SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 16, 2013

Sled dog races postponed

Author, adventurer to still speak in Hamilton tomorrow

HAMILTON — Despite calls for snow today, the New England Sled Dog races planned for this weekend have been postponed until next month.

The races will now take place Feb. 2 and 3 at Appleton Farms, with organizers saying there needs to be at least 6 to 7 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service reports rain and snow for today, with the possibility of 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulating on the North Shore.

Organizers are hoping to run this year’s races, since last year’s event was canceled due to mild weather.

In the meantime, the nonprofit Friends of New England Sled Dog Inc. will host Shelley Gill, an Alaskan author, adventurer and dog musher, tomorrow at the Hamilton-Wenham Community House, 284 Bay Road, Hamilton.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Gill is one of the first women to race the Iditarod, the famous 1,100-mile dog sled race in Alaska. She has authored more than 25 books and has conducted research on humpback whales.

“Very few people have done what Shelley has done,” said Belinda Recio, a board member of the nonprofit.

Recio said those who attend will be in for an inspiring evening as Gill speaks about her many adventures.

“It is a chance to meet an extremely interesting person,” Recio said. “She has a great sense of humor and has great stories to tell.”

Gill was friends with late Hamilton resident Norman Vaughan, who was the inspiration behind bringing the sled dog races to town in 2010. Vaughan was a dog sled driver and polar explorer who participated in Adm. Richard Byrd’s first expedition to the South Pole, according to the group.

“She was very good friends with Norman and shared many adventures with him,” Recio said.

Recio said the presentation is part of the group’s goal to not only organize a race but educational programs, as well. There will be a meet-and-greet with Gill after her presentation.

This year’s sled dog race course will begin and end on Highland Street at Lamson Field.

IF YOU GO

What: Alaskan author and dog musher Shelley Gill to speak about her many adventures

When: 7 p.m. tomorrow

Where: Hamilton-Wenham Community House, 284 Bay Road, Hamilton

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