Midnight Run sled dog race

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--   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--   Keith Aili of Ray, Minnesota crossed the finish line first on Sunday to win this year’s UP200 sled dog race.

He came into Marquette’s Lower Harbor at 11:04 a.m. Denis Tremblay of Quebec came in second place seven minutes later. And Martin Massicotte of Quebec rounded out the top three, crossing the finish line at 11:18 a.m.


MARQUETTE, MI--   The trail for the UP200 and Midnight Run sled dog races is in great condition.

That’s according to “Ikey,” the UP200 race headquarters coordinator. She says Wednesday’s warmth and overnight cold has really packed it down and made it a smooth run for the dogs. Ikey says even Iditarod mushers love to race in the U.P.

“They said that we are so much like the Iditarod, with the area, the land layout, the weather, and we are a qualifier for them to get into the Iditarod, as well,” she says.

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.

Sled dog race results

Feb 14, 2016

MARQUETTE, MI--   Sunday was a beautiful day for the finish of the UP200 Sled Dog Race. 

Under bright blue skies and amid sparkling snow Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minnesota won yet another UP200—his sixth in the last seven years.  He mushed into Mattson Lower Harbor Park at 11:10 a.m.  Martin Massicote of Quebec slid in to the sound of ringing bells just four minutes later, followed by third-place finisher Denis Tremblay of Quebec at 12:06 p.m.