UP 200 kicks off in downtown Marquette

MARQUETTE – Downtown Marquette was bitterly cold on Friday night, but that didn’t stop hundreds of spectators from giving UP-200 mushers and their teams an enthusiastic sendoff.

State leaders and U.P. celebrities were also on hand, including State Rep. Sara Cambensy and Olympic Gold Medal winner Nick Baumgartner. Thirteen mushers and their 12-dog teams left the gate at 7 p.m.

They will travel 228 miles from Marquette to Grand Marais and then back again. After the U.P. 200 mushers were on their way, 16 eight-dog teams left the chute for the Midnight Run.

The second race is an 82-Mile trek to Chatham and back. They will finish at the Ojibwa Casino in Marquette on Saturday.

The Jack Pine 30 race begins at the First Baptist Church of Gwinn at 10 a.m. on Saturday.  The 30-mile race features 6-dog sled teams. Mushers are expected to reach the finish line back at the church between 12:30 and 2 p.m.

The U.P. 200 ends Sunday, when the Mushers cross the finish line at the Ojibwa Casino in Marquette. To track the mushers, or get other information on the races go to up200.org.