U.P. 200 Headquarters Open

The U.P. 200 and Midnight Run sled dog championships are almost here.

Today, the U.P. Sled Dog Association has opened up race headquarters.

This is the 21st year for the sled dog races, and the Holiday Inn in Marquette was busy with the headquarters setup today.

35 mushers are signed up for the 200 and 27 are expected to compete in the Midnight Run.

Race HQ coordinator Aileen Todd says it’s up to her and the other volunteers at the hotel to keep track of all the mushers and their times.

About 1,000 volunteers make the races possible.

Race gear is also for sale starting today, and many items for the annual silent auction are on display, too.

Last year, it brought in $4,000 for the race.

The silent auction runs through Sunday at noon.

The mushers register for their races tomorrow and take part in a pre-race banquet.

Then the races start Friday night — the Midnight Run at 6 in Gwinn and the U.P. 200 itself just after 7 in Marquette.