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Mushers Set Out on UP200 and Midnight Run Across the Upper Peninsula After Opening Ceremony

There were 18 teams registered to run into night's race.
There were 18 teams registered to run into night’s race.

Marquette, MI  –  February 16, 2018  –  Tonight’s 28th Annual UP200 and Midnight Run Opening Ceremony had the roads packed with snow and the sidewalks packed with people. Mushers and spectators come from all over the world to participate in or watch the Iditarod qualifier race.

Sunny.FM’s Walt Lindala returned to the mic to emcee for yet another year joined by Frida Waara. During the Opening Ceremony the crowd heard from President of the Upper Peninsula Dog Sled Association, Ron Hewson and Stromy Kromer President UP200 sponsor, Gina Jacquart Thorsen.

Following the Opening Ceremony, mushers and their teams lined up on Washington to start the race. As one of the top 12-dog mid distance races around the world, 18 teams are running in tonight’s UP200 with 22 running in the 90 mile Midnight Run. The crowd counted down from 10 before each team took off across the starting line. As the dogs passed, the crowd rung cow bells and each on the mushers.

If you want to catch the teams returning from the race and crossing the finish line, make sure to be at Mattson Lower Harbor between noon and 3pm. Updates will be posted on the UP200 website if you want to follow along during the race.

The Jack Pine 30 starts tomorrow at Larry’s Family Foods. Catch the start at 10:00am. The 26 mile race will end at First Baptist Church in Gwinn.

Click here to see a full gallery and story from last year’s UP200