U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


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.


  • By CLAIRE ABENTJournal Staff Writer

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    There are many, many peo-ple that come every year withfriends and family, she said.

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    But the race still has blos-somed into what some claim tobe the pre-eminent sled dograce in the lower 48 states.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    For race standings and finishtimes, check www.up200.org.

    Claire Abent can bereached at 906-228-2500 ext.250. Her e-mail address iscabent@miningjournal.net.


    Page 2D

    n Interview with last yearsU.P. 200 winner

    n Weekend of events

    Page 3D

    n Race route highlightsand where to view them

    Page 4D

    n A look into the economicimpact of the U.P. 200

    Page 5D

    n International studentshelp out with the U.P. 200n Volunteer rounds up

    youth for U.P. 200 assistance

    Page 6-7D

    n A photo montage showsraces from years past

    Page 8D

    n U.P. 200 awakens race traditions

    Page 9D

    n Winners of U.P. 200 to receive new trophiesn North Star students

    spruce up starting line

    Page 10D

    n Midnight Run celebratesits 20th anniversaryn A list of Munisings

    Winterfest events

    Page 12D

    n Rookie to fulfill lifelongdream in Jack Pine 30

    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-

    bor Park in Marquette. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)

    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.

    Heres a list of mush-ers, as of Feb. 10:

    U.P. 200

    Neil Rasmussen, GrandMarais, Minn.

    Eric Morris, Port Wing,Wis.

    Joseph Gutowski,Goodrich, Mich.

    Bruce Magnusson,Machester, Mich.

    Gavin Baker, Alamonte,Ontario

    Martin Koenig, SeeleyLake, Mont.

    Lyle Ross,Michigamme, Mich.

    Michael Bestgen, St.Cloud, Minn.

    Richard MacAuley,West Branch, Mich.

    Chad Schouweiler,Tomahawk, Wis.

    Pat Moon, Park Ridge,Ill.

    Curt Pearno, Queen-stown, New Zealand

    Roger Johnson, DevilsLake, N.D.

    Nancy Johnson, DevilsLake, N.D.

    Nathan Schroeder,Nashwauk, Minn.

    Matt Eberly, Hancock,Mich.

    Ryan Anderson, Ray,Minn.

    Vernon Schroeder,Warba, Minn.

    Rene Marchildon,South River, Ontario

    Matt Groth, GrandMarais, Minn.

    Matt Carstens, White-field, N.H.

    Ryne Olsen, McMillan,Mich.

    Ward Wallin, Two Har-bors, Minn.

    Tom Roig, Shreve, OhioMark Black, Grand

    Marais, Minn.Frank Moe, Bemidji,

    Minn.Steven Bronner,

    Frankenmuth, Mich.Don Galloway, Mak-

    enin, Minn.Martin Massicotte, St-

    Tite, QuebecDawn Breedlove, Elton,


    Geri Minard, Newberry,Mich.

    Robyn Smith, ForestLake, Minn.

    Jim Oehlschlaeger,Hooven, Ohio

    Christine Richardson,Chatham, Mich.

    Odin Jorgenson, GrandMarais, Minn.

    Dennis Tremblay, St.Michel des Saints, Que-bec

    Carol King, Hinckley,Minn.

    Tom Bauer, Wausau,Wis.

    Don Hibbs, Millinocket,Maine

    Sam Christman, McMil-lan, Mich.

    Midnight Run

    Joann Fortier, Gaylord,Mich.

    Larry Fortier, Gaylord,Mich.

    Dave Turner, Sandy,Ore.

    Aaron Harwood, SpringValley, Minn.

    Maggie Heilmann,Somerset, Wis.

    Jerry Trudell, Calumet,Mich.

    Blaine Danley, Mecos-ta, Mich.

    Elizabeth Levitski,Bryant, Wis.

    Tim VanderMeulen,Lake Ann, Mich.

    Darlene Walch, Gwinn,Mich.

    John Hull, Elton, Wis.Kent Koehn, Gwinn,

    Mich.Bob Shanahan, Me-

    chanicsburg, OhioJerry Papke, Kingston,

    Mich.David Gill, Skandia,

    Mich.Laura Bontrager,

    McMillan, Mich.Caitlin Curtice, Rum-

    ley, Mich.Charlie Laboda, Hov-

    land, Minn.Dennis Laboda, Hov-

    land, Minn.Keith Peppler, Bruce

    Mines, OntarioRoy Bauer, Antigo, Wis.Katherine Mander-

    field, Atlantic Mine,Mich.

    Scott Doepker, Kala-mazoo, Mich.

    Matt Rossi, Herbster,Wis.

    Whos mushing?U.P. 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races set to go

    MARQUETTE Sled dog race organizers arelooking for some last-minute volunteers.

    Volunteers are still needed to work the merchandisestation downtown. Duties will include selling shirts,hats and posters inside at the race headquarters down-town.

    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.

    Want to volunteer?



    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.

    Thursday, Feb. 18

    Mushers banquet, held atthe Holiday Inn at 6 p.m.The banquet is open to thepublic with tickets availablefor $25.

    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.

    Friday, Feb. 19

    U.P. 200 race begins at7:10 p.m. in downtown Mar-quette. Opening ceremoniesbegin at 6:30 p.m.

    Midnight Run begins at 6p.m. in Gwinn.

    Saturday, Feb. 20

    Jack Pine 30 begins at9:30 a.m. in Gwinn, finishesin Marquette.

    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.

    Jack Pine 30 finish be-tween approximately 11:45a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in down-town Marquette. Awards cer-emony at Upfront & Compa-ny after last team arrives.

    22nd annual GlacierGlide, hosted at Presque IslePark by the Lake SuperiorArt Association. Viewing ofkids and adult artwork in-door and outdoor beginsat noon.

    Kaleidoscope Education-al Fun Fair for kids preschoolthrough eighth grade, held atthe Superior Dome fromnoon to 4 p.m.

    Sunday, Feb. 21

    Finish for the U.P. 200 inthe Lower Harbor.

    Monday, Feb. 22

    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.

    By CHRISTOPHER DIEMJournal Staff Writer

    MARQUETTE For thereturning champion of lastyears U.P. 200 sled dograce, Eric Morris of PortWing, Wis., the race pre-sents new challenges everyyear.

    Morris said hes run therace at least five times withlast years finish being thefirst time hes ever finishedfirst.

    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.

    Hell be competing againthis year and will bring a 12dog team mixed with veter-ans and rookies.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    One of the most challeng-ing aspects of the U.P. 200is the competition, Morrissaid.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    When hes not racingMorris is busy running Red-paw Performance Dog Feed,of which hes theowner/manager.

    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.

    He said the quality of in-

    gredients, the digestibilityand the overall balance ofamino acids and fatty acidsare what set apart qualitydog food.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Christopher Diem can bereached at 906-228-2500ext. 242. His e-mail addressis cdiem@miningjournal.net.

    2D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Interview with a championWinner of 2009 U.P. 200 talks with Mining Journal

    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)


    Sled dog weekend packsin fun-filled events

  • By JOURNAL STAFFSpectators who want to

    watch the weekends sleddog races have a variety ofoptions. Here are some raceroute highlights and the bestspots to view them:

    GwinnGwinn will host the start

    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.

    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.

    Pets should not be broughtto the event as they distractthe sled dogs.

    Gwinn also hosts the startof the Jack Pine 30 Race,scheduled for Saturdaymorning at 9:30 a.m.

    Gwinn is located on M-35and can be reached fromMarquette by following M-553 south.

    Lindbergs Gravel Pit:Midnight Run mushers

    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.

    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.

    Marquette: Marquette is the start and

    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.

    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.

    Refreshments are avail-able from shops downtown.Lodging is abundant in thecity, with the headquartersfor the sled dog races inplace at the Holiday Inn.Race souvenirs are avail-able at race headquarters.

    The Jackpine 30 race be-gins in Gwinn and ends Sat-urday morning on LakeShore Boulevard in Mar-quette. The first mushers areexpected to cross the line atabout 11:45 a.m. Up Front& Company, adjacent to

    finish line and musher park-ing, hosts a warm-up partyfrom 11:30 am to 4 p.m. af-ter a day of watching themushers compete. UpFronts balcony is a greatvantage point to watch thefinish and visit with mush-ers. Its also a good spot toview the U.P. 200 start.

    The finish of the U.P. 200is at the Mattson LowerHarbor Park, just alongLake Superior a few blocksfrom Washington Street.The finishing mushers willarrive on Sunday afternoon,so check the U.P. 200 Website, www.up200.org, oftento be able to get there ontime to cheer the teams in tothe finish line.

    Prince of Peace Church:The Prince of Peace

    Church is in Harvey, southof Marquette just off U.S.41. This is along the routewhere the U.P. 200 mush-ers will drop their secondsled after the start of therace. Midnight Run mush-ers will reach this locationby crossing U.S. 41 at theCarp River bridge, then pro-ceeding towards Harvey.

    Its a popular spot forviewing the dog sled teams,with ample parking and re-freshments available forspectators.

    Deerton:Deerton is a mandatory

    layover point for the Mid-night Run and a checkpointfor the U.P. 200. To reachDeerton, drive east fromMarquette on M-28. Followthe sign to the right leadingto Deerton. Here the Mid-night Run competitors willhave a five-hour layover, soviewing mushers and teamshere is easy. The U.P. 200mushers use the same trailas the Midnight Runners, sothey will pass through be-fore the Midnight Runmushers reach Deerton.There will be food andparking available in Deer-ton.

    Munising/Wetmore:Continuing on east from

    Marquette, race spectatorscan stop at the town of Mu-nising or nearby Wetmore.The action in Munising isdowntown, where the Mid-night Run finishes. A num-ber of winter festival activi-ties are planned for Satur-day.

    U.P. 200 mushers willstop at Wetmore to tendtheir dogs without handlerassistance. Its a great pho-to opportunity, and there isample parking, lodging andrefreshments available.

    The best estimate putsMidnight Run finishers ar-riving in Munising between9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Satur-day. Weather conditionsand other unforeseen vari-

    ables will have an affect onthis estimate, so watch theU.P. 200 Web site for up-dates.

    Grand Marais:The Grand Marais check-

    point is the easternmostpoint of the U.P. 200. When

    the mushers arrive at theGrand Marais CommunityCenter on Saturday, theyvetraveled 120 miles throughthe night. Handlers meet theteams there; veterinariansare on hand to check out thedogs. Most teams spend atleast six hours resting, with

    the competitors strating outfor the return leg in late af-ternoon. Visitors can walkthrough the straw-lined doglot to see the teams. On theLake Superior shore, thischeckpoint is fully equippedwith food, parking andlodging is available. Its a

    great location to see the dogteams at rest at the halfwaypoint of the race on Satur-day a decisive point inthe race. You can get lunchor a bite to eat in the racecheckpoint, located in thecommunity center on BrazelStreet.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 The Mining Journal 3D

    Where to watchRace route highlights and where to view them

  • By STEVE BROWNLEEJournal Staff Writer

    MARQUETTE TheU.P. 200 is considered thegem of winter events for thehotel and motel industry inand around Marquette.

    Thats the assessment ofPat Black, executive direc-tor of the Marquette Coun-try Convention & VisitorsBureau, which is the chiefpromoter of tourism forMarquette County.

    This is their 20th yearand it has become the ma-jor, major, major event forus in the winter, Blacksaid.

    Our area hotels startingselling out in August for theU.P. 200, and weve beengetting calls asking Wherecan we find rooms? Wehave to start arranging forthem to stay in Ishpemingor Munising because every-thing is booked solid.

    A manager of a pair ofMarquette hotels agrees.

    Its just huge, said Bri-an Jensen, general managerof both the Days Inn andComfort Suites on U.S. 41in Marquette Township.Weve been sold out forthree months.

    Our only frustration isthat we have to turn away alot of people.

    Marquette is an event-driven town and the U.P.200 is one of our bestweekends of the year.

    Jensen added that he per-sonally always makes sureto be downtown for the startof races on Friday night ofrace weekend.

    People arent just herefor one day, either, Blacksaid. The bulk of the peo-ple stay at least until Sun-day.

    She added that the event

    is also a great nationaldraw, publicizing the areaall over the U.S.

    Weve found that theresa group of people who go tosled dog races no matterwhere theyre held, Blacksaid. Last year when Iwent to the mushers ban-quet, I sat with a couple ofpeople who were from SanFrancisco.

    The race start with thesled dog teams we con-

    tinue to use that picture inour promotional materialsfor the area because it hasalways generated a lot ofinterest.

    Hotels and motels arentthe only businesses that seethe races positive influ-ence. Downtown Marquettein particular gets a greeninjection from the race startthat can last throughout theweekend.

    Last year, we were abso-lutely packed in here before,during and after the start ofthe race, said Donckersgeneral manager Sarah Aho.

    Located on West Wash-ington Street between Frontand Third streets, Donckerscombines a restaurant, can-dy store and old-time sodafountain.

    We have tons of fun,Aho said. Throughout the

    weekend, people were com-ing in.

    And the head chef andowner of a New Orleans-style eatery is cheered bythe congregation of people.

    Its always great to seehow the crowds comedowntown, said Don Dur-ley of the Lagniappe CajunCreole Eatery located in thesame block as Donckers.We have a big influx be-fore the race, and also rightafter.

    You meet people from

    all over the world who arecoming to Marquette just tosee the U.P. 200.

    Steve Brownlee can bereached at 906-228-2500,ext. 246. His e-mail addressis sbrownlee@miningjour-nal.net.

    4D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Big impactU.P. 200 the gem of winter tourism

    A crowd of people cheer for Ed Stielstra, 16, of McMil-lan as he prepares to cross the finish line at MattsonPark in Marquette during the 19th running of the U.P.200. Along with finishing the race in first place Stielstrawas awarded a check of $6,700. (Journal file photo)

    This is their 20th year and ithas become the major, major,

    major event for us in the winter...Pat Black

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2010 The Mining Journal 5D

    A helping handInternational students help with U.P. 200

    By CLAIRE ABENTJournal Staff Writer

    MARQUETTE Whenthe U.P. 200 starts on Friday,five international studentswho have never seen a dogsled race will be managing atleast 100 other volunteers onLake Street in Marquette.And doing all of it for school.

    As part of one of CarolSteinhaus managementclasses, Northern studentsare given the chance to bemore than volunteers for therace. The class is in itsfourth year at NMU and eachwinter semester provides stu-dents the opportunity to puttheir learned managementskills into practice and beleaders for all the other vol-unteers. Earlier in the thesemester, some of the stu-dents work with the Noque-manon Ski Marathon, butmuch of the focus goes to-ward the U.P. 200, MidnightRun and Jack Pine 30 sleddog races. Three of the stu-dents, Vanessa Brockman,

    Tina Marquardt and EileenKlingsiek, are from Germanyand the other two, AngeliqueBlanc and Clmence Atallah,are from France.

    The five international stu-dents will be in charge of theLake Streetsegment of theU.P. 200 route, which willinvolve organizing volun-teers, controlling traffic andkeeping the mushers on thetrail. They will also help withthe Jack Pine 30. All fiveagreed that this is a very bigcharge for a non-native En-glish speaker.

    Its a big deal for us now,because were actually notnative speakers. Were goingto try to get 100 people totheir places, tell them wheretheyre to be and tell themwhat theyre to do, saidKlingsiek.

    Marquardt said that thesupport of her classmates andprofessor has helped makethem confident about theirabilities.

    Its going to be a great ex-

    perience ... they really thinkwe can do it as a non-nativespeaker, she said. Through-out the course of the class,the students say that theyhave already been learningabout valuable practicalmanagement principles. Butthey all said the social aspectof meeting other Americanstudents and working withthem in the volunteer leader-ship setting has also beenbeneficial.

    I learned communicationis essential. Its a great expe-rience to talk to other peopleand to meet new people. Itsbeen a lot of fun ... and it re-ally builds up teamwork,said Klingsiek.

    The international studentswere surprised at the enthusi-asm of the entire Marquettecommunity about the race.

    Everyone is involved. Ev-eryone is looking forward toit...Marquette is really great,all the people are friendly,said Klingsiek.

    They also recognized the

    talents of their classmatesand UP 200 workers.

    They are so passionateabout what they organize,said Atallah.

    Standing outside in thecold during race weekendwill also be somewhat of anadjustment for the students.The weather where they arefrom in Germany and France

    isnt as snowy or cold as it isin Marquette.

    Its not that cold of weath-er in Germany and the snowdoesnt last, said Marquardt.

    But even with the prospectof facing frigid temperatureswhile working on Lake St.during Friday night of raceweekend, Marquardt said sheis still looking forward to the

    adventure.Im more excited than

    nervous. Its been a great ex-perience, its different, butthats the point.

    Claire Abent can bereached at 906-228-2500ext. 250. Her e-mail addressis cabent@miningjournal.net.

    By TREVOR PELLERITEJournal Correspondent

    MARQUETTE Its no secretthat the U.P. 200 relies heavily onvolunteer labor, but its easy for in-dividual stories to get lost in the shuf-fle. One crucial contribution to therace is provided by Dennis Yelle anda group of disadvantaged areayouths.

    Although he cant remember exact-ly how long he has been doing it,Yelle knows that he and his studentsfrom the Marquette-Alger RegionalEducational Service Agency havebeen helping set up the races start-ing line for over 10 years.

    Dennis is one of those people thathas been doing this for so long, saidLinda Storms, one of the start/finishcoordinators for the race. Its a no-brainer. Hell be there, I know thathell be there, and we can count onhim.

    U.P. 200 volunteer coordinatorCori Bodeman said her job is made

    easier knowing that Yelle and hiskids are helping out.

    It puts our minds at ease becausewe know Dennis knows what to do,she said. We like the fact tht he con-tributes enormously to the race.

    Yelle started getting involved in therace through a musher that he knew,and thought it was a good opportuni-ty to get some of the MARESA kidsinvolved in the community.

    Since some of the kids have court-mandated community service, Yellethinks it is important for them to con-tribute to something that also teachesa valuable lesson.

    I think its very important thatthey see what it takes to put on acommunity event, Yelle said. Ithink they need an appreciation forwhat it takes to set up an event likethis.

    Despite the fact that some of theyoung people who accompany Yellehave sometimes taken what Stormscalled a hard line, their contribu-

    tions have always been positive.Ive never seen a slacker, Storms

    said. After theyre there a while,they get into it. They take some pridein knowing that theyre helping dothis.

    Yelle said he believes that sense ofpride stems from the visibility of theevent and another reason he thinks itis important for these kids to help outwith the race.

    Even if people dont necessarilyattend the start of the race, they kindof see how it benefits the communityas a whole, he said.

    Bodeman was also grateful for theopportunity to give back to volun-teers who contribute so much to therace.

    We like knowing that were giv-ing his young people a chance to par-ticipate in such a neat event in thecommunity, she said. It teachesthem, I would like to think, responsi-bility and teamwork. Its a great op-portunity.

    Volunteer rounds up youth to help with race

    From left, NMU international students Clmence Atallah, Eileen Klingsiek, An-gelique Blanc, Tina Marquardt and Vanessa Brockman are all part of Carol Stein-haus management class that helps organize and plan parts of the UP 200 dog sledrace. These particular students will be in charge on the Lake St. crossings on Fri-day night of race weekend. (Journal photo by Claire Abent)

  • 6D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    U.P. 200 volunteers release Tom Clark's sled dog team at the starting line of the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race.

    Veterinarian Nick Vukich of Green Bay, Wis. checks over one of Ed Stielstra's dogs, Kar, in the River-side Auto lot. (Journal photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)

    Mushers run their dogs down Washington Street in Marquette. (Journal photos by Julia Woehrer)

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2010 The Mining Journal 7D

    Above and below: Mushers prepare for the Midnight Run race. (Journal photos by Julia Woehrer)

    Left: People gather for the Kiddie Mut Race. Right: Elizabeth Arnold, 4, rides a dog sled at the Kiddie Mutt race at theMarquette Commons. Elizabeth is the daughter of Darcy and Kari Arnold of Brighton. (Journal photos by Julia Woehrer)


    organizers of the first U.P.200 sled dog race in 1990decided to begin their eventwith a race down Washing-ton Street, they were reviv-ing a century-old Marquettetradition.

    The first recordeddogsled race in Marquettewas held on Feb. 15, 1883,more than 125 years agoand just 34 years after thefounding of the city.

    Mining Journal reports ofthat race say thousands ofspectators filled the streetsto watch the young boysand their teams of dogs. AMarquette barber, JosephLafayette Smith, organizedand promoted the event.

    The race was run downWashington Street to LakeSuperior on Front Street.

    Apparently, Ishpemingand Negaunee had races oftheir own a few years priorto Marquettes first raceand George Washingtonsbirthday became dogsledrace day throughout thecounty.

    The next report of dograces in Marquette comesin 1912. Again, Smith who by this time was re-ferred to as a veteran sportspromoter by an accountprovided by the MarquetteCounty History Museum was at the center of the

    races.Smith collected merchan-

    dise and cash from variousstores and businesses, mak-ing sure all the kids re-ceived something for par-ticipating. The MarquetteLight and Power Depart-ment provided the wire tofence off WashingtonStreet from Front Street tothird Street.

    Three-dog race eventswere held a free for all,consolation and little dogs with two or three heatsin each one.

    According to the account,the races became annualWashington Birthdayevents. In 1922, withSmith still promoting,2,000 people witnessed theraces, which were moved toRidge Street because oflack of snow on Washing-ton.

    Smith apparently stoppedpromoting the races in1923 and there is a gap inreports about them.

    An article in the Feb. 14,1936, Mining Journalpicks up the gap by sayingthe annual dog derby willbe run at 1:45 p.m. Satur-day.

    Like the prior races, along list of prizes wasavailable for the boys whowon. American Legion Post44 sponsored the events.

    After 1936 there wasnt

    much competitive dog rac-ing in the Marquette area.

    An article in Feb. 19,1972, Mining Journal sumsit up this way:

    Although the competi-tive races are no longer inexistence in Marquette,there are families like theMaurice Millers in NewSwanzy who still raise andpleasure-race some of thebest draft dogs in existencetoday.

    8D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Race revivalU.P. 200 awakens sled dog traditions

    Jeff Mann, co-founder ofthe U.P. 200 sled dog race,runs his team. (Photocourtesy Jack Deo/Supe-rior View Gallery)

    Michael Bestgen of St. Cloud, Minn., lines his team up at the start of the U.P. 200Sled Dog Race on Washington Street in Marquette. (Journal file photo)

  • By CLAIRE ABENTJournal Staff Writer

    MARQUETTE Thetrailer used as the announc-ers platform at the start ofthe U.P. 200 Sled Dog Racein downtown Marquettestarted plain and white.Now its bright blue anddecorated with images ofsled dogs, paw prints andthe Upper Peninsula.

    All of the decorationswere created by Joy Bender-Hadleys high school artstudents at North StarAcademy.

    Bender-Hadley was ap-proached by the U.P. 200Sled Dog Association inSeptember about decoratingthe trailer and the work be-gan in November. The pro-ject meshed with NorthStars education philosophy,she said.

    We are a real projectbased school, so it just fit.They had to do the researchand they needed to decidewhat we needed to do. It justreally really fits well withwhat we try to teach, shesaid. The kids learnthrough service learningprojects that they can makea difference, that teenagerscan make a difference andthat one person can make adifference. It showed themthat they are valued mem-bers of society.

    The decoration of the plat-form took a number ofsteps, including painting theentire trailer blue, adding alogo design to the trailer,and the creation of 18 dogdoors. The dog doors con-tain paintings, all done bystudents, of sled dog faces,created on wood. The pro-

    ject required that the woodbe cut and painted indoorsand then mounted on thesides of the trailer.

    I had a lot of kids saythey couldnt draw when itcame to the dogs, some ofthe kids didnt know theyhad the ability, said Ben-der-Hadley.

    Students from all ageranges and abilities helpedout with the trailer and madeit extremely successful, shesaid.

    Im extremely happy withthe way it turned out. Improud of the students and Imsure they will all be goingdown to the U.P. 200 race toshow it to people.

    The trailer will be on dis-

    play in downtown Marquetteduring the dog sled race Fri-day through Sunday.

    Claire Abent can bereached at 906-228-2500,ext. 250. Her e-mail iscabent@miningjournal.net.

    By STEVE BROWNLEEJournal Staff Writer

    REPUBLIC Its nice tobe popular, but Pat Gingrasis even happier to feel ap-preciated.

    In what has become an an-nual labor of love, Gingrashas been making trophiesfor the top finishers in theU.P. 200 and Midnight Runfor six years.

    And he loves to hear therave reviews for the hand-carved trophies made out ofgranite and other minerals.

    That just makes my day,the owner of RepublicMemorials said in responseto what Pat Torreano toldhim:

    The mushers just loveyour trophies, the presidentof the Upper Peninsula SledDog Association said.

    The pair stopped by TheMining Journals Marquetteoffice two weeks before thestart of the race to drop offfor display the six granite

    trophies that will be award-ed to the top three finishersin each of the events twomajor races the U.P. 200and Midnight Run.

    I just give Pat carteblanche to do what he feelsis best, Torreano said.

    And I just like to go nutswith these, Gingras re-sponded.

    Tweaking a winning for-mula this year, all six tro-phies are made from blackgranite, each with a hand-carved huskys head on it.The first-place trophies fea-ture a working clock onwhat is meant to be a wall-hanging trophy. Second-and third-place trophies fea-ture smaller slabs of graniteepoxied into a white marblebase, which can stand up ontheir own.

    Each of the trophiesweighs about eight poundsapiece, according to Gin-gras.

    In addition, Gingras had

    two more pieces made, sim-ilar to the first-place tro-phies, to be donated for theU.P. 200 fund-raising silentauction. They also featurehand-engraved dogs headsand a working clock on theirfaces.

    We base the dogs faceson photos, Gingras said.They are all done free-handby my resident artist, DavePaquette.

    Gingras estimates that Pa-quette spent three to fourhours on each etching, donein minute detail and barelynoticeable to the touch. Theetchings wouldnt be notice-able if they werent filled inwith a special paint, mostly

    but not entirely white.Dave and I were dis-

    cussing if we should reallyhave one of the dogs havetwo different-colored eyes,Gingras said. I told him ifthats the way the photo is,then sure, we can do it thatway.

    So two of the dogs have a

    blue and a brown eye inkeeping with photographicaccuracy.

    This isnt Gingras firstforay into projects not relat-ed to his core business ofcemetery monuments, as hementioned doing the bricksthat line downtown Mar-quette sidewalks with busi-

    ness and personal namesthat date back to the 1980s.

    He also has done or will bedoing similar work for theJacobetti Veterans Facilityin Marquette, the city of Ish-peming, junior golf leaguesat the Wawonowin CountryClub in Ishpeming, the Es-canaba and Manistiqueschool districts, and theWomens Club of Manis-tique.

    Steve Brownlee can bereached at 906-228-2500,ext. 246. His e-mail addressis sbrownlee@miningjour-nal.net.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 The Mining Journal 9D

    Rock solid achievementsTop U.P. 200, Midnight Run finishers receieve new trophies

    North Star students spruceup U.P. 200 starting line

    Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association President Pat Torreano, left, and RepublicMemorials owner Pat Gingras display the granite trophies that Gingras and hiscompany created for the top three finishers in the U.P. 200 and Midnight Run. Madefrom black granite and weighing about eight pounds, each features a hand-drawnsled dog face. Two similar trophies were also produced for the events fund-rais-ing silent auction. (Journal photo by Steve Brownlee)

    I just give Pat (Gingras) carte

    blanche to do what he feels is best...Pat Torreano

  • By JOHN PEPINJournal Staff Writer

    MUNISING Back again and this time promising tobe bigger and better Mu-nisings Winterfest will pro-vide a wide range of activitiescentered around the finish ofthe Midnight Run.

    Im really excited, saidChar Carberry, executive di-rector of the MunisingDowntown DevelopmentAuthority. I think we addeda lot of really neat things thisyear.

    Last winter, city officialsbegan expanding the activi-ties associated with the finishof the Midnight Run, whichends in along Park Street indowntown Munising, justnorth of Mustang Stadium.

    This years events begin onThursday at 7 p.m. with aNational Parks of Lake Supe-rior Foundation fundraisingevent at the Falling RockCafe, which is located alongMunising Avenue. A pro-gram on the Voyageurs willbe featured, raising moneyfor Pictured Rocks NationalLakeshore.

    A 5 p.m. Friday, the Card-board Classic Sled Race willbe held at Bayshore Park, sit-uated along Lake Superior.

    Baby boomers rememberthe Cardboard Classic, Car-berry said. Were bringingthat back and it seems to begenerating a lot of excite-ment.

    Saturday morning kicks offwith the finish of the Mid-night Run, typically between7-10 a.m., depending on trailand weather conditions.

    Waterfall and ice hikes willbe offered from 10 a.m. untilnoon, with participants meet-ing at the Peoples State Bankclock along Superior Street.A winter-themed family

    movie will be shown at 10a.m. at the Mather Auditori-um, which is located near theMidnight Run terminus alongElm Avenue.

    From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,Munising restaurants will of-fer their various chili recipesin a chili walk. Carberry saidthe chili walk was one of themost popular events return-ing to winterfest from lastyear.

    From noon to 2 p.m. theMunising Lions will hold aSnowshoe Challenge andWreath Toss at the corner ofBirch and Superior streetsdowntown. From 2-4 p.m.there will be a PicturedRocks National Lakeshoresnowshoe demonstration andhike, which meets downtownat the Peoples State Bankclock.

    At 4 p.m., the Upper Penin-sula Sled Dog Associationwill hold its Midnight Runbanquet and awards ceremo-ny at Sydneys Restaurant.

    From 6-8 p.m., area BoyScouts will have a campfiregathering downtown at theintersection of Birch and Su-perior streets. The FallingRock Cafe will offer live mu-sic from Chris Valenti from7-9 p.m. and at 8 p.m., Ever-green 7 will be providing themusic for a Snowball Danceat the Moose Lodge, locatedalong Superior Street.

    On Sunday morning, therewill be sled dog rides at Mus-tang Stadium provided byNorthern Waters Adventures.From noon to 5 p.m. a donutdiner vendor will be on Supe-rior Street downtown. At12:30 p.m., the popular Pup-py Paws Pet Parade will be-gin at the Peoples State Bankparking lot.

    From 1-3 p.m., the KiwanisKiddie Mutt Races will be

    held on Superior Street. Participants have their own

    pets pull sleighs in this event,Carberry said.

    Human dog sled races willbe staged along SuperiorStreet from 3-5 p.m. byNorthern Waters Adventures.

    The festivities will closeSunday with Munising HighSchool?s community talentshow from 6-9 p.m. at Math-er Auditorium.

    Over the weekend, therewill also be cross-countryskiing and snowshoeing from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ValleySpur, located four miles westof Munising along M-94.The lodge will be open. Openskating will be offered at theAlger Centennial Ice Arenain downtown Munising from3-7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.to 2 p.m. Sunday.

    Carberry said the commu-nity has been advertising theWinterfest events widely andinquiries have been receivedfrom other states as far awayas Tennessee.

    I think its going to be big-ger and better and this is go-ing to be a winner everyyear, Carberry said.

    For more information onWinterfest, contact the Mun-sing Downtown Develop-ment Authority at 906-387-1110 or visit www.munis-ingwinterfest.com

    By CLAIRE ABENTJournal Staff Writer

    MARQUETTE Alsocelebrating its 20th an-niversary this year is theshorter, faster cousin ofthe U.P. 200, the Mid-night Run. Spanning 91miles, teams are limitedto eight dogs. A maxi-mum of 40 teams are al-lowed to participate inthe race and this yearsrace has 24 competitorsregistered as of Feb. 10,according to the UpperPeninsula Sled Dog Asso-ciation.

    The Midnight Run pro-vides a special treat forspectators because, dur-ing the night, the smalltown of Deerton remainsactive amid vet checksand the constant streamof sleds coming and go-ing. Food and merchan-dise are available in theTownship Hall during theentire night as well, ac-cording to Pat Torreanoof the UPSDA.

    Deerton after 10 p.m.will be a very activeplace, said Torreano.Its a little, teeny, tiny

    town transformed into avery busy place.

    The race begins inGwinn on Friday night ofrace weekend, with thefirst team leaving thechute at 6 p.m. from Lar-rys Foods.

    This years Midnight

    Run features a new start-ing gate said Torreano.The route then takes themushers 46 miles to thecheckpoint in Deerton.The teams usually arrivebetween 11 p.m. and 1a.m., following the U.P.200 teams, who will have

    passed through earlier inthe night.

    All of the teams are re-quired to observe amandatory five-hour lay-over period, and begin toleave town again around4 a.m. The teams thentravel approximately 43

    miles to the finish, indowntown Munising dur-ing the early morninghours of Feb. 20.

    Opening ceremonies be-gin at 5:45 p.m. on Feb.19, with the race begin-ning at 6 p.m. The racewraps up with an awardsbanquet in Munising onFeb. 20, which is open tothe public. Tickets areavailable at the door for$20. For race standingsand precise finish times,check www.up200.org,which will be updatedduring the race.

    10D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Midnight Run actionRace celebrating its 20th anniversary

    Munising packed with events for Midnight Run

    Deerton after 10 p.pm. will be a very active place.Its a little, teeny, tiny town transformed into

    a very busy place.Pat Torreano

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2010 The Mining Journal 11D

  • By JOHANNA BOYLEJournal Ishpeming Bureau

    SANDS TOWNSHIP Lisa Dietzen is about to fulfillwhat has been a dream sincekindergarten.

    My elementary school li-brarian read my the story ofBalto. When she was done, Iraised my hand and said Imgoing to do that some day,Dietzen said.

    Now in her second year atNorthern Michigan Universi-ty, the 20-year-old is about toparticipate in her first sleddog race on Feb. 20 theJack Pine 30, which is held aspart of the U.P. 200 week-end.

    The 30-mile race is a com-petition for six-dog teams, be-ginning in Gwinn and endingin Marquette.

    Originally from Green Bay,Dietzen spent her elementaryschool years playing with adoll-sized dog sled, even try-ing to get the family cat topull it. In seventh grade, shebuilt her own dog sled, butshe never got the chance towork with a real team untilshe volunteered as a dog han-dler for the longer U.P. 200race.

    Working as a volunteer, Di-etzen got the idea to contact alocal sled dog kennel to findout whether they would takeher on as a student. After aquick Google search for localkennels, she came acrossSnowy Plains Kennel, ownedby Jackie and Jim Winkows-ki.

    The Winkowskis agreed tolet her train and this year shewill be racing one of theirteams in the Jack Pine 30.

    This has been my dreamsince I was in kindergarten,Dietzen said.

    Dietzen began training inMarch of 2009, and has spenthours each week since thenworking at the kennel, notjust working with a sled, buthelping out with the dogs.

    They wanted to make surethe person was committed tobeing here, Dietzen said.

    Eventually, Dietzen saidher goal is to have her own

    kennel of dogs and maybe at-tempt running the Iditerodsome day. For now, however,her goal is to finish her firstrace.

    Even if I dont do well, itwould still be worth it to me,she said. Because its myfirst race, my goal is to fin-ish.

    The Jack Pine 30 is set tobegin at 9:30 a.m. at LarrysFamily Foods in Gwinn, andwill follow the course of theMidnight Run trail to theCarp River M-28/U.S. 41bridge. Mushers will thenturn north and follow LakeStreet to the Upfront & Com-pany on Lakeshore Boule-vard.

    The first mushers are ex-pected to finish the race start-ing at 11:45 a.m., with anawards ceremony set foraround 3:30 p.m.

    Upfront & Company willhost a warm-up party from11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. so atten-dees can watch the finish linefrom the balcony.

    The eight fastest teams inthe Jack Pine will receiveplaques and a Red LanternAward will be given to thelast team to finish.

    Johanna Boyle can bereached at 906- 486-4401.Her e-mail address isjboyle@miningjournal.net.

    12D The Mining Journal Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Jack Pine 30Rookie musher to fulfill lifelong dream

    Musher Jim Winkowski of Gwinn, above, was the first to cross the finish line of the Jack Pine 30 last year. Therace ran from Gwinn to Marquette and featured a number of younger mushers. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)


View more >