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Skiers and snowboarders to open Kamchatka's Beringia dogsled race

February 28, 2014, 9:49 UTC+3 PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY

The dog-sled race involves 15 mushers, among them three females

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© ITAR-TASS / Alexander Petrov

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, February 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Performances by snowboarders and extreme downhillers will be part of the opening show of the Beringia dogsled race on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the organizing committee of the race announced on Friday.

The construction of a "gap" ski-jump one of the figures of the Olympic slopestyle is nearing completion at the biathlon complex named after Russian coach Vitaly Fatyanov in this city's suburb where the Beringia race will be started on March 1. Skiers and snowboarders use the facility to demonstrate dizzy stunts. On the approach to the ski-jump, athletes will be speeded up by means of snowmobiles.

Kamcahtka-based sportsmen, as well as a team of Kamchatka referees, who worked during the Sochi Olympics in half-pipe, bordercrossing and slopestyle, have been invited to take part in the presentation of the extreme show.

Along with the announced performances, participants in the Beringia opening ceremony will watch concerts by folk groups performing dances and songs of the indigenous inhabitants of Kamchatka, by prominent variety art performers, a fireworks display, and socialize with the drivers of sled dog teams. The route of the dogsled race this year will be 1,300 km long. The race opening festivities, according to the organizers, will involve at least 3,000 inhabitants of the Peninsula. Many of them will watch the start of the extreme trek from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Tilichiki Village in the Peninsula's north-east for the first time.

The dog-sled race involves 15 mushers, among them three females, to contest the grand-prix three million rubles for those who will succeed in covering the entire distance. The prize fund of the competition is almost eight million rubles.

The dogsled race Beringia has been held on the Kamchatka Peninsula since 1990. The idea of the first race was suggested by the Severnyye Prostory (Northern Expanses) magazine the Foundation of the Peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East that presented the race as an event aimed at maintaining the traditions of the indigenous ethnic groups of the North. In 1991, the race was entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's "longest dog-sled journey". At that time, upon setting out from Esso Village on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the sled dog drivers finished in the Chukchi settlement of Markovo, covering 2,044 km. But the achievement was not officially recorded.

Since 2010, the Beringia race has the status of an official festival of Kamchatka Territory. For 24 years now, it remains one of the most significant events in the cultural and sports life of the Peninsula.

According to a report by the press service of Russia's Interior Ministry department for Kamchatka Territory, about 100 members of personnel of law enforcement agencies will monitor order at the festival. Prior to the start of the race, the sports facility and the adjacent territories will be inspected with the use of technical means and service dogs.

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