MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association has announced that the UP200 will be cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The Midnight Run and Jackpine 30 have also been cancelled.
Warmer weather conditions and rain have made trails unsafe for the dogs and teams, which ultimately lead to the decision to cancel the event.
Since the race first began in 1990, this is the first time that the races have been completely cancelled due to weather.
In the place of the races, there will be the Festival of the Sled Dog Powered by NMU on Friday night at 7 p.m. The festival will celebrate the teams, dogs, and organizers that work hard all year long for the races.
WZMQ will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Read the full press release below:
Due to deteriorating weather conditions and concern for the safety of mushers, dogs, spectators and volunteers, the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association has canceled this coming weekend’s races.
“Safety is our top priority. Given the rain overnight, the impending flash freeze and the lack of snow in this week’s forecast, it would be irresponsible to encourage mushers, volunteers and spectators to be on the trail this weekend. We will make the best of a difficult situation,” says Darlene Walch, UPSDA president.
“Festival of the Sled Dog Powered by NMU” will replace the Friday night race start at 7pm. Watch for details on social media and in the local media. The arch will be up, the streets will be filled with snow for sledding and sled dog demos meaning: there will be dogs! Grand Marais is also adjusting their schedule of activities for Saturday. Stay tuned for more details for both locations.
“In our 33 years of putting on these races, we’ve never had to cancel due to weather,” said Walch. “This is a first for us and we appreciate the support of the community as we pivot to a festival format. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make after the months of work already put in by mushers, volunteers, sponsors and board. Thank you to everyone for your flexibility and understanding. We hope to see you Friday night in downtown Marquette and Saturday in Grand Marais.”