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Cold, perfect conditions expected for sled dog races


MARQUETTE, MI--   Mother Nature is cooperating this year for the running of the UP200 and Midnight Run sled dog races. 

Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association President Ron Hewson says the trails are looking good.  Warmth over the past week melted the snow a little, which makes for a good, crusty base.  He says upcoming cold temperatures will provide the perfect racing conditions. 

“The forecast is for teens to around zero, which is really good running temperature,” Hewson says.  “If you think of going out jogging you don’t want it 75 degrees, you want it cooler so you stay cool.  Same thing with dogs.”   

Hewson says 16 teams are registered for the UP200, while 20 teams are signed up for the Midnight Run.  Mushers are coming from as far away as Alaska and the Yukon.

The UP200 starts Friday at 7 p.m. in front of the Mining Journal in downtown Marquette.  The Midnight Run begins in the same area 30 minutes after the last UP200 musher leaves the chute.  Teams in the Jack Pine 30 leave Larry's Foods in Gwinn Saturday at 10 a.m.

Hewson says volunteers are still needed in several areas.  To volunteer or for more information, go to up200.org.  

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.