It takes just over 100 miles of driving to pack down the snow for the 100 Mile House Snow Drags.
The 100 Mile Snowmobile Club last week started grooming the track in preparation for this year’s drag races on Feb. 25-26.
Ian Henderson, long time club member and trail groomer, said it takes a “quarter of a mile at a time,” riding back and forth on his snowmobile towing a groomer, to pack down a 1,000-foot-long drag strip. It can be tedious and slightly boring, but he said it’s worth it.
“When we get more snow we’ll have nice snow on top and we’ll just keep packing it but we’ve got a really nice base,” Henderson said. “This is packed in so now when the big sleds hit it with their tracks they won’t rip it right up straight away.”
The event is a fundraiser for the South Cariboo Track and Trail Dirtbike Association, which has partnered with the club to run the event. The dirtbike association has secured insurance for the event, which is being held for the first time in three years. There will be age categories for adults and children, depending on the size of their snowmobiles.
Henderson is excited to see the drag coming back. In 2020, he helped groom the track for the ice drags and served as one of the starting line officials. He also used to race in the mid-2000s but no longer has a race sled.
“It will be great to be back out,” he said. “You just got to make sure your sled is in good condition and then you’ll be good to go.”
Snowmobile club president Rick Kyllo said safety is their number one priority. Volunteers have made this year’s track wide to ensure the safety of its users and spectators.
“Racing can be dangerous so we do everything we can to minimize the danger. We have a wide track that’s well marked and will be really well policed,” Kyllo said. “No one wants to see a wreck and last time we didn’t even have a near miss so we’ll just hope that’s the way it stays.”
He invites people to come out and watch. There will be a concession on-site, and ticket prices will be kept affordable at $10 for adults and free for children under 12. All money will go towards supporting the dirtbike association. Last time they raised around $2,000.
“Our club is doing it because, one, it’s a lot of fun and two as a society one of our goals is to find ways to give back to the community that supports us,” Kyllo said. “We just want the people of 100 Mile to come up and have a good time because I know the last few years have been really dreary so we hope it’s a success like it was in 2019.”
Registration for the race takes place Feb. 24 and 25 at the 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club Lodge at the end of Ainsworth Road followed by the races on Feb. 26.