Niina and Molly
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Niina Baum, a CS3 Alum, and her dog Molly will represent Team USA in Sweden at the  2019 IFSS Dryland World Championship this October. 

The United States Federation of Sleddog Sports (USFSS) is excited to 
announce Niina Baum has been selected to represent Team USA at the 2019 International Federation of Sled Dog Sports Dryland World Championship race in Nybro, Sweden from October 23-27, 2019. Niina Baum will be competing in the one-dog scooter class. More than 350 top competitors from 20 countries will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals for their respective country.

Niina has been competing in dog powered sports for 18 years. She will be competing with her three year-old dog, Molly, who is a Greyster (Greyhound/Pointer cross). Niina and Molly have extensive travel and race experience, from competing in a 10-stage canicross race in the alps of France, to skijoring in Alaska. For the last two years Niina and Molly have primarily competed in the two-dog scooter class to be better prepared for the competition at the world championships. Even when just running as a one-dog team in the two-dog class they have always finished at the top.

The 2019 IFSS Dryland World Championship is a four-day competition featuring events in rig, bikejor, scooterjor, and canicross. Depending on the event, competitors will race with one to eight dogs. Each event, except canicross, is performed on a wheeled device such as a rig, bike, or scooter with the dog/s pulling. In the event of canicross the athlete will run on foot with his or 
her dog pulling.

The IFSS Dryland World Championship event is held every other year in a different country. This year Team USA will be traveling to Nybro, Sweden to compete at a world class venue located in the Svartbäcksmåla activity area. It is one of the largest recreational areas found in any city in Sweden. To make it on Team USA athletes must be performing at the top level of their class at qualifying events for two years following up to the world championship event.

Niina stated,“For the last 18 years I have been training for the world championships. I was so excited to find out that I made it on Team USA this year! Ever since I got Molly three years ago, I knew that she would be the dog to get me to the world championships. We have done everything together: traveling, hiking, camping, flying, training, and racing. I couldn’t imagine doing this race with a different dog. When we race we are so in sync with each other, it’s like we know what the other is thinking at all times. This will be a truly special experience." 

IFSS held the first World Championships in Saint Moritz, Switzerland in 1990 with classes in only Sled Sprint (10-Dog, 8-Dog, and 6-Dog) and Skidog Pulka for men and women. 113 competitors arrived in the starting chutes to mark the occasion. At first, World Championships were held each year, but after the 1995 events, it was decided to hold them every two years. As the world of sled dog sports changed, IFSS also added classes and styles to the World Championships to diversify and become more inclusive of the worldwide trends and developments. Mid-Distance sled events were first included in the 2001 World Championships, taking place in Marquette (Michigan) USA in conjunction with the UP 200 Midnight Run Race. Dryland racing saw its first showing in Ravenna, Italy, in 2003. Since, dryland racing has grown at an exciting rate, making it just as competitive as the winter/snow championships. The USFSS is excited for this year's team and wishes them the best of luck in bringing back as many medals for the USA as possible.

For more information on this event visit www.usfss.org

Photo and press release submitted by Niina Baum