Jack Pine 30

MARQUETTE, MI--   This winter’s UP200, Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 sled dog races have been canceled. 

The Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association voted at its monthly board meeting this week to defer the 32nd running of the races to 2022. Officials say they reviewed all possible options to continue the tradition, but given the ever-changing guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic, producing a safe race for everyone involved—including spectators—was too great of a challenge to overcome.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The pups are ready and waiting for the start of three annual sled dog races in Marquette County this weekend.

Nineteen mushers from around the U.S. and Canada are signed up for the 12-dog UP200, which runs from Marquette to Grand Marais and back. Opening ceremonies begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. in front of The Mining Journal. The race itself starts at 7 p.m.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association is dealing with some obstacles on this year’s UP 200 race course.

UPSDA President Darlene Walch says last year too much deep snow affected the trails. This year tree tops blown down by November storms are proving to be a problem.

“So, just like all the other organizations—the snowmobile clubs, the skiing trails—our trails are also a mess. Our trail crews started early, we have extra help, and they are assuring everyone we will have a trail come race time,” she says.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Too much snow spelled an early end to this year’s UP200 Sled Dog Race. 

Flakes continued to fall over the weekend on already snow-clogged trails, making it a difficult run for the dogs. Judges were concerned the race might finish late Sunday or early Monday, and they also didn’t want the dogs to be injured on the difficult course.

The race—which normally goes to Grand Marais and back—was officially ended in Wetmore Saturday night.

Jack Deo / downtownmarquette.org

MARQUETTE, MI--   The trails for this year’s UP200, Midnight Run and Jack Pine 30 sled dog races certainly won’t lack snow.

Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association President Darlene Walsch says the routes look really good and officials don’t have to worry about gravel coming up off them.

Walsch says the races will be run pretty much like last year except in the Jack Pine 30, where the entire trail has been re-routed.

MARQUETTE, MI--   High temperatures and sunshine had a big impact on this weekend’s sled dog races.

A lack of snow between Marquette and Sand River prompted officials to move the finish line of the UP200

and Midnight Run from Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette to Lakenenland on M-28 east of Harvey. 

The first UP200 musher to cross the finish line Sunday was Denis Tremblay of Quebec.  He rolled in at 9:35 a.m.  Jake Golton of Ontario won the Midnight Run when he crossed the finish line Saturday at 8:56 a.m. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   Marquette County is hopping with activity and mushers and their dogs prepare for three different races this weekend.

The opening ceremony for the 27th anniversary of the UP200 and Midnight Run starts at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Mining Journal in downtown Marquette.  Governor Rick Snyder is expected to make some remarks.  The first UP200 musher starts at 7 p.m. and the first Midnight Run musher takes off at 8:30 p.m.

Numerous activities are planned around the area before and after the races begin.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Warmer weather could create problems for the 28th running of the UP200 and Midnight Run sled dog races this weekend.  

Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association President Ron Hewson says most of the trails are in good shape—especially those in extremely rural areas.  But officials are watching the stretch between Marquette and Sand River, as that trail hasn’t had as much snow and is exposed to direct sun. 

Hewson says above-freezing temperatures at race time could affect where the teams cross the finish line.

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. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minnesota has won the UP200 Sled Dog Race for a record fifth time. 

Anderson crossed the finish line in Marquette’s Lower Harbor Sunday at 1:38 p.m.  He was followed by Laura Neese of McMillan, Michigan at 2:02 p.m. and Frank Moe of Hovland, Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. 

Mushers battled blizzard conditions Saturday as they braved sub-zero temperatures, frigid wind chills and high winds. 

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