Oregon Dune Mushers' Mail Run

Oregon Dune Mushers' Mail Run

March; dates vary according to the tide schedules
The Oregon Dune Mushers' Mail Run takes place every year, with teams of 4 to 12 dogs in different class groups completing a 75-mile course between North Bend and Florence, Ore. Traveling through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, about 15-20 teams take two to three days to complete the run. It is non-competitive, designed only to test the endurance of the dogs and their "mushers," who ride in wheeled carts.
The event commemorates early American history, when the strength of humans and animals, and their mutual co-operation, were essential to the settling of the United States. The course, which runs along the Pacific coast on roads, trails, and over huge sand dunes, also harkens back to the days before 1914, when a railway tunnel finally was completed in the Gardiner area of Oregon. Prior to that date, beaches commonly were used as highways. Even today, the beach area between the low-tide mark and the mean high-tide mark is under the jurisdiction of Oregon's highway system.
The Oregon Dune Mushers' Mail Run was conceived in 1977 by dog musher Jim Tofflemire after he ran the famous 1,200-mile-long Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. He had struggled to raise the funds for the race, and he wanted to help others raise money while also experiencing the unique mushing conditions on the Oregon coast. In keeping with his original vision, the Oregon run includes a distinctive fund-raising element. Each musher carries three commemorative stamped envelopes and is required to have the stamps cancelled in the three communities that the race course passes through: North Bend, Lakeside, and Florence. The envelopes then are sold as a fundraiser to benefit the Oregon Dune Mushers. The organization often uses the proceeds to send mushers to the Iditarod Race.
CONTACTS:
Oregon Dune Mushers
P.O. Box 841
North Bend, OR 97459
541-677-8393 or 888-726-3386
www.oregondunemushers.com
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