The Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race gets underway next week north of Prince Albert.

A 12-dog race, eight-dog race and a six-dog open race will be featured this year. Officials with the event say the trail is looking good.

“We got lots of snow, I guess, so that’s sometimes a good thing and sometimes it’s bad,” said Stefaan De Marie, who is the race president. “I think trail-wise, we’re really in good shape.”

Gerry Walker of Pierceland, SK will be back this year. He’s the defending 12-dog race champion.

“He’s probably won it — over his whole career about four times,” said De Marie. “You know, there’s maybe a few other people that might jump up. We got our number two, Jennifer Campeau, entering again, so hopefully we’ll see an exciting finish.”

Things will begin next Tuesday at Elk Ridge Resort at 12 p.m. The event officially concludes Feb. 23 in La Ronge with the awards breakfast.

(PHOTO: A musher prepares their dogs for the race. File photo.)