Be Happy. Run Dogs. Iron Paws Stage Race 2020

2020 Rules and Explanation of Point System December 31, 2019 - February 17, 2020

Classes: 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).

  • 1 Dog Skijor
  • 2 Dog Skijor
  • 3 Dog Skijor
  • 1 Dog Sled
  • 2 Dog Sled
  • 4 Dog Sled
  • 6 Dog Sled
  • Unlimited Sled (any team running more than 6 dogs)
  • 2 Dog Fatbikejor
  • Competitive Canicross *Mostly runs
  • Recreational Canicross *Mostly walks
  • 1 Dog Dryland
  • 2 Dog Dryland
  • 4 Dog Dryland


  • All finishers will receive a medal. You must complete 6 stages to be a finisher.
  • The top finisher in the small teams (1-3 dogs) and bog teams (4 or more dogs) will receive an award.
  • The top 3 finishers in each class will be recognized.
  • Participants showing the Best Sportsmanship and Rookie of the Year will be recognized.
  • Dogs completing their third Iron Paws will be recognized with an electronic Silver Bootie certificate.
  • Dogs completing their fifth Iron Paws will be recognized with an electronic Golden Harness certificate.
  • The winning Region 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 titles and certificates will be emailed in digital format. In order to keep entry fees down, Canadian awards will be mailed to regional captains for local distribution or shipping via Canadian post.

Race Rule Overview:

  • *Revised for clarity: a team consists of one musher plus dogs
  • *Revised for clarity: Iron Paws is a mushing competition. As such, all dogs will run on a gangline attached to a properly fitted pulling harness.
  • Iron Paw Factory 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 mile each week for the stage to be considered completed.
  • Each stage will run Tuesday thru Monday.
  • Scores must be submitted by 11:59 PST Wednesday evenings. If you have technical difficulties submitting your score, notify the Race Marshal before that time. Late scores will not be accepted.
  • Any and all complaints about fellow competitors must be reported to your Regional Team Leader or one of the Race Marshals 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 will only be considered for class awards, not for overall awards. Please remember, only 4 runs per stage count for points.

  • Skijor Classes: 1 point per mile for skijor or fat bike on snow, 1/2 point per mile for sled, snowshoe, canicross, bikejor, cart, or scooter.
  • 1 and 2 Dog Sled Classes: 1 point per mile for sled, 1/2 point per mile for skijor, snowshoe, fatbikejor, cart, canicross, bikejor, or scooter.
  • 4 Dog Sled (and Skijor) Class: 1 point per mile for sled or skijor, 1/2 point for snowshoe, fatbikejor, cart, canicross, bikejor, or scooter.
  • 6 and Unlimited Sled Classes: 1 point per mile for sled or cart, 1/2 point per mile for skijor, snowshoe, fatbikejor, canicross, bikejor, or scooter.
  • Canicross Class 1 point per mile for canicross or snowshoe, 1/2 point per mile for skijor. Wheeled miles do not count in this class.
  • 1 and 2 Dog Dryland Class: 1 point per mile for bikejor, 1.25 points per mile for scooter, cart, or canicross, 1/2 point per mile for skijor, fatbikejor, snowshoe, or sled
  • 4 Dog Dryland Class: 1 point per mile for cart, scooter, bikejor, or canicross, 1/2 point per mile for skijor, fatbikejor, snowshoe, or sled
  • 1-2 Dog Fatbikejor 1 point per mile for fatbike dryland, 1.5 points for fatbike snow, ice, or sand, 1/2 point per mile for snowshoe, canicross, skijor, or sled. Traditional bike, scooter, and cart miles will not be counted in this class

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.

Regional Social Event

Each region may host social events. At least 5 IP participants must attend to score points.

  • 5 points are earned per social for each musher. Any musher running multiple teams can count each social for each team.
  • Participants may attend up to 4 social events for points.
  • Only one social per stage may be claimed.
  • 5 bonus points may be claimed one time only for attending a social in another region.
  • Socials must be announced on the Iron Paws Social Events page a minimum of two days prior to the scheduled date and open to everyone to count for points.
  • Any participant can plan and announce a social.

Regional Group Runs

Regional Leaders will schedule One Regional Group Run per region. Events will be scheduled in advance and announced during the first week of Iron Paws, but may occur at any time during the 6 stages. Prizes and 5 bonus points may be awarded per event at the discretion of the Regional Leader. Regional Group Runs must not be timed races.

  • 20 points will be awarded per participating team.
  • Teams may claim a total of two Regional Group Runs over the six stages.
  • It is possible to claim two group runs, but you will need to travel to another region to participate.
  • At least 5 Iron Paws Mushers must participate to score full points.

Iron Paws Howladays

Post Howladays to IP Facebook page, one post per team. 5 points each stage. Share your Howladays posts Monday - Thursday. Weekends are for running dogs! With the exception of One-eyed Jack's Virtual Poker Run, you can interpret the howladay as suits your team as long as you stick to the theme. Bonus points may be offered each week at the discretion of your race organizers. The organizers reserve the right to change any stage's Howladays on a whim. Don't be surprised if Flat Mikki is up to her old tricks again.

  • 12/31 - 1/6 Stage 1: Introduce yourself. Share a photo of you and your team and tell us your story.
  • 1/7 - 1/13 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.
  • 1/14 - 1/20 Stage 3: One-eyed Jack's Virtual Poker Run. If you lose, Jack will make you walk the plank.
  • 1/21 - 1/27 Stage 4: Popcorn Challenge. Can you beat your dog? Who can catch more, you or your dog? Post photos of your contest.
  • 1/28 - 2/3 Stage 5: Best Snow Angel. Feel free to interpret this however suits your fancy, and don't forget to share your vision.
  • 2/4 - 2/10 Stage 6: Movie night! Cuddle on the couch with your best pal and take it easy before you tackle the last stage.
  • 2/11 - 2/17 Stage 7: Best In Snow. How would your dog do at Westminster? Share a photo or video of your interpretation.

Races, Fun Runs, and Run with a Friend

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 Regional Fun Run.

  • Go for the glory - If you love to compete, toe the line at a local sled dog race.
  • Fun and games - Participate in a local fun run or other local sled dog event
  • Be friendly - Run with a friend, any friend will do as long as they also running a dog in harness.
Race Volunteer

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, Sponser Recruiter, and Race Promoter.

Regional Team Points

Ideally, every region will have a team. If you don't live near other participants, don't worry, we'll find a team for you! You can form a team with as few as 5 participants, but to be competitive, you'll need closer to 10. Please note, this year there will be no allowances for sub-regions and smaller regional teams. The allowances created more problems than they solved.

  • Each regional team earns 50 points for hosting a Regional Group Run
  • Each region earns 2 points per Iron Paws participant, and 1 point for any additional participants at their Regional Group Run.
  • The scores of the top five participants in each region are added to that region's team score each stage (minus miles).

ODR - Old Dogs Rule (and Handi-Cappy) Class

ODR is for any and all old dogs, dogs coming off an injury, or Handi-Cappy Dogs (Cappy is our one-eyed, three-legged mascot). 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 mile and post one photo per week as well as complete 6 out of 7 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.