U.P. 200 bringing in tourists

The 25th annual U.P. 200 is an event that will see 14 dog sled teams in the competition this year. It has become a mid-February tradition headquartered in Marquette. and, it’s also become a tourism draw.

Flushing residents Mike Martin and Amy Donnelly are excited to witness their first race, and said, “We don’t know what to expect, we don’t know. We’ve never seen a dog sled race. It should be fun!”

“It brings in people that haven’t seen a dog race,” said Marquette resident David Skoog. “And they live out of town so they they come up here and Marquette puts on a lot of nice events…it brings people in from out of town.”

The first team leaves the shute at 7 P.M. You can listen to the live audio of the Ham Radio Operators that are doing the communications for the U.P. 200 and the Midnight Run. Go to http://www.qsl.net/k8lod/, or http://up200.org/ and click on the “Listen to the race” link to go to the Ham Radio Club website where there’s a Windows Media Player. Audio will start at 7:00 P.M. Friday evening and continue until the end of the race on Sunday.

Coinciding with the U.P. 200 is the eight-dog Midnight Run. The official MNR mileage totals 45 miles from Marquette to Chatham and 45 miles back from Chatham to Marquette. The finish will be in the Lower Harbor in Marquette on Saturday. The MNR draws premier teams wanting to test their skill on a technically challenging trail. MNR mushers will leave the chute in downtown Marquette at 8:00 P.M. The teams will rest the required 5.5 hours in Chatham. Registration is also limited to 40 teams.

The JackPine 30 rounds out the weekend’s fun with a six-dog, 26-mile trail starting and finishing in Gwinn. The JP30 will start at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday morning from the parking lot of Larry’s Family Food’s in Gwinn. From there, it’s a race to the finish! The teams are expected back late morning or early afternoon in Gwinn at the First Baptist Church, located on North Billings Street. There will be a purse for the JP30, and many mushers are finding the opportunity to finish in the money very exciting. The public is welcome at the Awards Ceremony, which will be held at the First Baptist Church after the last musher finishes.

For information on the races, visit the U.P. 200’s homepage at http://up200.org/. To learn about the U.P. 200 race, go to http://up200.org/race-info/u-p-200/. For information on the Midnight Run, click http://up200.org/race-info/midnight-run/. To find out more about the JackPine 30, go to http://up200.org/race-info/jp-30/.

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