top of page


Sweeps is a sled dog race for cash prizes taking place on trails in the region around Caswell, Willow and Knik in Alaska with designated checkpoints along the trail.

  1. The race begins in Caswell, Alaska at 7 PM on Friday February 19, 2021.

  2. Registration fee to race is $4000. Registration will open at on September 16, 2020.

  3. The registration fee of $4000 is refundable in full until noon December 1, 2020. After this time (12:01 PM December 1, 2020) the registration fee is non-refundable. Registered Racers are allowed to replace their person with another Racer of 18 years or older until within 12 hours of race start (that is February 19 at 7 AM). Change of Racer must be done in writing and accompanied by completed W9 form for the replacement Racer. In the unlikely event that the race is cancelled, the registration fee will be refunded in full.

  4. There is no limit to the number of teams a kennel can enter in the race, but all teams must have a designated Racer named upon registration.

  5. Racers must be 18 years of age, fit and skilled to enter and participate in the race entirety at their own risk and responsibility.

  6. Before racing racers must execute a 1) Release of Liability and 2) W9; as well as show proof that dogs in their team have been vaccinated for rabies.

  7. Maximum number of teams taking part in Sweeps 2021 is 25. Minimum number of teams signed up to take part in Sweeps 2021 for race to take place is 21 as of December 1, 2020 at noon.

  8. Purse in 2021 Sweeps is ~ 75% of dollars total paid in entry fees. Prices will be paid out to the top five finishing teams as follows:

    1st ~ 53% of the purse: max. $40000, min. $33000
    2nd ~ 25% of the purse: max. $20000, min. $16000
    3rd ~ 10% of the purse: max. $7500, min. $6000
    4th ~ 6.25% of the purse: max. $5000, min. $4000
    5th ~ 5.75% of the purse: max. $4000, min. $3500

  9. Racers will select their starting position in the race, based on their order of signing up: First Racer to sign up selects starting position first, second racer to sign up selects 2nd, etc. Racers will be notified when and how  selection will take place ; This will also will be announced on

  10. Sweeps is a no-outside-support-race. No outside assistance is allowed from start to finish, including no two-way communication.

  11. Sweeps 2021 will cover a distance of approximately 250 miles, with three checkpoints on the course. The race may be longer covering a distance up to 300 miles. Distances between checkpoints will vary from 40 to 80 miles. Approx. total distance will be announced within two weeks of the race, and final route course with mileage will be announced at mandatory pre-race Racer Meeting on February 19 2021 at 2 PM.

  12. No mandatory rest is required over the course of the race.

  13. There must be 8 dogs, no more and no less, running attached to the gangline at the start.

    Dogs must be micro-chipped by Racers prior to health-check at race start, micro-ships will not be provided by Sweeps; 12- and 16-digit microchips are both acceptable.

    Sweeps will provide Racer with ID tags that Racers must attach to dogs. During health-check at race start, dogs’ microchip and ID tags will be recorded and dogs will be photographed by Sweeps for ID.


  14. There must be a minimum of 6 healthy dogs running attached to the gangline crossing the finish line. At no point may a dog be replaced. Dogs that have been taken out of a team in a checkpoint cannot re-enter the race.

  15. No dogs that are injured, showing signs of pain, undernourishment or malnourished, dehydration or excessive stress shall be running on the trail during Sweeps; in addition to Racers, race officials and veterinarian shall monitor this.

  16. As teams approach each checkpoint they will be monitored by race officials, the Racer must stop the team and allow for an up to 15-minute health-check and possible urine sampling of the dogs on the team before proceeding to either stop to rest in the checkpoint or go through the checkpoint to proceed on the trail with no further stop. The time of the health-check will not be considered stopping-time in the checkpoint, and Racer may not perform any other tasks in the checkpoint on the team or on the sled while stopped. Racer must remain by the team for the duration of health-check.

    Health-checks will be performed by “Health-team” consisting of veterinarian and veteran-musher; Upon health-check, Health-team in consensus with race judge will have authority to require a dog have to return or rest a given amount of time.


  17. Checkpoints will be on the road system. Racers must have designated handler at every checkpoint to receive dog(s) Racer decides to take out of Racer’s team. The designated handler must check-in with appointed checkpoint personal upon arrival, and check-out with appointed checkpoint personal upon departure, presenting dog(s) that have been taken out of the race by Racer at checkpoint

  18. Racers must register in each designated checkpoint by signing in with the Official Checker at this checkpoint.

  19. Racer must sign a sheet provided by Race Veterinarian, Official Checker or other race official when taking a dog out of the team. At the time Racer signs the form for a dog to be taken out of race, the dog is considered a “Return Dog” and it will no longer be allowed to race.

  20. At departure from each checkpoint Racer must declare to the Official Checker the number of dogs in team at departure.

    Racers may not depart a checkpoint unless all their dogs in their team that left the previous checkpoint are present: in the team or with their handler as a “Return Dog.”


  21. Racers must follow the marked and/or broken race trail. Purposely leaving the marked and/or broken trail is not allowed.

  22. A team finishes the race when the nose of any dog in the team crosses the finish line. A team has completed the race when 8 dogs in the team have been presented and are present at health-check taking place after team crosses the finish line and before the banquet. Race Veterinarian may determine that for the medical well-being of the dog, a dog is not presented at the finish line health-check. Otherwise, in the event all 8 dogs are not live and present for this health-check, Racer will forfeit all race winnings / prize money. 

  23. Racers must be present at the mandatory Pre-race Meeting in Caswell, Alaska in designated space on Friday February 19 at 2 PM.

  24. Sweeps Banquet will be held Sunday, February 22 2021 starting at 7 PM or within 1 hour of the fifth team crossing the finish line if this is at a later time than 7 PM February 22 2021. Racers must be present to receive prize money.

  25. Racers must provide a minimum of two handlers and as many handlers as are required to keep their teams under control at the starting point. In the event of poor trail conditions determined by Sweeps, Racers may be required to take additional steps to control their team at the start. Racers must start in their assigned position and time. In addition, Racers must wear any bib or banner provided by the race on their back throughout the race.

  26. Racers will start in 2-minute intervals.

  27. To compensate for the staggered start, at the first checkpoint of the race, each team is subject to a time adjustment (max. 50 minutes).

  28. All dogs are subject to a mandatory veterinary check at any time prior to, during, or after the race. Dogs not fit to begin or continue the race may be removed from the race at the discretion of race veterinarians, judges and Race Marshal.

  29. Unsafe or inhumane treatment of dogs is not permitted. Dogs may not be mistreated.

  30. No synthetic performance enhancing as well as no inject-able substances may be used on any dog at any point during the race. No painkiller or other altering substances such as CBD oil or other similar products in any format may be administered or used during the race. Dogs may be drug tested - pee, hair or otherwise - at any given time during race and in 3 hour period before or after the race.

  31. Drop bags with supplies must be delivered to designated area in Caswell between 10 AM and noon on Friday, February 19 in order to be eligible for delivery to the designated checkpoints. Sweeps will not be responsible for bags not delivered in this scheduled time. Drop bags with supplies must be marked with: name of Racer, and Racers' total number of bags in that checkpoint. Maximum weight of each drop is 40 lb.

  32. Sweeps will provide bedding at the three designated checkpoints.

  33. Racers are responsible for their own fuel to make water in checkpoints and on the trail.

  34. Sweeps will provide transport of marked Return bags from the three designated checkpoints to designated place in Caswell, Alaska for all bags at the designated checkpoints on Sunday February 22 by 3 PM. After this time Racers will be responsible for retrieval of their own bags. All bags and equipment not retrieved from checkpoints by Monday February 23 by 7 PM become property of Sweeps and can be discarded without any party being held responsible or any notification of the Racer.

  35. No equipment left by Racers at the checkpoints, race start or race finish other than marked Return Bags shall be the responsibility of Sweeps at any time. Racers must make own arrangements for return of any equipment besides from Return Bags left at checkpoints. Checkpoint facility employees, volunteers, Sweeps or any of its personal are not responsible for returning gear, food or otherwise left in the checkpoint by Racers. This can be discarded with no further notification of the Racer after 7 PM Monday Feb. 23, 2021.

  36. Racers may not accept help in the care or feeding of their dogs, or the establishment of their camps at any point along the trail, including checkpoints. Racers must obtain their drop-bags, bedding, dog food and water if available, from a location designated by the Checker. All drop-bags, bedding, dog food and water must be carried from the designated location by the racer who will use it. Racers may accept hospitality at a checkpoint where designated by the race. Accepted hospitality includes food, beverage, sleeping quarters, and bathroom facilities available to all racers. Racers may not accept other hospitality or hospitality in other locations.

  37. Motorized vehicles may not lead or pace teams unless at the direction of the race officials. The race officials include the Race Marshall, Checkpoint Manager, race veterinarians and any race judges. All officials will be identified to the racers at the Pre-race meeting.

  38. Racers must carry as required equipment, at all times, a cold weather sleeping bag, an ax, four dog booties in the sled for each dog as well as insulated jackets for the dogs either on the dog or in the sled. There must be a minimum of 8 lbs. of dog food in the sled at all times. Additionally, every sled will be equipped with a GPS tracker – it is required that every racer carry the tracker at all time. Racer must not turn off or in any way tamper with the tracker.

  39. Racers who becomes separated from their team may use whatever means are possible to recover their team. In order for a lost team to continue the race if it has left the trail, it must return to the trail at the point of departure and complete the entire race route. Should the team advance up the trail and later be recovered on the trail, the Racer may continue the race without returning to the point where the Racer became separated from the dog team.

  40. When a team approaches to within 50 feet of another team, team behind has the immediate right of way upon demand. Racer ahead at time of pass must stop the dog team and hold the team to the best of ability for a maximum of one minute or until the other team has passed, whichever occurs first. The passed team must remain behind at least 15 minutes before demanding the trail. The passing rule does not apply in No Mans Land, which will be identified at the pre-race meeting.

  41. Racers and their dogs must be prepared for head-on passing in checkpoints and on trail.

  42. Racer must be able to run the dog team out 200 yards from a checkpoint in 15 minutes or less after time of departing from checkpoint without leading the team, or the Racer must return the team to that checkpoint to rest.

  43. Racers must utilize the same sled throughout the entire race except in the case of a broken sled. No sleds may be shipped prior to the race to any of the checkpoints along the trail. In the event of a broken sled, Racer may use whatever means possible to obtain a replacement sled and continue the race. The broken sled must be made available to race officials for examination.

  44. All litter must be properly disposed of at checkpoints and may not be left along the trail.

  45. Racers must conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner of the highest regard and must treat all dogs, spectators, volunteers, officials and each other respectfully. Racers must at all time put safety of all dogs and Racers above all.

  46. Discussions about these rules or other aspects of the race must be conducted with race officials at an appropriate time and place. At all race functions, conduct detrimental to Sweeps, its collaborators or its volunteers is subject to penalty.

  47. Any observed violations of the Race Rules must be reported to a race official within 2 hours of the time that Racer registering the protest crossed the finish line. The decision of the race officials shall be final.

  48. Racers must return race bibs to the race within 1 hour of finish. Racers who do not return race bibs will be charged for replacement costs.

  49. Rule violations subject the violator to the following range of penalties by Race Marshal, judges and directors: 1. Warning (oral or written); 2. Censure (public or private); 3. Time Delay; 4. Monetary incl. forfeiture of purse winnings; 5. Disqualification; 6. Ineligibility for future races.


Sweeps urges Racers in the race to fully prepare themselves and their team for possible hazardous trail conditions and challenging weather conditions. Part of the trail will be in remote lightly traveled areas and racers who lose the trail must be prepared for survival in such an emergency situation. The trail will be marked and the progress of racers will be closely monitored. However, weather may prevent a Racer from being helped in the event Racer is lost. Please plan accordingly.  The race will adhere to its schedule unless weather or trail conditions force a delay. If that should occur before the race start, the start could be delayed on a day-to-day basis. Racers will be given reasonable notice of such changes. Once the race has begun, such delays will be communicated through race personal, checkpoint and race officials on the trail. Any such delay would involve teams not being able to advance forward along the trail once notified of the delay. This procedure would be employed only at checkpoints. In addition to a delay, the race route may be altered either before or during the race if conditions require such a change. This could result in a longer or shorter race trail than advertised. One of the potential results would be a race that is stopped at a point short of the expected finish line, after teams have reached that location, if trail conditions do not allow the race to continue. In all of the above situations, Sweeps recognizes that changes would possibly affect the outcome of the race. Thus, such changes would not be made except in extraordinary circumstances. If such changes are required, Sweeps will make every effort to assure that dog care is not adversely affected by the change. Sweeps endeavors at all times to conduct a safe event that is fair for all Racers and above all, the dogs.

bottom of page