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UP 200 Sled Dog Championship February 15-17
Friday, February 1, 2008

by Michaeleen O'Sullivan, UPfirst.com feature writer
Photos by Todd Carter, UPfirst.com photographer

UP200 WEB CAMS      UP 200 2008 Race Start Photos (added 2/15/08)

Snow-filled West Washington Street
Downtown Marquette
Start of the UP 200 Sled Dog Race (2000)

Marquette, MI--Thousands of visitors are expected to gather along trails from Marquette to Grand Marais for the UP's most exciting winter event, the 19th Annual UP 200 Sled Dog Championship, February 15-17.

Spectators, rows thick, line downtown Marquette streets every year--and generous merchants open their shops with warm cider, coffee, and snacks--for the 7:10 start time Friday night.

The UPfront and Co. schedule for Friday, February 15, promises "Jim and Ray: A local landmark! Performing in the banquet hall from 7-11. Come watch the Dog Sled races from the balcony."

UP 200 Race Start 2007

UP200 Start in Downtown Marquette, 2001

The UP200 dog sled teams travel from Marquette to Deerton, and then on to Wetmore for an unassisted checkpoint. 

According to the U.P. 200 web site:

There are several reasons for an unassisted checkpoint. It makes strategy very important, and provides a distinct challenge for the mushers. Further, since the U.P. 200 is a qualifying race for Iditarod, an unassisted checkpoint is a very good experience for the musher who strives to compete in a distance race.

In the history of sled dog racing, the unassisted checkpoint brings back into focus the time honored tradition of the musher and his/her dogs alone on the trail. Mushing has evolved into an exciting sport which may eventually become an Olympic event. For fans, the unassisted checkpoint allows a glimpse into the unique relationship shared between musher and dog team.

The teams drive on to Grand Marais, the half-way point location, and back to Marquette through Wetmore and Chatham's "possible dog drop" location.  The 240-mile race affords opportunities to see the teams up close on the trail as they pass through backyards, checkpoints, and wilderness outposts. 

UP 200 Doggies on the Trail off Riverside Drive, 2005

Volunteers and spectators warmed by bonfires will be out in force to cheer on the teams.

Over 15,000 visitors come to Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.) to see the U.P. 200!  It is a favorite winter event for local residents and out of town guests.  The U.P. 200 has a dedicated group of over 500 volunteers from the U.P. and the mid-west region that come together to stage this great event each year.  U.P. 200 Official Web Site

The teams return to Marquette's Mattson Lower Harbor Park Sunday.  It's a rush to watch the champions pulling around the bend of the Park and surging across the finish line.  It's especially heart-warming to welcome the teams home within a small, extremely enthusiastic crowd of musher families and fans.

Finish Line, Lower Harbor, Marquette (2001)

Now in its 19th year, the UP200 will kick off an annual fund raiser at 8:00 pm Friday, February 8, at UPfront and Co. in Downtown Marquette, featuring Flat Broke Blues Band.

For more information, see WLUCTV6 article: "U.P. 200 Needs Cash: Two Main Sponsors Have Pulled Back."

To volunteer, visit UP200 Welcome to Volunteer Sign-Up.

For more UP200 information, visit:


UP 200
Sled Dog Championship
Official Web Site

It is not simply a sled dog race. It's a shopping experience as well. SILENT AUCTION begins at 9:00 am, Wednesday, February 13th at the Holiday Inn. Come see these hand carved chairs and much, much more. Get there early to place your bid - the auctions are quite competitive.--UP200 Official Web Site

UP 200
2008 Musher Listing

WLUCTV6 Article
Thursday, January 31, 2008
"UP 200 Needs Cash"

UP Weather Channel Recognition!

Upper Peninsula rated #6
on Weather Channel's
Top 10 List of Winter Family Getaways

Full Article

Weather Channel Top 10 List
of Winter Family Getaways:

UP200 Musher 2007

13"x19" Signed Print - $25

18"x24" Signed Print - $35


Siberian Sled Doggies
New Painting by Todd Carter

Buy Online at
Todd Carter Folk Art Gallery

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