or if there are white-out conditions this morning, Lyman said the race could be delayed a half-hour or so.

She was optimistic that the bulk of current snow storm would be finished by tomorrow morning and that the trails would be ready.

On Saturday, the six-dog race would begin at 9:30 a.m., the three-dog race will begin at noon, and the second leg of the unlimited race will begin at 1 p.m.

Sunday's six-dog race begins a 9:30 a.m., the three-dog race starts at noon, a special one-dog race for juniors begins at 12:30 and the final run of the unlimited race is at 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Governor Maggie Hassan is expected to participate in the festivities leading up to the start of Sunday's unlimited-class race.

She said so far there are 35 entries but with yesterday's snow she is hoping for more.