Mushers reflect on UP 200 experience

MARQUETTE — Temperatures in the 50s and a lack of snow forced UP 200 race officials late Saturday night to shorten the race and change the finish line location. When the sun came up Sunday morning, Denis Tremblay of Quebec, Canada, was the first musher to finish the 220 mile race.

A crowd of over 100 people lined the finish line at Lakenenland as Tremblay and his team completed the three-day event. Tremblay won the UP 200 for the first time in his career.

In 2016, he finished in third place. Tremblay said the game plan he had coming into the race definitely paid off.

“The same speed all race; 10 miles per hour all around,” said Tremblay. “More faster the last round as possible, running one miles per hour faster the last round. I look at my dogs and the dogs are happy. It’s satisfaction for me and for my dogs,” he added.

Ward Wallin of Two Harbors, Minnesota, was the top finishing American in third place. Wallin has participated in the race 23 times.

He says it’s the people that keep him coming back year after year.

“I’ve got so many friends here from racing all of these years. The dog race is secondary. I’m on vacation,” said Wallin.

Ward took home $4,100 for his efforts. Tremblay won the top prize of $7,200.