The U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

The U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship wrapped up on Sunday with Eric Morris from Port Wing, WI taking home first place. Behind him in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place were Ryan Anderson, Tim Calhoun, and Rebekah Chapman, respectively.

Each year the race attracts over 15,000 visitors to Marquette and the surrounding towns for a combination of three races. In addition to the U.P. 200 there is also the Midnight Run from Gwinn to Wetmore and the Jack Pine 30 from Gwinn to Marquette.

Upper Peninsula Dogsled Race

Colleen Wallin, a rookie from Two Harbors, Minnesota, crosses Third Street in downtown Marquette at the start of the U.P. 200.

What I find most impressive is that our sled dog race right here in Marquette is a qualifying race for the notorious 1,100 mile Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska. Not only that, but several Iditarod winners have raced in Marquette over the years.

The NMU student newspaper, The North Wind, published a great little article on the history of U.P. 200 and how it got started two decades ago.

The man responsible was Jeffery Mann who headed to Alaska on a high-school exchange program in the 1970s. In 1988 Mann and his family moved to Marquette with 30 sled dogs. By chance Mann met a Minnesotan named Tim Lindstrom who was an experienced musher in Minnesota. Together they created a premier mid-distance sled dog race. The race is approximately 240 miles, making a round trip from Marquette to Grand Marais.

U.P. 200 Dog Sled Race

A musher and his dogs race down the end of Washington Street.

Marquette Dogsled Race

Hundreds of spectators wait for the next musher to come around the corner.

Dogsled Race

The racers start on Washington Street in downtown Marquette. When they make this sharp right turn at the end of Washington they head out of downtown Marquette and on their long way to Grand Marais.

Upper Peninsula News

Joseph Gutowski of Goodrich, Michigan heads back to Marquette on Sunday afternoon, about five miles to the finish line.

U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

A perspective from the dog’s view.

U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

Martin Koenig, a rookie from Seeley Lake, Montana, reaches the final leg of the race on a beautiful February afternoon with just five miles to go.

Photos by yours truly. And unfortunately my camera went kaput while photographing these last photos. Kaput to the point where I won’t be posting any of my own photos for a while. So feel free to buy a Lake Superior Shirt this week or pass the site on to some friends :-)

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