The UPSDA Board will be switching to Thursday meetings for the next few months. Future meeting dates are: June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, and October 13. The public is invited to our meetings, which are held at 6pm at the Holiday Inn in Marquette unless posted otherwise.
Former UP200 Race Director Marva Ittner, 72, passed away on Friday, May 6 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Marva was involved with almost every aspect of the races and she will be dearly missed by her many friends in the mushing world. Our deepest condolences to Marva’s family.
The members of the UPSDA will elect three board members at the annual meeting on May 11, 2016. The meeting will be held at 6pm at the Holiday Inn in Marquette. The terms of Sarah Kimball, Darlene Walch, and Cathy Egerer are expiring this year. Sarah Kimball will not be running for re-election. Darlene Walch, Cathy Egerer, and Tom Gillespie will be running for the three open seats on the board. All UPSDA members are encouraged to attend the meeting.
We’ve started an electronic newsletter, the Gang-Line, to keep everyone updated on news and events related to the races. We’re planning on a quarterly publication schedule. To subscribe, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your name, e-mail address, and your position with the races – official, volunteer, musher, or spectator. Your email will not be shared.
Official UP200 Mileage
68 miles from Marquette to Wetmore
57 miles from Wetmore to Grand Marais
The UP200 is one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races and draws mushers from around the United States and Canada. The first UP200 was run in February, 1990, after two years of planning by sled dog racing enthusiasts. The current race covers approximately 250 miles from Marquette to Grand Marais, with a return to Marquette along the same trail. The terrain includes stretches of near-wilderness, creek crossings, hills and valleys, and heavily forested land. Mushers say this is one of their favorite races, not only because of the challenging race, but because of the beautiful trail, the cheering crowds and warm welcome they receive at every checkpoint along the trail here in the Upper Peninsula.
The UP200 is an Iditarod qualifying race. Registration is limited to 40 teams, and mushers are required to have finished the Midnight Run or other equivalent sixty (60) mile continuous running races within the past three seasons.
Official Midnight Run Mileage
45 miles from Marquette to Chatham
45 miles Chatham to Marquette
Coinciding with the UP200 is the eight-dog Midnight Run. The finish will be in the lower harbor in Marquette on Saturday, February 13, 2016. The Midnight Run, or MNR, draws premier teams wanting to test their skill on a technically challenging trail. MNR mushers will again leave the chute in downtown Marquette at 8:30 pm. The teams will rest the required 5.5 hours in Chatham. Registration is also limited to 40 teams.
Official JackPine30 Mileage
26 miles starting and ending in Gwinn, MI
The JackPine 30 rounds out the weekend’s fun with a six-dog, 26-mile trail starting and finishing in Gwinn, Michigan. The JP30 will start at 10:00am on Saturday morning, February 13, 2016 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.
The rules for each race are posted here on the website under the Race Info tab, and mushers will also find registration forms and an online payment option through PayPal.