Sunny’s Walt Lindala Wins UP200 Volunteer of the Year Award and Mushers Set Out to Win the 27th Annual UP200

    Thanks to the color guard for starting off the opening ceremony.


    Walt Lindala showing off his new Volunteer of the Year Award.

    Marquette, MI February 17, 2017 – The City of Marquette trucked snow in to transform downtown Marquette into the starting area for the 27th Anniversary UP200 and Midnight Run. Our very own Walt Lindala from the Sunny Morning Show with Walt and Mike emceed at the Opening Ceremony along with Frida Waara from Re/Max.


    During the Opening Ceremony, we got to hear from Governor Rick Snyder, Senator Tom Casperson, the President of the Upper Peninsula Dog Sled Association Ron Hewson, and more! We also finally got to reveal the secret we’ve all been keeping around the office… while on stage performing their emcee duties, Walt Lindala and Frida Waara were awarded the Bev Stroh Volunteer of the Year Award! After 19 years of work with the UP 200, Walt Lindala was both floored and honored at this recognition.

    After the Opening Ceremony, mushers and their teams took off from Washington Street while throngs of onlookers cheered them on. If you missed the start but still want to see the sled dog teams, you can cheer on the Midnight Run Mushers as they begin arriving in Lower Harbor Saturday morning between 8:30 and 11 am. Come down to Lower Harbor on Sunday between noon and 3 pm as the UP200 Mushers cross the finish line! Updates will be posted on the UP200 website if you can’t make it so you can see how your favorite mushers are doing.

    The Races

    UP200 – An Iditarod qualifier, this 12-dog, mid-distance race covers 230 miles of beautiful but challenging terrain from Marquette to Grand Marais and back again. Mushers traverse hills, creek crossings, deep snow, and isolated trails on this trek. Watching the 12-dog teams take off from the starting gate on Washington Street in Marquette is spectacular and a lot of fun!

    The first team through the gate!

    Midnight Run – This 8-dog, 90-mile race is a shorter race than the UP200 and it draws some of the finest mushers and teams in the region. The Midnight Run teams leave thirty minutes after the last UP200 team, but not before 8:30 pm. Competition is fierce so be sure to cheer the mushers on as they return to Lower Harbor on Saturday morning.

    Jackpine 30 – This 26-mile race features 6-dog teams and is the shortest race this weekend. The dogs and their mushers take off at 10 am from Larry’s Family Foods in Gwinn. Community members are invited to the start of the race to meet the teams and the mushers. The Awards Ceremony takes place immediately after the race (2-2:30 pm) at Gwinn Baptist Church where awards are given for 1st through 8th place and the commemorative Red Lantern Award for the musher who brings in the final team.

    The 2017 UP200 Sled Dog Championship!

    The Awards Banquets

    The Midnight Run Awards Banquet will be held in Marquette at 4 pm at the Masonic Building and is open to the public. Tickets are available

    at the door for $15 or can be purchased at the merchandise room at the Holiday Inn.

    The UP200 Awards Breakfast is also open to the public and takes place at the Holiday Inn of Marquette on Monday at 8 am. Tickets are available at the door for $15 or can be purchased at the Holiday Inn merchandise room.

    Silent Auction and Merchandise

    Don’t forget! A silent auction is underway until Sunday at noon at the Holiday Inn in Marquette and you can buy merchandise at the Holiday Inn from 9 am to 3 pm daily until Monday when merchandise will be available 7 am to noon.

    Listen to interviews with representatives of the UP200 form earlier in the day.