U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

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The U.P 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races, an annual Marquette tradition, came into its 20th year in 2010. This special section is an important and well read publication as The Mining Journal is a Major sponsor of this unique event tha starts alonng the main street in downtown marquette.


<ul><li><p>By CLAIRE ABENTJournal Staff Writer</p><p>MARQUETTE The U.P200 and Midnight Run sleddog races, an annual Marquettetradition, has come into its 20thyear. Always falling on the thirdweekend in February, its oftenaccompanied by frigid temper-atures and wicked winds. It al-so draws thousands of visitorsand plenty of eager competitors. </p><p>Over the past 20 yearsweve built an excitement aboutthis race that, to this day, some-times still amazes me, said PatTorreano, president of the Up-per Peninsula Sled Dog Associ-ation which organizes the race. </p><p>On Friday night of race week-end, Washington Street indowntown Marquette is cov-ered with snow and trans-formed into a starting chutewhere bundled up mushers andtheir 12-dog teams take off oneat a time, to the roar of a cheer-ing crowd. </p><p>There is an infectious thingabout this, its intangible. If youstand at that starting gate andsee the packed street and feelthe excitement of the dogs for the average person, you justget involved, said Torreano.You just cant help it.</p><p>According Pam Forsberg,secretary/treasurer of the UPS-DA, estimates of how manypeople attend the race each yearvary, but observers put it in therange of 8,000 to 15,000. </p><p>There are many, many peo-ple that come every year withfriends and family, she said. </p><p>The race spans a total of 241miles, although the start indowntown Marquette and thefinish line in Marquettes Matt-son Lower Harbor Park are on-ly a few blocks away from eachother. In between, there arecheckpoints at Wetmore, Deer-ton and Grand Marais. Themushers have a required 16hours of layover time, whichthey can use at any of the check-points. Many of them use it atGrand Marais, said Torreano.The teams turn around at GrandMarais and retrace the trail backto Marquette. Its a marathon ofsleep deprivation, athletic en-durance, extreme exertion andexposure to the elements.</p><p>The race began as the brain-child of Jeffrey Mann ofChocolay Township in 1989.He had studied as an exchangestudent in Alaska and brought alove of sled dogs and racing,said Forsberg. With the help ofthe late Tom Lindstrom andLouAnn Balding, he began to</p><p>put together the race. His laborstook more than a year as he hadto find sponsors mushers,judges, insurance and permits.Forsberg said he contactedmushers across the country totry and get them involved. </p><p>By 1990, they were able tohold the first U.P. 200 andMidnight Run. Though the firstfew races didnt have many par-ticipants, theyve grown wildlyin popularity since then, with37 mushers currently registeredfor this years events. </p><p>The race suffered a tragedy in1994 when musher WilliamOrazetti of Sault Ste. Marie,Ontario, died during the racewhen he and eight of his dogsfell through ice on Little Bay deNoc.</p><p>But the race still has blos-somed into what some claim tobe the pre-eminent sled dograce in the lower 48 states.</p><p>Twenty years later, the raceroute has changed but manyother elements are the same,said Forsberg. This years eventreceived a considerable finan-cial boost from a number ofnew sponsors contributing tothe race. </p><p>The race is made possibleeach year by the efforts of hun-dreds of volunteers. Theyre re-sponsible for everything frommonitoring road crossings toanswering phones to crowdcontrol during the start in down-town Marquette. A combina-tion of Marquette residents,high school students, veterinar-ians, local businesses andNorthern Michigan Universitystudents are responsible for thesuccess of the races. Many ofthose volunteers come backyear after year said Torreano.</p><p>For a large number of peo-ple, what they truly love to do isbe at these crossings in the bit-ter cold and have a bonfire andbe outside in the Upper Penin-sula, she said. </p><p>The opening ceremonies forthe U.P. 200 sled dog racestarts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday;the race will start at approxi-mately 7:10 p.m. </p><p>Vet checks are open to thepublic and begin at 9 a.m. in theparking lot of the Holiday Inn inMarquette. Mushers are expect-ed to finish in the early morningon Sunday. </p><p>For race standings and finishtimes, check www.up200.org. </p><p>Claire Abent can bereached at 906-228-2500 ext.250. Her e-mail address iscabent@miningjournal.net. </p><p>CONTENTS:</p><p>Page 2D</p><p>n Interview with last yearsU.P. 200 winner</p><p>n Weekend of events</p><p>Page 3D</p><p>n Race route highlightsand where to view them</p><p>Page 4D</p><p>n A look into the economicimpact of the U.P. 200</p><p>Page 5D</p><p>n International studentshelp out with the U.P. 200n Volunteer rounds up</p><p>youth for U.P. 200 assistance</p><p>Page 6-7D</p><p>n A photo montage showsraces from years past</p><p>Page 8D</p><p>n U.P. 200 awakens race traditions</p><p>Page 9D</p><p>n Winners of U.P. 200 to receive new trophiesn North Star students</p><p>spruce up starting line</p><p>Page 10D</p><p>n Midnight Run celebratesits 20th anniversaryn A list of Munisings </p><p>Winterfest events</p><p>Page 12D</p><p>n Rookie to fulfill lifelongdream in Jack Pine 30</p><p>Get ready to raceEric Morris and his first-place sled dog team race across the 2009 U.P. 200 finish line at Mattson Lower Har-</p><p>bor Park in Marquette. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)</p><p>Mushers from aroundthe U.S. and as far awayas New Zealand are setto participate in thisyears U.P. 200 and Mid-night Run sled dograces.</p><p>Heres a list of mush-ers, as of Feb. 10:</p><p>U.P. 200</p><p>Neil Rasmussen, GrandMarais, Minn.</p><p>Eric Morris, Port Wing,Wis.</p><p>Joseph Gutowski,Goodrich, Mich.</p><p>Bruce Magnusson,Machester, Mich.</p><p>Gavin Baker, Alamonte,Ontario</p><p>Martin Koenig, SeeleyLake, Mont.</p><p>Lyle Ross,Michigamme, Mich.</p><p>Michael Bestgen, St.Cloud, Minn.</p><p>Richard MacAuley,West Branch, Mich.</p><p>Chad Schouweiler,Tomahawk, Wis.</p><p>Pat Moon, Park Ridge,Ill.</p><p>Curt Pearno, Queen-stown, New Zealand</p><p>Roger Johnson, DevilsLake, N.D.</p><p>Nancy Johnson, DevilsLake, N.D.</p><p>Nathan Schroeder,Nashwauk, Minn.</p><p>Matt Eberly, Hancock,Mich.</p><p>Ryan Anderson, Ray,Minn.</p><p>Vernon Schroeder,Warba, Minn.</p><p>Rene Marchildon,South River, Ontario</p><p>Matt Groth, GrandMarais, Minn.</p><p>Matt Carstens, White-field, N.H.</p><p>Ryne Olsen, McMillan,Mich.</p><p>Ward Wallin, Two Har-bors, Minn.</p><p>Tom Roig, Shreve, OhioMark Black, Grand</p><p>Marais, Minn.Frank Moe, Bemidji,</p><p>Minn.Steven Bronner,</p><p>Frankenmuth, Mich.Don Galloway, Mak-</p><p>enin, Minn.Martin Massicotte, St-</p><p>Tite, QuebecDawn Breedlove, Elton,</p><p>Wis.</p><p>Geri Minard, Newberry,Mich.</p><p>Robyn Smith, ForestLake, Minn.</p><p>Jim Oehlschlaeger,Hooven, Ohio</p><p>Christine Richardson,Chatham, Mich.</p><p>Odin Jorgenson, GrandMarais, Minn.</p><p>Dennis Tremblay, St.Michel des Saints, Que-bec</p><p>Carol King, Hinckley,Minn.</p><p>Tom Bauer, Wausau,Wis.</p><p>Don Hibbs, Millinocket,Maine</p><p>Sam Christman, McMil-lan, Mich.</p><p>Midnight Run</p><p>Joann Fortier, Gaylord,Mich.</p><p>Larry Fortier, Gaylord,Mich.</p><p>Dave Turner, Sandy,Ore.</p><p>Aaron Harwood, SpringValley, Minn.</p><p>Maggie Heilmann,Somerset, Wis.</p><p>Jerry Trudell, Calumet,Mich.</p><p>Blaine Danley, Mecos-ta, Mich.</p><p>Elizabeth Levitski,Bryant, Wis.</p><p>Tim VanderMeulen,Lake Ann, Mich.</p><p>Darlene Walch, Gwinn,Mich.</p><p>John Hull, Elton, Wis.Kent Koehn, Gwinn,</p><p>Mich.Bob Shanahan, Me-</p><p>chanicsburg, OhioJerry Papke, Kingston,</p><p>Mich.David Gill, Skandia,</p><p>Mich.Laura Bontrager,</p><p>McMillan, Mich.Caitlin Curtice, Rum-</p><p>ley, Mich.Charlie Laboda, Hov-</p><p>land, Minn.Dennis Laboda, Hov-</p><p>land, Minn.Keith Peppler, Bruce</p><p>Mines, OntarioRoy Bauer, Antigo, Wis.Katherine Mander-</p><p>field, Atlantic Mine,Mich.</p><p>Scott Doepker, Kala-mazoo, Mich.</p><p>Matt Rossi, Herbster,Wis.</p><p>Whos mushing?U.P. 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races set to go</p><p>MARQUETTE Sled dog race organizers arelooking for some last-minute volunteers.</p><p>Volunteers are still needed to work the merchandisestation downtown. Duties will include selling shirts,hats and posters inside at the race headquarters down-town. </p><p>Positions are also still available for Sunday to workroad crossings in downtown Marquette and in Harvey.If interested, contact Cori Bodeman via email at sled-dogvolunteer@charter.net or call 906-249-2185.</p><p>Want to volunteer?</p><p>WEDNESDAYFEBRUARY 17, 2010 1D</p></li><li><p>By JOURNAL STAFFMARQUETTE Be-</p><p>tween three dog sled races,activities for kids, art ex-hibits and theatrical perfor-mances, theres plenty of ac-tivity going on around theMarquette area for people ofall ages. </p><p>Thursday, Feb. 18</p><p> Mushers banquet, held atthe Holiday Inn at 6 p.m.The banquet is open to thepublic with tickets availablefor $25.</p><p> Northern Michigan Uni-versitys production of Rentat the Forest Roberts Theater.Shows begin at 7:30 p.m.Thursday, Friday and Satur-day with a 1 p.m. matinee onSaturday.</p><p>Friday, Feb. 19</p><p> U.P. 200 race begins at7:10 p.m. in downtown Mar-quette. Opening ceremoniesbegin at 6:30 p.m.</p><p> Midnight Run begins at 6p.m. in Gwinn.</p><p>Saturday, Feb. 20</p><p> Jack Pine 30 begins at9:30 a.m. in Gwinn, finishesin Marquette.</p><p> Kiwanis Kiddie MuttRace held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. atthe Marquette Commons.Gives kids a chance to hookthe family dog up to a realsled.</p><p> Jack Pine 30 finish be-tween approximately 11:45a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in down-town Marquette. Awards cer-emony at Upfront &amp; Compa-ny after last team arrives.</p><p> 22nd annual GlacierGlide, hosted at Presque IslePark by the Lake SuperiorArt Association. Viewing ofkids and adult artwork in-door and outdoor beginsat noon.</p><p> Kaleidoscope Education-al Fun Fair for kids preschoolthrough eighth grade, held atthe Superior Dome fromnoon to 4 p.m.</p><p>Sunday, Feb. 21</p><p> Finish for the U.P. 200 inthe Lower Harbor. </p><p>Monday, Feb. 22</p><p> U.P. 200 awards break-fast, held at 8 a.m. at the Hol-iday Inn. The breakfast isopen to the public and costs$15.</p><p>By CHRISTOPHER DIEMJournal Staff Writer</p><p>MARQUETTE For thereturning champion of lastyears U.P. 200 sled dograce, Eric Morris of PortWing, Wis., the race pre-sents new challenges everyyear.</p><p>Morris said hes run therace at least five times withlast years finish being thefirst time hes ever finishedfirst.</p><p>There are surprises everyyear. Thats one of the greatthings about that race iseven though youre familiarwith the course, it changesfrom year to year dependingon the snow conditions andtemperature. Its never thesame trail even though it isthe same trail, Morris said.</p><p>Hell be competing againthis year and will bring a 12dog team mixed with veter-ans and rookies.</p><p>Most mushers tend tohave a fairly similar teamfrom year to year. I dont.Every year after the U.P.200 I will sell half of myteam and then start overfrom scratch on the secondhalf of my team, he said.</p><p>Morris said he sellsproven race dogs when theyare fairly young 3 to 4years old. Morris says thefocus at his kennel is ontraining young dogs ratherthan winning races.</p><p>Training for his teamstarts in August, Morrissaid, and they start runningwith a sled as soon as thereis enough snow. To preparefor the U.P. 200 Morris runshis dogs in one or two smallraces as training.</p><p>One of the most challeng-ing aspects of the U.P. 200is the competition, Morrissaid.</p><p>Its a very competitiverace. Its one of the mostcompetitive races in theMidwest, he said. Someof the other challenges arethe length of the runs, thepotential cold and thesnow.</p><p>Its important to develop aschedule before the race andstick as closely to the sched-ule as possible, Morris said.He said mushers need to re-alize they are racing againstthe trail and not against eachother. He said its importantfor mushers to have a posi-tive attitude, especially atthe races halfway point inGrand Marais.</p><p>Youre tired at that point.The schedule that the dogsare running on is ideal forthe dogs but its not so idealfor the musher, he said.The checkpoint at GrandMarais, even though its awonderful checkpoint the people, the hospitalitythere, the facilities are allexcellent but it tends tobe cold and windy. Its atough place to take care ofyour dogs and at that pointweve been out there on therunners for 18 to 20 hourswith no sleep.</p><p>When hes not racingMorris is busy running Red-paw Performance Dog Feed,of which hes theowner/manager.</p><p>There are three majorfactors that go into making agood dog and they are ge-netics, training and nutri-tion. They are all equal. Ifyou want to have a competi-tive team you have to focuson all three of those as-pects, he said.</p><p>He said the quality of in-</p><p>gredients, the digestibilityand the overall balance ofamino acids and fatty acidsare what set apart qualitydog food.</p><p>These dogs are incrediblyfit athletes and if there isany deficiency in any part oftheir diet its going to showup in the performance of thedog, he said.</p><p>Morris said hes lookingforward to running the U.P.200 again this year and saidit was probably the abso-lute best race in the lower48 states.</p><p>The best community sup-port of any race Ive everbeen to and it is the most funrace to go to no matterwhere we place. It is our fa-vorite race, he said.</p><p>Christopher Diem can bereached at 906-228-2500ext. 242. His e-mail addressis cdiem@miningjournal.net.</p><p>2D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010</p><p>Interview with a championWinner of 2009 U.P. 200 talks with Mining Journal</p><p>Eric Morris and his first place sled dog team take a break after crossing the 2009 U.P. 200 finish line at Matt-son Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)</p><p>ERIC MORRIS</p><p>Sled dog weekend packsin fun-filled events</p></li><li><p>By JOURNAL STAFFSpectators who want to</p><p>watch the weekends sleddog races have a variety ofoptions. Here are some raceroute highlights and the bestspots to view them:</p><p>GwinnGwinn will host the start</p><p>of the Midnight Run. Themushers and teams will as-semble in the parking lot ofLarrys Family Foods onM-35. The first musher willbe ready to leave the chuteat 6 p.m. behind LarrysFamily Foods in Gwinn.Approximately 40 eight-dog teams will leave at two-minute intervals.</p><p>The dog team lineup areawill be marked so as not tointerfere with business cus-tomer traffic. Parking forrace attendees will be avail-able in the lots of Dr.Krolls office and LivingFaith Fellowship Church.</p><p>Pets should not be broughtto the event as they distractthe sled dogs.</p><p>Gwinn also hosts the startof the Jack Pine 30 Race,scheduled for Saturdaymorning at 9:30 a.m.</p><p>Gwinn is located on M-35and can be reached fromMarquette by following M-553 south.</p><p>Lindbergs Gravel Pit:Midnight Run mushers</p><p>will proceed north fromGwinn, paralleling M-553,after the start. A good view-ing spot along the route canbe found on Co. Rd 480.Driving west toward Ne-gaunee on County Road480, theres a gravel pit onthe right. Park along theroadway here and watch theteams cross.</p><p>Find the gravel pit bydriving north along M-553from Gwinn towards Mar-quette. At the four-way in-tersection of Co. Rd 480and M-553 turn left. Thegravel pit is just a few min-utes down the road.</p><p>Marquette: Marquette is the start and</p><p>finish point for the U.P.200. The race begins down-town on Washington Street.Opening festivities start at6:30, with the first musherleaving the starting chute at7:10 p.m. Crowds line thestreet in anticipation of thestart, so bystanders shouldget there early to get a goodspot along the street. Park-ing is available in the citywithin a short walking dis-tance of the starting line.</p><p>Spectators can see the dogsled trucks and teams upclose as they await theirturn at the start. Visitorsshould not bring pets to thestart because they distractthe sled dogs, who are al-ready primed for the race.</p><p>Refreshments are avail-able from shops downtown.Lodging is abundant in thecity, with the headquartersfor the sled dog races inplace at the Holid...</p></li></ul>


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