A few years ago a group of dog sledding fans was looking for a region of the Czech Republic that would be suitable for organizing dog sled races. This region had to suit not only in the snow conditions, elevation, profile of the trail but also in the willingness of the local authorities to organize such a long distance race. They found an ideal suitable place for the dog sled race in the Orlické Mountains and in February 1997 organized the experimental “zero” year (later called the “first” year).
One day before the actual start of the race two dogs of Pavel Kučera ran away from him and one of them, Siberian Husky called Šedivák, was shot down at a distant village by a local citizen. In spite of this accident the race started but since then it has always been dedicated to this sad fatal moment and forever named “Šediváčkův Long”.
As the time went there have been created two distance trails – 222km and 333km that lead mushers to the mountain ridges same as to the charming Polish side of the mountains. The race is a four-day stage race on the ridges of the Orlické mountains, including one bivouac that traditionally takes place on the meadow behind an old farm house in the village Souvlastí.
The race has always been taking place in the last week of January, which is typical with its freezing weather and plenty of snow. The race itself demands great effort of the organizers, volunteers and could not be organized without the huge help of the sponsors and the local authorities of the villages and the whole region. In the course of time there has been created from a small local race an internationally important event.
When we describe the race we have to use the adjectives such as the longest, the most difficult, the most famous and its name is more and more known among the mushers. In 2004 it was honoured a nomination to the European championship FISTC that also took place in the same year.
In the tenth year of the race took part 64 best mushers from Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium, France, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. There also took part about 400 Nordic bred dogs – Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamutes, Greenland dogs, Alaskan Husky, European sled dogs and others. This race catches attention of many visitors of this region; mostly those who want to taste the beauty and the magic of the polar worlds, worlds of freezing weather and the faithful dog helpers.
We sincerely thank everyone for their support and cooperation with the organization of this race.
On behalf of the organization team – Pavel Kučera – the race manager