Race Rules

The minimum requirements to complete a stage are to record at least one km with your furry friend and submit your scores on time. You can even take a week off; your lowest week’s score will be dropped. We do recognize the overachievers in each class, but the biggest award we offer is a finishers medal. The real reward is the time spent and memories made with your dogs!
3 teams make a pointed class. Any class that has less than 3 teams registered may be combined with the class of closest size and type. The number of dogs listed in each class is the maximum number you may run. You can always run fewer dogs than this number – for example, if you run a 3 Dog Dryland Team, you would enter the 4 Dog Dryland class. Please note that 6 Dog Sled and Unlimited Sled classes can be run on a sled or on a cart or combination (see mileage points).

— Classes —

Competitive Canicross – Mostly runs 
Recreational Canicross – mostly walks
1-dog bikejor
2-dog biker
1-Dog Dryland
2-Dog Dryland
4-Dog Dryland
6-Dog Drland/Sled
Unlimited Drylands/Sled
1-Dog Skijor
2-Dog Skijor
2-Dog Sled
4-Dog Sled
  • All finishers will receive a medal. You must complete 7 stages to be a finisher.
  • The top 3 finishers in each class will be recognized.
  • Participants showing the Best Sportsmanship will be recognized.
  • The winning state will receive special recognition.
  • The lowest scoring finisher will be recognized as the Red Lantern Winner.
  • All dogs ages 8-9 will be recognized as Trail Masters
  • All dogs 10 and over will be recognized as Trail Legends
  • All mushers over the age of 60 will be recognized as Master Mushers
  • All mushers under the age of 18 will be recognized as Junior Mushers
  • Finishers Medals will be mailed, and all certificates will be emailed in digital format.
  • a team consists of one musher plus dogs
  • Iron Paws is a mushing competition. As such, all dogs will run on a gangline attached to a properly fitted pulling harness.
  • The Siberian Husky Club of Victoria manages points only.
  • Run your teams at your own risk. Mush responsibly with the best interest of your dogs in mind. Consult your veterinarian before harnessing any dog under 18 months of age. Helmets are recommended for all wheeled classes. Play fairly and respectfully.
  • Iron Paw Factory relies on the honor system. Play fair. Be honest
  • Teams can mix and match dogs. You can run any combination of dogs you like up to the maximum number allowable for your class. *updated for clarity: you can drop dogs mid run, but you may not add fresh dogs once you have started recording mileage.
  • Only one run per team, per day, can be counted for points.
  • Individual dogs may participate on more than one team, but each dog can only score in one run per day.
  • Each team’s lowest score will be dropped.
  • Teams are allowed one bye week with a zero score.
  • Teams must run and report a minimum of one run of at least one km each week for the stage to be considered completed.
  • Each stage will run Tuesday thru Monday.
  • Scores must be submitted by 11:59 AEST Wednesday evenings. If you have technical difficulties submitting your score, notify the Race Organizer before that time. Late scores will not be accepted.
  • Any and all complaints about fellow competitors must be reported to your Race Marshal in a timely manner for consideration. When planning your strategy and before submitting a complaint, please consider that the biggest tangible prize we offer is a finisher’s medal .
Earning Points:
Mileage –
Please remember, only 4 runs per stage count for points.
  • Skijor Classes: 1 point per km for skijor, 1/2 point per km for sled, snowshoe, canicross, bikejor, cart, or scooter.
  • 2 Dog Sled Class: 1 point per km for sled, 1/2 point per km for skijor, snowshoe, bikejor, cart, canicross, or scooter.
  • 4 Dog Sled Class: 1 point per km for sled, 1/2 point per km for skijor, snowshoe, cart, canicross, bikejor, or scooter.
  • 6 and Unlimited Classes: 1 point per km for sled or cart, 1/2 point per km for skijor, snowshoe, canicross, bikejor, or scooter.
  • Canicross Class 1 point per km for canicross or snowshoe, 1/2 point per km for skijor. Wheeled miles do not count in this class.
  • 1 and 2 Dog Dryland Class: 1 point per km for scooter, cart, 1/2 point per km for skijor, canicross , bikejor, snowshoe, or sled.
  • 4 Dog Dryland Class: 1 point per km for cart, 1/2 point per km for skijor, scooter, canicross, bikejor, snowshoe, or sled
  • 1-2 Dog Bikejor 1 point per km for dryland, 1.5 points for fatbike snow or sand, 1/2 point per mile for snowshoe, scooter, cart, canicross, skijor, or sled.
Photo/Video Points –
Who doesn’t love photos of their dogs? We love photos of YOUR dogs. Sharing is half the fun.
  • Photos and videos must be posted to the Iron Paws Facebook page during the active stage.
  • 1 point for one photo/video, 2 points for two, and 5 points earned if you share a minimum of 3 photos or videos.
State Social Event –
Each state may host social events. At least 5 IP participants must attend to score points. Maximum IP participants will be based on government guidelines for each state. Make sure to snap a photo of your group to share, adhering to social distancing rules of course!
  • 5 points are earned per social for each musher.
  • Participants may attend up to 4 social events for points.
  • Only one social per stage may be claimed.
  • Socials must be announced on the Iron Paws page a minimum of one week prior to the scheduled date and open to everyone to count for points.
  • Any participant can plan and announce a social.
Iron Paws Howladays –
Post Howladays to the IP Facebook page, one post per team. 10 points each stage. Share your Howladays posts Monday – Thursday. Weekends are for running dogs! You can interpret the howladay as suits your team as long as you stick to the theme. The organizers reserve the right to change any stage’s Howladays on a whim.
  • Stage 1: Introduce yourself. Share a photo of you and your team and tell us your story.
  • Stage 2: Spokesdog – Those influencers don’t have anything on your pup. Make an ad or commercial starring your dog(s) and share it with the group.
  • Stage 3: Popcorn Challenge. Can you beat your dog? Who can catch more, you or your dog? Post photos of your contest.
  • Stage 4: Make a friend. Reach out to an IP musher that you don’t know and introduce yourself!
  • Stage 5: Honour your lead dog. Share something special about your lead dog.
  • Stage 6: Try something new! Take a break from mushing and try a different activity such as frisbee, swimming, agility, or obedience!
  • Stage 7: Movie night! Cuddle on the couch with your best pal and take it easy before you tackle the last stage.
  • Stage 8: Best In Snow. How would your dog do at Westminster? Share a photo or video of your interpretation.
Run with a Friend and Races (pending government Covid-19 restrictions) –
Each participant may choose one of the following items each week to earn an additional 10 points per stage. Run with a friend points must be earned outside of a State Social.
  • Go for the glory – If you love to compete, toe the line at a local sled dog race.
  • Be friendly – Run with a friend, any friend will do as long as they also running a dog in harness.
Race Volunteer (pending government Covid-19 restrictions) –
Iron Paws appreciates and encourages the volunteers that keep our sport going. If you are an official volunteer at a club sanctioned race, you can earn additional points.
  • Earn 5 points per day for volunteering up to 10 points per stage
  • You must be an official volunteer assigned a duty by the race manager. Volunteer positions that qualify include Race Manager, Race Marshal, Chute Boss, Trail Boss, Timer, Spotter, Awards Maker, Sponsor, Recruiter, and Race Promoter.
ODR – Old Dogs Rule Class:
ODR is for any and all old dogs or Handicap Dogs – Basically any dog that can’t run with the team and would otherwise be left out of the fun is eligible. ODR teams must run at least one km and post one photo per week as well as complete 7 out of 8 weeks to be a finisher. Any musher participating in a regular class may also participate in this special class for no additional charge. This class is tracked separately and no finishers medals are awarded. In this class ONLY, dogs may participate with a leash attached at the collar.
A Final Note on Sportsmanship:
sports·man·ship /ˈspôrtsmənˌSHip/ noun: sportsmanship : fair and generous behavior or treatment of others, especially in a sports contest. : conduct becoming to one participating in a sport such as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing
  • Iron Paws relies on the honor system. Play fair. Be honest.
  • The biggest tangilble award we offer is the finisher’s medal. Compete accordingly.
  • The organizers can and will eject any participant not conducting him or herself in a manner not meeting the above definition of sportsmanship.
  • The organizers are responsible for managing points only. Due to the remote nature of the participants, we are unable to control clashes in personalities or other interpersonal issues that ruin the fun for everyone involved. Please choose to play the game in a manner that is fun for you and your dog and allows others to do the same.

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