TThe terms MAIL RUN and participation have been hallmarks of the Mail Run Event for 25 years. In its early years, the Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run was a race, in fact it was a qualifying event for both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. However in 1998 the competitive focus was dropped and the emphasis shifted from competition to participation. Everyone involved with the Mail Run, both the on trail participants and the off trail volunteers all participate in the Mail Run event in their own way. Everyone receives the same participation awards.
The Mail Run takes place over three looped trails and is run over three days. While it is primarily a sled dog event, the Mail Run is open not just to dog teams but also skijorers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, kick-sledders, runners and probably any other form of self-propelled transportation capable of negotiating a packed snow trail. Participants usually participate in all three of the stages but they may also choose to limit their participation to just one or two of the stages. Mail Run participants will be sworn in as Official Mail Carriers but they must be willing to complete all three stages if they are to carry the mail.
We have a pretty good idea of just where the trail will run on each of the three days, but because Quesnel/Wells/Barkerville are logging towns, we sometimes have to make last minute adjustments to accommodate any logging traffic that could impact the trail. For this reason, final details of the trail and schedule of events will be posted on the Mail Run website by early January, each year.
Everyone must register for the Mail Run which includes the Dash, by completing the Registration and Waiver Forms and paying the participation fee. Register on line, simply go to the Registration Tab. Participants will receive the following participation awards: a current year Mail Run mug, a Mail Run envelope, an “Official Mail Carrier” certificate, a hot dog lunch on Friday. and a "Gold Rush Trail" patch.
The Mail Run is suitable for dog teams of all sizes however it is important that mushers are confident that their dogs are conditioned and capable of completing the posted distances. If there is a chance that your dogs may be unwell, please do not bring them to the event, to ensure that no illness will be spread to other dogs. Please ensure that your animals have current vaccinations.
As indicated above, each day’s run will be on a looped trail, which means that everyone will start and finish at the same place, making it unnecessary to have to move your vehicle/dog truck from the start line to the finish line. The Mail Run is not a race, participants can take their time and can feel free to stop and enjoy the view.
On Sunday, the Barkerville Dash -is included as the final leg of that day’s stage. Participants may choose to participate in the Barkerville Dash only (see Mail Run Stages). The Dash will start at Barkerville, run to One Mile Bridge and return to Barkerville (10 km), with a great “photo-op” finish in front of the Barkerville Post Office. There will be a shorter route (3 km) for snowshoers and others who do not wish to run the full 10 kilometers. The “Dash” is open to dog mushers, skijorers, skiers, runners, kicksledders, bicycles, snowshoers or any other mode of transportation. All participants in the “Dash” must provide a prize that will become part of the prize pool….the “Dasher” with the fastest time in each, the long and short, race will get first pick and so on….everyone wins! This year there will be a draw prize of substantial value for all registered Dash participants. For now it is a “sur-prize”