MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Officials with the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association (UPSDA) made the decision on Wednesday to cancel the UP200, Midnight Run, and Jackpine 30 races which were scheduled to begin February 17.

Recent rain and warmer temperatures have lowered the available snow and made the trails unsafe for the teams to run on.

WJMN will have special coverage during our 6 p.m. hour-long newscast on Friday. We will celebrate the volunteers, mushers, and the communities that make the UP200 weekend possible.

Below is the official statement from race officials:

Due to deteriorating weather conditions and concern for the safety of mushers, dogs, spectators and volunteers, the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association has canceled this coming weekend’s races.

“Safety is our top priority. Given the rain overnight, the impending flash freeze and the lack of snow in this week’s forecast, it would be irresponsible to encourage mushers, volunteers and spectators to be on the trail this weekend. We will make the best of a difficult situation,” says Darlene Walch, UPSDA president.

“Festival of the Sled Dog Powered by NMU” will replace the Friday night race start at 7pm. Watch for details on social media and in the local media. The arch will be up, the streets will be filled with snow for sledding and sled dog demos meaning: there will be dogs! Grand Marais is also adjusting their schedule of activities for Saturday. Stay tuned for more details for both locations.

“In our 33 years of putting on these races, we’ve never had to cancel due to weather, said Walch. “This is a first for us and we appreciate the support of the community as we pivot to a festival format. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make after the months of work already put in by mushers, volunteers, sponsors and board. Thank you to everyone for your flexibility and understanding. We hope to see you Friday night in downtown Marquette and Saturday in Grand Marais.”