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MARQUETTE– Hundreds of people filled the streets of Downtown Marquette tonight as The Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association held the UP200. As spectators lined the streets, some were newcomers and others have been attending for years.
One volunteer says, “It’s kind of like a tradition.”
A spectator says, “We’re so excited to be here. It’s our first UP200.”
For some, it was their first time competing in the race.
Kalyn Holl, UP200 Musher says: “It’s my first UP200. I’ve been working with dogs for a long time and it’s just the energy of it and racing with the dogs and being with them on a trail is just very exciting.”
The dogs traveled to Wetmore tonight and will arrive in Grand Marais tomorrow. So, for such a long distance what goes into prepping for this event?
Holl says, “We start training them in September or earlier than that. We’re out on the trail with them. I think our team did a little over a thousand miles, at least one thousand , two thousand miles this fall getting ready for these long races.”
Reporter: The event wouldn’t be possible without it’s sponsors.
Meijer, announced it’s sponsorship today by presenting a 65-hundred dollar check to the organization.
John Spaulding, Meijer Marquette Store Director: “Today is the first example of us reaching out to a local organization, that is an exciting event up here and giving back to that, but a lot more to come. Just watch.”
The 90-mile midnight followed the UP200. Tomorrow morning will be the Jack Pine 30 in Gwinn.